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Friday, February 12, 2010 Peace Arch News


news Southridge student to represent Canada in Lithuania

‘With words, you can move an audience’ Tracy Holmes Staff Reporter

There’s no debate – when it comes to public speaking, Kristine Ramsbottom knows her stuff. And thanks to impressive placement at the recent Canadian National Debate Championships, the Southridge School teen has earned a chance to test her knack for the spoken word on the world stage. “I’m still in shock,” the 17-year-old said Thursday of the win that secured her a spot on the Canadian Senior Debating team that will travel to Lithuania in April. “Worlds has been my goal since Grade 8... my life goal.” Ramsbottom, a Langley resident, clinched a place on the team during competition in Winnipeg last week, where, after events including Parliamentary Debating and Persuasive Speaking, she placed fifth overall amongst 39 competitors. Her best finish in the individual events came in Interpretive Reading, where she finished first after delivering what her coach Jan Holt described as “a dramatic and chill-

Contributed photo

Kristine Ramsbottom and coach Jan Holt. ing episode” from the novel Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. The story, set in France during the Second World War, tells of a young girl who locks her brother in a cupboard in the family’s apartment to protect him from arrest by the French police, believing she would be back a few hours later to let him out.

The book, as with everything about the different world wars, “spoke to me,” Ramsbottom said. Being able to successfully convey that passion to a group of people is “the most amazing feeling.” “I just love the fact that with words you can move an entire audience, and I felt that for the very first time when I was at this competition,” Ramsbottom said. Ramsbottom, in Grade 11 at Southridge, said she has enjoyed public speaking ever since kindergarten, when she spoke about pandas. Since joining the school’s debate club in Grade 8, she has focused her passion. Leading up to the national competition, Ramsbottom practised with the University of B.C.’s debate team and an outside coach in addition to twice-weekly sessions with her own school’s debate club. As well, she put in copious additional hours after school, sometimes staying as late as 7 p.m. Mastering the skill does not come easy, Holt said. She described debating as a “labourintensive sport… like intellectual jousting.”

Debating requires the ability to think quickly and argue both sides of an issue effectively. A solid background knowledge of world and current affairs is also critical, along with the ability to find weaknesses in an opponent’s side. Ramsbottom’s prowess in all of the above is not her only skill, Holt noted. The teen’s motivation and work ethic are also “unbelievable,” she said, particularly after the “major blow” dealt to her in Grade 10, when she didn’t qualify for the provincial-level competition. The defeat followed a year in which Ramsbottom made national tryouts, Holt said. “She was able to swallow that one and work harder to come back. That was a major triumph to come back and win the competition,” Holt said. Ramsbottom said word of her national success also marked another unique moment. “For the first time in that competition, I did not know what to say.” The World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship takes place April 7-13 in Lithuania.

2010 celebrations

Let the Games begin The Olympic torch relay has come and gone, but there’s still a chance to celebrate the flame in White Rock tonight (Friday). A community celebration, hosted by the White Rock Spirit of B.C. Committee and the White Rock Business Improvement Association, takes place from 5:30-9 p.m. at White Rock Community Centre, 15154 Russell Ave. The event will feature a number of activities for all ages to celebrate the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games – including face painting, Cupcake the Clown, fireworks and art displays, plaque painting courtesy of Color Groove Ceramics and hot chocolate, coffee and snacks from Notti Biscotti. A large screen will be set up outdoors to broadcast the opening ceremonies live, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and wear red in support of Canadian athletes. Tickets for an adults-only lounge inside the centre have already sold out. The lounge features two large screens for the ceremonies, a cash bar and food from local restaurants, including Cielos, Uli’s, Iguana’s, Keso Cheese Shoppe, Deluxe, Sandpiper Pub and Cuisine and Company. Q North of the Semiahmoo Peninsula, Holland Park (west of the King George Highway SkyTrain Station) will be abuzz with free events starting at 3 p.m. Visit for a list of activities until Feb. 28.

Evan Seal photos

Specialty knives are inserted into a two-year-old 40-kilogram wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano, honouring a centuries-old Italian tradition.

Olympics spur visit from big cheese group

Italian consortium drops in to say formaggio Hannah Sutherland Staff Reporter

South Surrey shoppers got a rare look at the opening of a 40-kilogram wheel of ParmigianoReggiano Thursday, when representatives from Italy visited a Grandview Heights grocer. Members of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium – a marketing board that safeguards the authenticity of the brand – made the stop at newly opened Thrifty Foods as part of their visit to the 2010 Games, where it is sponsoring athletes as the official provider to Team Italy. Shoppers who crowded around the two-yearold wheel were told how, under European law, only cheese produced in five Italian provinces can be labelled Parmigiano-Reggiano – a name classified as a protected designation of origin. Members of the consortium – officially called Conzorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano – demonstrated the centuries-old art of

Igino Morini and Giuseppe Alai demonstrate, opening the wheel, which requires the use of five different knives. “To be here to witness this is quite the experience,” said Canadian distributor Lui Bruschetta,

who translated for the Italian visitors. The circumference of the wheel was scored before four of the knives were inserted at different points along the cut. A shorter, almondshaped blade was then worked around the incision to create the necessary pressure for the wheel to split naturally. Once opened, the top half of the approximately $2,000-wheel was brought around for spectators to smell, and chunks were cut off for all to taste. Bruschetta said Thrifty Foods opens its Parmigiano-Reggiano using the same traditional method, rather than resorting to wires or saws. Consortium members now plan to visit the grocer’s Victoria location this weekend, where they will present it with a silver knife – a recognition given to retailers that raise awareness and promote Parmigiano-Reggiano. Only two other such knives have been given in Canada.

Fri February 12 2010 PAN  

Complete February 12, 2010 issue of the Peace Arch News newspaper as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, see www.peacearchn...

Fri February 12 2010 PAN  

Complete February 12, 2010 issue of the Peace Arch News newspaper as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, see www.peacearchn...