BEST 2019 Balkan Voices Tournament at AUBG, Blagoevgrad – March 8-10, 2018

On March 8th - 10th of 2019, the BEST Foundation hosted its second international original oratory competition: Balkan Voices. A total of 107 high school students from countries all across the Balkan region attended the English-language speech event held at the American University in Bulgaria, the school’s second time hosting the event. There were a total of seven countries represented at Balkan Voices: Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia.

Students competed with self-written original oratory speeches on topics of their choice, but were also provided with an opportunity to meet peers from neighbouring countries and foster important cross-cultural relationships. The tournament also included programming that aims to foster a sense of community amongst participants and showcase the host institution, AUBG. From karaoke to lectures from AUBG professors, Balkan Voices helped to serve overall student development in the areas of intercultural communication, public speaking, creative expression, team building, and youth leadership.

BEST is especially grateful to the Regional English Language Office, Belgrade for their generous financial support, which made it possible for BEST to offer travel scholarships to every team present at the tournament, as well as provide accommodation for students, chaperones, and judges at the tournament. Additionally, this tournament would not have been possible without the immense support AUBG. From offering campus tours, faculty workshops, helping provide meals, and providing a space for this tournament to take place, BEST is truly appreciative.

Below are the names of participating teams; you can view results on Speechwire as well.

  • Aleko Konstantinov FLHS, Pravets - Bulgaria

  • Aprilov National, Gabrovo - Bulgaria

  • Arcadia Academy - Montenegro

  • British School of Kosova - Kosovo

  • Dr. Ivan Bogorov FLS, Dimitrovgrad - Bulgaria

  • Dr. Petar Beron Maths School, Varna - Bulgaria

  • Ekzarh Yosif I FLHS, Lovech - Bulgaria

  • Ekzarh Yossif FLHS, Razgrad - Bulgaria

  • First Language School, Varna - Bulgaria

  • Geo Milev FLHS, Dobrich - Bulgaria

  • Gimnazija Jovan Jovanović Zmaj - Serbia

  • Gimnazija Rade Jovchevski-Korchagin - North Macedonia

  • High School SOU Jane Sandanski - North Macedonia

  • Hristo Botev FLS, Kardzhali - Bulgaria

  • Ioan Petruș Theoretical High School - Romania

  • Law & Business School Nis - Serbia

  • Lyudmil Stoyanov FLHS, Blagoevgrad - Bulgaria

  • Mihail Kogalniceanu National College - Romania

  • Peter Bogdan FLHS, Montana - Bulgaria

  • Nancho Popovich High School of Maths and Science, Shumen - Bulgaria

  • National High School in Finance and Business - Bulgaria

  • New York High School Tirana - Albania

  • NOVA International Schools - North Macedonia

  • Peyo Yavorov High School, Petrich - Bulgaria

  • Plovdiv Foreign Language School - Bulgaria

  • PMG Yane Sandanski, Gotse Delchev - Bulgaria

  • Prishtina High School - Kosovo

  • SOU Metodi Mitevski Brico - North Macedonia

  • SOU''Kole Nehtenin'' - North Macedonia

  • St. Cyril and Methodius (Negotino) - North Macedonia

  • SU Tsanko Tserkovski, Polski Trambesh - Bulgaria

  • Yahya Kemal College - North Macedonia

  • Yordan Radichkov FLS, Vidin - Bulgaria

  • Zaharii Stoyanov ELS, Sliven - Bulgaria

AWARDS

ORIGINAL ORATORY – NOVICE (9th -10th grade)

Semifinalists

  • Zoran Cikalov - High School SOU Jane Sandanski

  • Viktor Ivanov - Hristo Botev FLS, Kardzhali

  • Anna-Mariya Georgieva - Zaharii Stoyanov ELS, Sliven

  • Vasko Popcevaliev - High School SOU Jane Sandanski

  • Nicole Mihaylova - Geo Milev FLHS, Dobrich

  • Kristian Hristov - Ekzarh Yosif I FLHS, Lovech

Finalists

  1. Lena Ibishi - Prishtina High School

  2. Ivelin Svilenov Subev - Ekzarh Yossif FLHS, Razgrad

  3. Fiona Totten - Zaharii Stoyanov ELS, Sliven

  4. Victoria Veselinova - Ekzarh Yosif I FLHS, Lovech

  5. Elitsa Vassileva - Dr. Petar Beron Maths School, Varna

  6. Eranda Ajdini - Yahya Kemal College

ORIGINAL ORATORY – VARSITY (11th-12th grade)

Semifinalists

  • Vyara Stoyanova - Ekzarh Yosif I FLHS, Lovech

  • Yoanna Yordanova -  Nancho Popovich High School of Maths and Science, Shumen

  • Stanislava Stefanova - Peyo Yavorov High School, Petrich

  • Bojana Vitanova - High School SOU Jane Sandanski

  • Monica Mitova - Lyudmil Stoyanov FLHS, Blagoevgrad

  • Nicholas Christian Brintnall - SU Tsanko Tserkovski, Polski Trambesh

Finalists

  1. Kamelia Peykova - Geo Milev FLHS, Dobrich

  2. Ivailo Kolev - Aprilov National, Gabrovo

  3. Petko Stoychev - Ekzarh Yosif I FLHS, Lovech

  4. Georgi Paparkov - PMG Yane Sandanski, Gotse Delchev

  5. Erza Lalinovci - British School of Kosova

  6. Gerta Shkodra - British School of Kosova