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|Heart of Europe International Debating Tournament|
|Established||2001 by John L. Wickham|
|Location||Olomouc, Czech Republic|
|Key people||Jakub Kadlec, Chief Organiser|
|Focus||World Schools Style Debating|
|Other tournament networks|
The Heart of Europe Debating Tournament is a WSDC (World Schools Debating Championships) based international debate tournament founded by John L. Wickham and the students of Olomouc - Hejcin High School. Originally a competition for high school students of European countries that had previously participated in the KPDP (Karl Popper Debate Program) established by OSI (Open Society Institute), after some time it became a truly global competition for high school debaters. The first Heart of Europe Debating Tournament was held in Olomouc, Czech Republic in 2001. The event attracted participants from Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In 2002, the tournament didn't take place because the organizers were not able to obtain the necessary funding. Nonetheless, a year later, in 2003, the second year of the tournament was held. It has been hosted in Olomouc, Czech Republic every time since then, being organised by Debate Club Olomouc throughout the years 2004–2009. Heart of Europe has lately become an annual event and has been organised by the Association of Debate Clubs of Olomouc Region since 2010.
In year 2011 there was really significant step in improvement of quality of the tournament. Organising Committee established cooperation withPalacky University Olomouc. All the dabetes took place in magnificent building of Faculty of Science. The tournament also received new visual style in this year and a lot of work on promotion was done, such as new social networks, photo and video documentation. New participating countries were Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Singapore and Sweden.
Year 2012 was the greatest cornerstone in the history of the tournament. It was held by a new organization, Czech Debate Society, o. s.. For the first time, the tournament was also available online to participants all around the world because of the project "Heart of Europe accessible to everyone". What more, one additional new project was connected with the promotion of the tournament, The Czech Debate TV, with purpose to monitor debate and educational events and present educational videos. The tournament enjoyed fruitful partnerships with projects Debating Europe and The Office of the Government of the Czech Republic - European Affairs Information Department. In that year we have yet again welcomed several new nations, namely Chile, Nigeria, Macedonia, as well as it was the 5th anniversary of Jakub Kadlec' involvement with the tournament.
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