Bringing EUDC to Central Asia – an interview with the conveners and CA-team of Astana 2020

Datum: Aug 22nd, 2018
Category: international, Mittwochs-Feature, Turniere

Olzhas Abdukhamitov and Aigerim Shadeyeva are the conveners of the Astana EUDC, Olzhas volunteered at Novi Sad and Aigerim competed, making it to the ESL Quaters. Raffy Marshall and Monica Forman are the CAs of Astana EUDC. We sat down with them to talk about bringing the EUDC to Central Asia.

Achte Minute: Hey, the bid just got ratified. How do you, as the CA-team, feel about it?

Raffy Marshall: Delighted and excited.

Monica Forman: Likewise. I’m looking forward to having the best Euros possible.

RM: Also profoundly honoured that these guys are including us in their bid. Frankly, this bid is their bid, they created it. They’re going to do great things and I’m so happy to be able to help them with it.


AM: How do you as the convenors feel?

Aigerim Shadeyeva: I think I started to realise the challenge will keep growing from today on. I now fully understand how much work we need to do and how many concerns people have, so right now we will not only do our best but we will go further in order to make these Euros as inclusive as possible and be really dedicated to achieve this goal.

MF: I just wanted to say that this answer is amazing in the sense that it shows how committed this OrgCom is, that they are willing to start working hard from today.


AM: This will be the first Euros to be hosted in Central Asia. What are your hopes for the region and regional development?

Olzhas Abdukhamitov: We hope that bringing a lot of good teams to Kazakhstan will give us a rise in strong debaters and and help us establish our society. In those terms we hope to make our Euros the best possible.

AS: Initially, I had the idea of hosting Euros several years ago when Serbian trainers told us how Belgrade EUDC significantly boosted their community and now we see Serbians regularly break. For us this was an example that inspired us a lot. We also want volunteers who work on Euros to be inspired and become future champions. We want to provide an opportunity for many talented debaters who already exist in Kasakhstan to participate because there are even more great debaters in Kazakhstan who are willing to participate, who are great, strong debaters but sometimes financial limits won’t allow them to compete. We hope they will have this wonderful experience that we have here right now in Novi Sad and I hope that we will try to provide this opportunity for them as well.


The Astana EUDC Org Com - © Astana EUDC 2020

The Astana EUDC Org Com – © Astana EUDC 2020

AM: In terms of the CA-team, what are you plans to help develop the region and help the Kazakh circuit to grow?

RM: The thing we want to note is that the Kazakh circuit was already growing significantly without our help, we just want to accellerate this process to the greatest possible extent by having the best possible judging, by giving people a chance to participate. We hope we can be a small part of a beautiful story.

MF: I’d just like to add that we will be in Astana in September once again to help with the Astana Open which is an incredible tournament that is getting larger from year to year and is already an opportunity for local and regional debaters to do very well and we will also use this to start preparing all the logistics.


AM: Can you give us some hard fact of the bid? Do you have rooms sorted out? How many teams will be able to compete?

OA: We have everything ratified now. We have a written agreement with the private university. We have three hotels confirmed where all the participants, the tab team etc. will be placed. We have all these official documents on our website and facebook page, so we are not worried.


AM: What have you learned from being part of Novi Sad that you want to implement in Astana?

OA: I was a vounteer so I saw how things work out in the Org Com, so I think we have learned many lessons from Novi Sad. They did a tremendous job in five months. I think we can buld on this and improve.

AS: Miri and Jovan supported us a lot and we know you can plan a lot of things in advance but they don’t always work out. I think the advice and experience from people who already went through this for several months will be very helpful for us. We are very happy to already have this experience and are very happy that these wonderful people are willing to help and support us in the future.


AM: How do you want to make Astana Euros stand out?

RM: What I feel personally is that a restriction of 15 minutes of judging has a disproportionate bad effect on the quality of judging compared to its effect on the schedule. What we are going to do is increase the amount of time given to judges.

MF: I think one of the most important things is motions. here I think we as a team are already willing to engage with novel ideas but als important ideas that merit discussion and we commit to that and we are also going to select a team that supports this mission. To bring about the ultimate purpose of the game, which is bring about new ideas, get people engaged with them.

AM: Thanks guys and good luck for the future!

Conducting the interview was Elisabeth Vikydal.


Mittwochs-Feature: Every Wednesday the Mittwochs-Feature features an idea, interview or book regarding debate – usually in German, sometimes in English, sometimes both. If you would like to do a feature regarding a certain topic please mail us your idea to team [at] achteminute [dot] de.

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