Trinity debaters reach European Championship Final for third consecutive year

Daniela Williams and Naomi Panovka represented the Hist at the European Universities Debating Championship in Burgas last month

A team from the College Historical Society (the Hist) last month reached the Grand Final of the European Universities Debating Championship (EUDC) in Burgas.

Daniela Williams and Naomi Panovka became the third Trinity team in as many years to reach the Grand Final of the competition, where they debated the motion “This House believes that God should be killed”.

Speaking to Trinity News, Williams, who is originally from the US, said she was “delighted” to have reached the final of EUDC 2023.

“Speaking in the final has been a dream of mine for so long, and I am so happy to have achieved it alongside such a lovely friend and talented speaker.”

“Competitive debating has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time in Trinity: it has taught me to think critically about the world and the problems we face, and introduced me to some fascinating people. I am grateful to the Irish debating community for cheering us on through every round, as well as to Trinity for their overwhelming support.”

A 2023 recent graduate of BESS, Williams added that she will be leaving debating behind as she pursues an MSc International Relations at the London School of Economics.

“That said, I was lucky enough to get to teach some wonderful novices this year and I can’t wait to watch them continue the Irish debating community’s long tradition of success.”

Alongside Panovka, herself an exchange student from McGill University in Canada, Williams last year ran the Hist’s novice debate training in her capacity as debates convenor, having previously served as censor (PRO) and pro-debates convenor of the society.

In a post on social media, the Hist said it was “so proud” of the pair for reaching the Grand Final of the competition.

The team’s achievement continues a run of success for Trinity teams at EUDC in recent years. Last year, Dylan McCarthy and Jack Palmer from the University Philosophical Society (the Phil) became the first ever team from Trinity to win the Grand Final.

The previous year, the Hist’s Caoimhin Hamill and Jack Synnott broke the record for the most points ever scored at Euros, a record previously broken by Sally Rooney and Michael Barton representing the society in 2013.

The World University Debating Championship (WUDC) 2023 will take place in Vietnam between December and January, while EUDC 2024 will be held in Glasgow next summer.