OVEP Debater 2020

OVEP Debater 2020


The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOC Sri Lanka) was invited to attend the 8th World Conference on Sport, Education, and Culture – Olympism: powered by Youth and Education on 25 - 27 November 2012, Amsterdam, Holland. As an outcome of NOC Sri Lanka’s participation, it was able to establish a sound foundation to promote the Olympic Educational Values in Sri Lanka. Since the year 2012, the Olympic Value Education took as a major theme of the Annual Olympic Academy of NOC Sri Lanka. In the year of 2017, the NOC Sri Lanka was able to take another major step by organising inter-school debate concept and conducted a Pilot Debate Programme with the participation of twenty leading schools in Sri Lanka.

Through this unique approach the NOC Sri Lanka was able to interact with children, their teachers, parents, friends, media and general public in a very productive manner and already NOC Sri Lanka is very proud to pronounce it as ‘OVEP Family’.

Objectives of OVEP Debater

The main objective of this project is to take the concept of Olympism to the school children in every corner of the island. Also, the programme is designed to attain the following objectives.

  1. To encourage school children’s participation by giving an opportunity to learn Olympic values and ideals.
  2. To create an awareness of which the father of Modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, called “the democracy of youth” rather than limiting to competitive nature of sport and physical exertion.
  3. To bring the children together to discuss and exchange their ideas on Olympism.
  4. To connect the young children from every corner of the country to exchange their different views and ideas.
  5. To enhance the public speaking skills of the youths

A Review of OVEP Debater 2017

The pilot Olympic Values Educational Programme - Debater (OVEP Debater) was created with an intention of enriching the learning culture of the entire school system in Sri Lanka, especially among the 15 to 20 years old kids. In the pilot programme, 60 children represented 20 schools from Kandy and Colombo districts. It all happened with the NOC Sri Lanka making a request to the Ministry of Education to help us with the programme focusing on the balance of gender and ethnicity. Depending on the list of the schools, the NOC Sri Lanka reached each and every school contacting the school in charge. Meanwhile, a volunteer academic team joined the NOC Sri Lanka to enrich the programme. The expertise knowledge of the team was used to discuss the sketch of the programme and many meetings were conducted accordingly. Once the teams were finalised, the NOC Sri Lanka conducted two workshops for the principals, teachers-in-charge and team leaders. The main purpose of the workshops was to invite the schools officially and provide an introduction about the programme in advance. There was a remarkable support and participation from each school.

To educate all the participants of the programme, the NOC Sri Lanka conducted two other workshops; both in Colombo and Kandy. During these two workshops, all teams were given the OVEP materials and divided into the groups for the knock-out round. They were also given the topics.

The students got the opportunity to interact with other schools via group works. It was another purpose of conducting these workshops prior to the competition. It was noticeable at the end of each workshop, that the students and the teachers from each school became friendly and closer. A panel of judges was created after the consultation and suggestion of the volunteer academic team but also with the blessing of the NOC Sri Lanka.

As a result of all the hard work of the NOC Sri Lanka team and the academic volunteer team along with the schools and the judges, the programme was ended in a huge success. It is also noteworthy to mention that Ms. Deanna Binder, Olympic Education researcher and consultant to the Teaching Values of Olympic Education Toolkit was also present.

Since the programme was attracted by the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic Solidarity fully funded it without any hesitation. In addition to the awards and certificates, the winners of the OVEP Debater 2017 were awarded scholarship to take part in the International Olympic Academy session held in Athens, Greece in 2019.

As the follow-up of the pilot programme, one admin staff and a volunteer, who have contributed for the successful completion of the programme, are reading their master’s studies in Seoul National University in South Korea and University of Tsukuba in Japan, respectively and researching on OVEP Debater 2017. Since it was a pilot programme, the full scale of the OVEP Debater is planned to conduct in the Olympic Year - 2020 with one step up based on the research results and suggestions.

