Tonight is the second night of the Dutch Debating League. LDU has the honour to host this edition. After the previous edition in Delft, this is the current ranking:
Participating on behalf of the societies will be:
Leiden Debating Union: Floris Holstege & Emma Lucas
Utrecht Debating Society: Pieter van der Veere & Elvire Landstra
ASDV Bonaparte: Marike Breed & Josse van Proosdij
Erasmus Debating Society: Urmi Pahladsingh & Emma van der Horst
NSDV Trivium: Ike Lieshout & Daan Welling
GDS Kalliope: Linsey Keur & Lise van der Meer
TU Delft Debating Club: Fons van der Beek & Tanya Srivastava
TDV Cicero: Lisa van Vliet & Mike Weltevrede
Almost all societies are represented by other debaters than last time. Delft is the only society to send the same team, consisting of Fons “the always smiling man” van der Beek and Tanya Srivastava, who chaired the Maastricht Novice final. This team took twice a third in their home game, which resulted in four points. Fons: “We actually hoped we could take a second one of the rounds, but because of the points system, it looks like we’re going straight.” Tanya will be the only non-Dutch speaker in Leiden, but to Fons this is not really relevant. TUDDC has an international character, so he is used to it.
The other consistent factor is Cicero semi-finalist Pieter van der Veere. Pieter has been in the debating news, because of a crowdfunding that was started to make him wear high heels at the next tournament. Anonymous sources told me that UDS had some struggles finding their delegates. This is because Pieter only wanted to go if he had a team partner who is good enough for him. Fortunately, he found someone, because Mace finalist and UCU convenor Elvire Landstra joins him to make the UDS delegation complete. Elvire and Pieter feel a little rusty, because they have been judging a lot lately, but after the Cicero tournament, they are ready to fight!
Wise people say `never change a winning team’. Hosting society LDU doesn´t seem to agree upon that. Gigi and Roel did splendid jobs, winning both debates in Delft, but nevertheless they are exchanged for Warsaw EUDC Leiden A, consisting of Floris Holstege and Emma Lucas. When I asked them if they feel pressure, Floris replied ‘no’, but Emma replied that she wouldn’t dare to show her face at LDU again if they take less than five points. This notorious duo is loved and feared within the community. Not only because they became best and third ESL speaker in Tallinn, but also because of the memewar with Bonaparte. An anonymous source told me this juicy fact: “Emma was about to go with Marike, but apparently, Bona did not find her good enough, so now she’s speaking on behalf of Leiden.” Floris and Emma hold a little grudge and really want to beat Bona, but unfortunately, they won’t meet each other tomorrow.
Their old nemesis Bonaparte is represented by DTU Fantasy team House Targaryan, consisting of Roosevelt Open finalist Marike Breed and Josse van Proosdij, who was named best speaker at the Cicero tournament. To show their awesomeness, Bona brings a crapload of supporters. When I asked Marike the inevitable question, about whether she wants to perform better than LDU, Marike replied: “We always feel pressure to perform well, but with a bunch of Bonaparte supporters, that pressure is even bigger.” Rumour has it that Amber van Lochem was writing new Bona-songs last weekend, so the supporters are probably going to be enthusiastic (and annoying) as always.
Erasmus Debating Society also shows up with an entirely different team. Emma van der Horst, who was CA in Delft, is now going to prove her skills for her society. The UCU semi-finalist knows that she needs to live up to a lot of expectations, as EDS got ranked third in the predictions. With her will be speaking Urmi Pahladsingh, who does not show up at many student tournaments. Fun fact, Urmi was in the same team as David Metz and Louis Honée in the final for schoolies 2014/2015, which David can’t seem to get out of his head. Furthermore, she was a finalist at Erasmus Rotterdam Open 2016.
NSDV Trivium is represented by UCU finalists Daan “vegan self-aware privilege boy (thanks Ike)” Welling and Ike “mama Trivium” Lieshout. Ike is known to be the fire feminist of the debating community and to have an amazing clothing style. Daan, as a former member of LDU, said that he wants to beat his old society in “the Lion’s den.” So far, Trivium has been living up to the expectations, as they are fifth in the ranking right know, but Ike and Daan want to change this.
GDS Kalliope will be represented by the Tilburg Women’s finalists, Linsey Keur and Lise van der Meer. Lise was last seen on a tournament at the KDT, where she was CA. Linsey was last seen on every tournament ever including the Cicero tournament, which she CA’ed. GDS got ranked eighth in the predictions, so the Groningers really want to prove everyone wrong. In the previous round they took four points. Linsey: “We are happy with four points, but Lise and I will try to do better, even though the other teams are very good. ”
Last but not least, TDV Cicero, who hosts the Dutch Nationals this year (congrats!), is represented by chairwoman Lisa van Vliet and Mighty Mike Weltevrede, who is known for his controversial speaker points analysis. This duo almost reached the break at Rotterdam Open last year and is not going easy on any of the other teams. It’s clear that they want to get rid of their place at the bottom of the ranking. Mike: “The competition is strong, but we are just going to do what we always do: our utmost. There is no specific strategy. (Although you never van really do wrong with determinism.”
It is clear that all the teams are very excited. We wish them the best of luck. May de motions be ever in their favour.
By: Daan Spackler