Source cover image: Deakin University
The Nederlandse Debatbond (Dutch Debate Union) is looking for a new board. To give you an idea of the life of a board member of “the Bond” we post articles with the experiences of the board members. This time: Mike Weltevrede (secretary).
I get a lot of energy from organizing and innovating events and processes. During my role as vice-chair at the Tilburg Debating Society Cicero, for example, I oversaw the new international branch of the association and I organized the Dutch Debating Winter School. Within the board of the Debatbond, we all had a lot of freedom to see how we could use our experience within the debate community to actually improve and connect the Dutch debating community. The core tasks per function are relatively limited and, therefore, everyone can easily take on tasks that give them the most energy.
In our board year, in my opinion, we greatly increased the added value of the Debatbond in the proliferation of the debating sport in the Netherlands, among other things by proactively supporting board members through the quarterly meetings (Tom will tell you more about this in the next article). I want to highlight two extra points that I put a lot of energy into and that also gave me a ton of energy.
1. Visibility of the Debatbond
When I started debating, the Debatbond was not a well-known concept within the Dutch debating community. They were mentioned during the GMA because we paid a contribution fee to them but that was it. The boards didn’t really know what the Debatbond added but especially individual debaters had no idea what to think when they heard the name. In this board year, we increased the visibility of the Debatbond. Axel Hirschel and Fenna ten Haaf fueled the promotion machine on social media and I gave a chat at almost all tournaments in the Netherlands about what fun things the Debatbond was going to organize, such as the next social, an online debate tournament, and also…
2. The Dutch Debating League!
The renewed Dutch Debating League (DDL) is what I am most proud of. In the previous board year, Jelte Schievels set up this national competition but they already noticed that it could be better. Axel held a brainstorming session with a few debaters, which resulted in the current format of a cup competition. Axel and I thought this through more and see there: the current Dutch Debating League! What made it even more fun was that Axel and I started live-streaming the debates (with commentary and analysis) on Facebook, just like you would see on your favourite sports show (see the footage here). Not only was this super fun to do but we got a lot of positive feedback, which made it all the more fun to do and more satisfying.
Would you also like to organize these kinds of initiatives? That is possible as a member of the next board of the Debatbond!
Want to apply?
Are you inspired to also do a board term at the Nederlandse Debatbond? You can apply until July 27 (tomorrow!) to make the Dutch debating community even better in your unique way! For more information, click here.
Mike is an alumnus of the Tilburg Debating Society Cicero and has served as the secretary of the Nederlandse Debatbond (2019-2021). He was vice-chair of Cicero (2015-2016) and in that function oversaw the newly set-up international branch. He also organized the Dutch Debating Winter School, a debating training week that attracted participants of over 20 nationalities.
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