Suvashna Ganess, a 15-year-old currently in grade 10 at Solvista Secondary, is among those who has been given the privilege to attend the Heart of Europe Tournament in Prague to represent South Africa in a debating contest.
Suvashna is also a member of Kumari Shiksha’s Dance Institute and will graduate to a professional dancer soon. She attended Sunford Primary where she obtained all A’s throughout her primary school career.
As part of the school’s achiever club, she has participated in speech contests, spelling bees, quizzes and other contests. In grade seven, she was selected as head girl. She was also placed first in the grade and received the Dux award.
“I started debating in Grade six, I was never really that good nor did I enjoy it completely, however, as time passed, my love for debating also grew,” said Suvashna.
“When I started my high school career at Solvista, I joined the debate team. In my first year of high school debating, I was selected for the provincial team to represent the Phoenix Debating League,” she said.
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Thereafter at the provincial tournament in Limpopo, she was ranked fourth and was selected as an SA trialist.
“I was successful and am honoured to say I have earned my South African colours and am now part of the Junior Debating team for South Africa,” she said.
During the provincial tournament last year, the young woman and her team ranked second in the province.
“During July last year, the South African Junior Debating Team for 2017 represented South Africa at the Asian World Schools Debating Championship. We proudly made it to the finals but sadly lost to India,” said Suvashna.
When asked why she debates, the young woman said, “It’s not the team with the best players that win. It’s the players with the best team that win. Similarly, debating has taught me that you don’t have to be the best to maximize your potential or even win, all you need is a team who will stick with you through it all, win or lose, you do it together as family.”