OVEP Debater 2020

The NOC Sri Lanka has decided to conduct OVEP Debater 2020 as the first full scale project in September – October 2020. The main objective of the OVEP Debater 2020 is to educate Olympic Values to the school children. Especially, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is to be held in July 2021, the NOC Sri Lanka planned to host the OVEP Debater prior to the Games. NOC Sri Lanka believes that this will be another opportunity to the school children to get involved and learn Olympism before they watch the Games. Also, NOC Sri Lanka feels the importance of teaching human values through sports than the technological developments to the school children.

Target Group

So as to spread the value of Olympism, the number of schools has been doubled and the application is open for all the schools around the island without any discrimination. However, the 20 schools who have taken part in the pilot program will be invited again to take part in the full scale program. Rest of the 20 schools will be called via open application. Any of the schools in Sri Lanka shall be eligible to apply. The age group of 15 – 20 shall be eligible to take part in the OVEP Debater 2020. The application forms shall be published in local newspapers, NOC Sri Lanka website and its social media. If the number of applications is more than 20, there will be a selection process. All the applied schools shall have to go through a quiz for the selection process. The quiz will be related to Olympism and current Olympic movements. Moreover, as per the Agenda 2020, gender equality and provincial quota will also be seriously considered as other key factors in the selection process. Since the participants are school children, parents’ or guardian’s consent will be taken.

Once the 40 schools get selected, the teacher-in-charge and the captain of each team shall be invited for a virtual workshop via BlueJeans to brief about the programme and they shall be provided an electronic tool-kit which includes reading materials such as articles and research papers, OVEP brochures, and important links to read more about the Olympic Values. There shall be a virtual press conference to which all the media will be invited to brief about the programme and cover the event from the stage 2.

The competition shall be split into three rounds. The first round (Round 1) shall be a virtual session on BlueJeans and it shall be live streamed on NOC Sri Lanka’s Facebook page and YouTube. The Round 2 and Final line-up shall be in-house at NOC Sri Lanka on separate two days by abiding the COVID-19 health guidelines provided by the WHO, Ministry of Health and NOC Sri Lanka. Both of them shall be live telecast on official media and the final line-up will include closing ceremony and prize distribution.

The first three places shall be awarded cash prizes and gifts. In addition to that, all the semi-finalists shall have an opportunity to take part in the National Olympic Academic Session with the South Asian regional participants. The members of the champion team of the OVEP Debater 2020 will be awarded scholarships to take part in an international forum at the sole discretion of the NOC Sri Lanka. The provision of such scholarship is subject to NOC Sri Lanka’s terms and conditions, Olympic Values and to the availability of opportunities.


NOC Sri Lanka: The NOC Sri Lanka shall have the sole responsibility in conducting the full scale OVEP Debater 2020. NOC Sri Lanka shall supervise overall program and the smooth running of it by coordinating all project stakeholders and ensuring the quality maintenance of the project. Also, the topics of the debates and judges panel will also be chosen by the NOC Sri Lanka.

The NOC Sri Lanka media team will take responsibility of sharing information with other local and international media, publishing regular articles about the program in electronic and print media, and live streaming the whole program via NOC Sri Lanka social media.

  1. International Olympic Committee (IOC): The IOC – Olympic Solidarity shall fund for the programme and monitor the project of its successful accomplishment.
  2. Sirasa TV: Sirasa TV is a digital, terrestrial television network in Sri Lanka, who shall be given broadcasting rights to telecast the full-scale project within the territory of Sri Lanka, and at the same time reaching wider segment of the school community in Sri Lanka as well.
  3. Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka: To conduct the programme with the participation of schools kids, the Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka shall grant permission the schools to take part in the programme.


The full-scale debate programme will cover five educational themes which are related to the core Olympic Values - joy of effort; learning fair play; learning respect for others; learning to pursue excellence and learning balance in life between body, will and mind. Also, it shall be an opportunity to the schools’ children to learn, research, discover, and propose and argue their views on Olympic Values. The medium of this program shall be in English. There shall be pre and post evaluations through the participants’ and teachers-in-charge feedback.

