Trainer Profiles

Rose Black

Rose BlackRose is a third year psychology student at the University of Manchester. She was the schools co-convenor of the Manchester Debating Union Committee last academic year and maintains the schools convening position for 2014-2015. Rose is responsible for the coordination and organisation of the schools teaching programmes, as well as organising one of the largest schools debating tournaments in the UK. Rose can be contacted by email at

Rose has previously taught classes of students struggling with English and Maths in primary school and has done some teaching for the MDU alongside Chloe. Rose is happy to answer any questions and is keen to help more schools get involved with debating.

 Elizabeth Chloe Romanis

Chloe is a third year law student at the University of Manchester.Elizabeth Chloe Romanis She was the schools convenor of the MDU Committee 2012-2013, which involved founding the training programme and organising the union’s schools tournament. Last academic year she was head of convening, remaining involved with schools training and the schools tournament. This year she is the society’s equity officer and responsible for ensuring debating is accessible to all.

Chloe has extensive experience of teaching debating in schools having worked for the Debate Mate whilst running the Manchester Debating Union programme. She also taught in a permanent position as a coach on her gap year. She now teaches the training programme for MDU members wishing to teach in the Schools Debating Programme.

Chloe competed at schools level for two years winning three large schools tournaments: LSE Schools 2010, Durham Schools 2011 and Bristol Schools 2011. She was awarded the best speaker trophy, jointly, at Bristol Schools 2011. She also reached the finals of more than five other tournaments in the same year (including Manchester) and broke first at the Cambridge Schools Tournament in 2011.

In her first year at university she reached the final of the Leeds Open 2013 and Lancaster IV 2013. In her second year she won the Liverpool IV 2014 and was ranked second best speaker. She has also broken to judge the finals of the Manchester Schools Debating Competition 2013, Lancaster Schools Debating Competition 2013 and the Manchester IV 2014.

 Declan Leahy

Declan is a second year history student at the University of Manchester. He was the secretary of the MDU Committee in 2013-2014 and this academic year he is the chair of the society, responsible for organising weekly public debates.  Declan has also already been involved with the MDU schools training programme for the past year.

Declan started debating last year when he joined the MDU and has already been very successful. He broke to the finals of the Yorkshire Novice 2013 and was ranked the top speaker at the tournament. He was also the second best speaker and finalist at the NAMDA Novice Cup in 2013. He broke as a quarter finalist at the Manchester IV 2014 and as a finalist at the Lund IV 2014. He is a very qualified judge, having broken to judge the finals of the Lancaster IV 2014.

 Katie Moreton

Katie MoretonKatie is a second year politics and modern history student at the University of Manchester. She is the publicity officer of the MDU Committee 2014-2015 responsible for advertising MDU events on campus and making fantastic spoof videos of us all (which can be found by searching Manchester Debating Union on YouTube).

Katie has lots of experience working with young people including working with a youth theatre group and also helping youngsters shoot and edit their own feature length film. Katie has experience of debating at schools and at university level. In her first year of University she was very successful reaching the semi-finals of Sheffield Novice 2013, and the quarterfinals of the Manchester IV 2014. In addition, she has, over the past year, attended other debating tournaments representing Manchester. She has also spoken in two of the 2013-2014 MDU weekly public debates.

 Ria Basu

Ria Basu


Ria is a second year economics and finance student at the University of Manchester. She has joined the MDU Committee this year as the IV co –convenor.

Having been a member of the union for a year she has attended several tournaments representing Manchester, including Yorkshire Novice 2013, Manchester IV 2014, Nottingham Open 2014 and Southampton Open 2014. She also reached the Pro-Am finals at the Liverpool IV 2014.