Sweep for John Paul II High School at Kahurangi-Marlborough regionals
On Saturday 28 April a strong contingent of 16 teams competed in the 2012 Kahurangi-Marlborough Regional Schools’ Debating Tournament, hosted at Nayland College. This year senior and junior teams were mixed together in a single draw, but with the top two junior teams and top two senior teams progressing to separate finals at the end of the day. Senior and junior teams debated the same moots, except in the final.
There were four preliminary rounds. Advised topic areas had been “Drugs” and “Voting”, and accordingly the motions for the first two rounds were: “This House would legalise marijuana” and “This House would make voting compulsory”. In the limited preparation debates, the motions were: “This House would ban home schooling” and “This House would establish harsher penalties for celebrity criminals”.
The winner of the junior competition was John Paul II High School, who beat Nelson Girls in a spirited final on the topic “This House support individuals choosing to be vegetarian” to take the Sounds Air Cup. The adjudication panel was split 2–1 in a close debate. The Best Junior Speaker was Lucy Upton. A special mention goes to Clara of the John Paul II junior team, who after injuring her heel, went to a local hospital and had seven stitches administered before returning to help win the final for her team!
In the senior division, John Paul II High School finished the four rounds on four wins, and on three wins were Nelson College, Nayland College, and the Swing team (which had performed particularly well during the day). Nayland College, the team with the best draw strength, progressed through to the final against John Paul II High School. In a very successful day for John Paul II High School, the John Paul II senior team also took out the senior competition, beating the Nayland College team in a 3–0 decision on the moot, “This House would assassinate dictators”. The final was of high quality. Both teams drew on impressive knowledge and spoke comfortably on a challenging issue, despite participating in their fifth debate of the day. Best Speaker in the senior competition was John Whitcombe of John Paul II High School.
A six person Kahurangi-Marlborough regional squad was named. The six individuals named in that squad were: Hamish Mellor (Nelson College), Boyd Becker (Greymouth High School), John Whitcombe (John Paul II High School), Lizzie Reich-Simko (Nelson College for Girls), Hayden de Jong (Nayland College), and Patrick Savill (Nayland College). In addition, three development team members were named. They were: Clara van Wel, Henry Neas, and Lucy Upton.
Thanks go to the adjudicators who travelled down from Wellington: Joe Connell, Udayan Mukherjee, Will Chisholm, Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna, Hugh McCaffrey, Jenna Raeburn, Jamie Eng, Fiona McAlister, Kimberley Savill, and Max Harris. Nayland College, and Hannah Hawthorn from that school, are also deserving of thanks for hosting the tournament. The adjudicators agreed that a high standard of debating was displayed at the tournament and that the quality of the debates augured well for the future of debating in this region.
We are grateful to the ongoing support of Sounds Air, which sponsors the travel of the regional team coaches to the Kahurangi-Marlborough region, and this year also sponsored travel to a pre- tournament coaching session held on Saturday 21 April. Sounds Air’s support is invaluable for debating in the region.