Malvern hosts Speech and Debate tournament for first time


Eric McLaughlin

Malvern’s Speech and Debate Club hosted a league tournament for the first time ever.

Malvern hosted a Pennsylvania High School Speech League (PHSSL) tournament for the first time ever this year on November 19. There were some challenges in hosting, but it was an overall success.

The monthly tournaments are usually at larger schools. “Normally they need 45-60 classrooms for this event to work,” Kenworthey said. “There are usually 250-300 people who come to each event.”

This caused for a bit of trouble for Malvern’s smaller campus, but it was able to be resolved.

“This was the first time the tournament was hosted by school that is not one building,” Kenworthey said. “This caused a bit of confusion among the students and the judges.”

The biggest challenge came from figuring out room numbers. Kenworthey discovered that there are about ten rooms at Malvern that do not have a room number. This made it very challenging.

“Thanks to the student helpers, the debaters, speakers, and judges all found their way to the rooms to be on time,” Head of the PHSSL Bonnie Perry said. “The help from volunteers made the tournament run smoothly.”

Kenworthey still thought the tournament was a good experience for the visitors.

“Other teachers and students got a sense of what Malvern is and I feel they were impressed by the school,” Kenworthey said.

Just like many clubs at Malvern, the Speech and Debate Club is an extracurricular activity. There are no grades and you have to make time out of your schedule.

It can be very difficult to find enough time to go to practice, do your homework, eat dinner, do homework, and then work on an extracurricular. Malvern’s Speech and Debate students excel at this.

Many other schools have a class where they prepare for the debates and belong to multiple leagues and compete all over. “This is their crew. This is what they do 24/7. This is their weekends and most of their week.” said Mrs. Jessica Kenworthey, Moderator of the Speech and Debate Club and Theology teacher.

This does not phase the Malvern students who often place in the top of some events. This year, sophomore Rohan Jhunjhunwala has an undefeated record in his debates.