The BJA Speech and Debate team is now into the tournament season—and part of the competitive season includes hosting a tournament on the BJA campus. This year the tournament was special in two aspects. First, this was the 30th BJA Invitational. BJA’s event is the second-longest-running tournament in South Carolina and distinguishes itself as the longest-running tournament under the same coaches. Chuck and Gail Nicholas began the tournament tradition and have maintained the event for the entire 30 years. This year the tournament hosted 28 schools with over 450 entries in debate, public speaking and interpretation events.
The second reason the 2016 tournament was special was the dedication of the team sweepstakes awards in memory of Kim Bierman. Miss Bierman played an important role in the tournament for many years. She passed away in January of this year. Dr. Bud Bierman (Kim’s father) and Bob Bierman (her brother) attended the awards ceremony in Rodeheaver Auditorium and presented the five team sweepstakes plaques. Schools from North and South Carolina as well as Tennessee won these awards. Riverside High School of Greer won the Kim Bierman First Place Sweepstakes Plaque.