Debate Method

A method based on speaking orders shall be used in all debates focusing on relevant and often deeply divisive propositions, emphasizing on the development of critical thinking skills and tolerance for differing viewpoints. Apart from working on their debating ability, students are expected to work together as teams when preparing for the debates. Each team is given the opportunity to present facts and information relevant to the topic team receives than prior to the debate, present worthy facts, analyse issues and come up with solutions, consider logical presentation, and clarity. Students shall receive constructive feedbacks on logical flaws, insufficient evidences or arguments they may have overlooked.

Teams shall be evaluated on the following areas: content and evidence, argument and reasoning, organization, presentation and delivery, and refutation and rebuttal. Though there are set rubrics for scoring the students’ pe

rformance in each area. Judges shall be strongly encouraged to evaluate the round holistically, and to be flexible in their weighing of the various skill areas. This judging system is about overall persuasiveness. The scoring weightage shall be mainly based on the following three sections:

  1. Section I - Introduction and relevance to the topic;
  2. Section II - Style of present, content and examples; and
  3. Section III - Structure and clarity.

However, the extended marking scheme shall be provided during the teachers’ workshop.

A team should consist of three speakers, one reserve speaker, and a teacher-in-charge. The speakers’ layout and time limit up to the quarterfinals are given in the below pictogram. Each speaker of the teams shall be given maximum three minutes and the leaders shall be given an additional one minute to sum-up their team talks. If a speaker takes more than three minutes the additional time shall be counted into the next speaker’s time and the total time for a team shall not exceed more than ten minutes in anyways. For the semi-finals, consolation final and final, each speaker’s time shall be increased to five minutes and the leader’s sum-up time should not exceed more than two minutes.


A panel of three judges shall be appointed per debate. All judges shall be selected by the NOC Sri Lanka in consultation with its academic panel. NOC Sri Lanka shall ensure that the judges are not assigned from the selected schools and that they are impartial.


All forty participating schools shall be divided into four groups. Since the OVEP Debater 2017 participated schools are invited, they shall be equally placed in each group – five schools in each group. However, the finalised teams shall be placed as it is indicated in the fixture below. Rest of the 20 participants shall be selected into the groups by drawing lots. All the rounds shall be on knock-out series basis. Previously participated schools shall not meet each other in the Round 1 so that the group will be designed.

The defending title holders, both the winner and runner-up of the OVEP Debater 2017 shall be fixed as Team 1 and Team 40.

Team 1 - Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy and Team 40 - Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, Colombo

Round 1

Round 2

From the Round 1, the top ranked four teams (based on their total marks) from each group will qualify for the next round – Pre-quarter finals. The top ranked best four teams in the Group A shall be named as A1, A2, A3, and A4 and so on for the rest of the other three groups. The Group A shall meet the Group B and Group C shall meet Group D in the Round 2 as shown below in the pictogram.

Final Line-up

The winners from the Round 2 shall also be ranked again based on their total points. The winners of the pre-quarter X shall be named as X1, X2, X3, and X4 from the highest to lowest. In the same way, the pre-quarter Y shall be named as Y1, Y2, Y3, and Y4. Then the quarter finals, semi-finals and finals shall be as shown in the below pictogram.

There shall be a consolation final for those who lose in the semi-finals.


If there is any tie-break situation in Round 1 and Round 2, it shall be decided in the following steps.

  1. A team who gets the total points in Section I - Introduction and relevance to the topic shall be the winner
  2. If still the tie remains, a team who gets the total points of Section II - Style of present, content and examples shall be the winner
  3. If still the tie remains, a team who gets the total points of Section III - Structure and clarity
  4. If still the tie remains, the winning team shall be decided by tossing a coin.



Application form is available online via google form - www.shorturl.at/NW136


OVEP Debater 2020