| Nov 22, 2023
Recording participation in Fall West Tournament
Dear BEST Angels,
The academic year for BEST started with a record participation of coaches at the Coach Training. We gathered 45 coaches - Bulgarian teachers and Fulbright’s American English Teacher Assistants.
The event was weekend long and was in Sofia. The coaches participated in a variety of presentations about the competition rules, piece selection, debate fundamentals, fundraising techniques and tactics to create and lead a successful BEST team in their schools. A selection of amazing student live performances were shown at the event. We had the traditional Poetry workshop with prof. Olga Nikolova from AUBG and as always everyone enjoyed it and ranked it with the maximum points in our Feedback forms.
After the training the coaches went to their schools and started gathering their BEST teams - students between 8 and 12 grade who are willing to participate in Prose, Poetry, Duo, Original Oratory or Debate. Selecting. As you know proficiency in English is not a requirement in our events. The more our students participate the better in english, critical thinking, creative self expression and argumentation they become. A democratic and accepting community has been created through the years and we welcome every student who is passionate about speech and debate to have the courage to join us no matter their religion, gender, or social status.
As a result of our efforts and the support of all of you, the new school year began with a record number of participants, 300 students from 19 schools and 12 cities who took part in the Fall West Tournament in Blagoevgrad.
Our host school was FLHS Lyudmil Stoanov and we gathered the BEST community with the support of over 70 volunteer judges who came from all over the country to rank the students and to support them with valuable feedback and recommendations.
“Once BESTie, forever BESTie''. An alumni Judge I.I. explains the meaning of our motto: “Once you graduate and are not able to compete any more, you need to come back as a judge, you just miss the community, the energy and the inspiration and your friends who also come to judge. And you see the Novices becoming better and better year after year and at the end you just meet them in the judge's room - they have also graduated and also need to give back to the community.”
During the tournament, we had Student Leader training sessions and Q+A Judge Sessions regarding rules and volunteer meetings to ensure the smooth and successful organization of the live events.
The tournament ended with an award ceremony and with the reminder that no matter if you win a trophy or not, participating in BEST tournaments already makes you a winner, because with every next tournament you become a better version of yourself.
We are happy to share with you the below pictures from our events.
We thank you again for all your support and wish you a warm holiday season!