Rowan Mockler, 18, a matric learner at Michaelhouse senior boys’ boarding school in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands, has been awarded the World Champion Persuasive Speaker accolade for 2016. In April Mockler competed against nearly 100 students from across the globe in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship (WIDPSC), held this year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA.
Mockler’s persuasive speaking topic focused on “academic doping” and he confidently discussed the use of medication and drugs to improve academic performance. Michaelhouse’s Facebook page deemed his achievement “a truly exceptional result” and “a remarkable achievement”, with numerous compliments and comments praising him for the award.
WIDPSC is an international annual English language debating and public speaking tournament for high school-level students. The Championship is represented by a diverse mix of scholars from countries as far reaching as Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, England and South Africa. The competition is an innovative five-day event which required all participants to compete in each of four separate disciplines, namely debating, an impromptu speech, a prepared reading and either an after-dinner or persuasive speech.
All competitors participated in each of these four disciplines, progressing through three rounds of elimination, accumulating collective scores as well as individual awards for each category.
Mockler’s first place in the Persuasive Speaking event helped him to place 9th overall in the 2016 competition.
But, it was not only Mockler who excelled from the South African delegates. The twelve competing speakers from SA – co-ordinated by the South African Independent Schools Public Speaking Association – performed particularly well overall. Another two South Africans – Maya Godden and Rebecca Mqamelo – reached the Grand Final for debating, with Godden achieving 8th place overall, as she achieved consistently high marks in all disciplines.
“South Africa did very well as a whole and achieved a number of successes including grand final and final round achievements. Special congratulations go to Rowan Mockler for being awarded World Champion 2016 for the Persuasive category. Well done team!” said Anthony Peters, manager of the South African Independent Schools Public Speaking Association for the WIDPSC.