2009 Championships

2009 Championships 2010-06-08T00:19:46+00:00

Shirley Boys’ High School win Press 2009

The 2009 Canterbury Regional Schools’ Debating Champs, better known as “Senior Press” took place over the weekend of 16 and 17 May at the old Christchurch Girls’ High Building, the Cranmer Centre. Shirley Boys’ High soared from being the most promising team in 2008 to being the winners in 2009, defeating Villa Maria College in an unanimous decision in the Grand Final.

Twenty teams took part in the tournament over the two days, with five preliminary rounds. The first two rounds were on the prepared topic, “This House would create a Palestinian state”. Teams debated both the affirmative and negative sides of the topic, which provided an opportunity for all teams to learn a lot about a topic which often lacks in-depth knowledge by school students.

Saturday saw two more debates; both limited preparation, which included discussing whether a “supercity” should be created in Auckland, and concluded with a moral look at vegetarianism. The final round delved into the global financial crisis and the involvement of CEOs – specifically, whether they should be fired if their company received a bailout.

After the five rounds, there were five teams on four wins, with Christchurch Boys’ High narrowly missing the break on win points. The semi-finalists were, in order, Christchurch Girls’ High School, Shirley Boys’ High School, St Bede’s College, and Villa Maria College. The semis, on the topic, “This House would arm ships against pirates”,  saw an all-girls one and an all-boys one. Villa Maria beat Christchurch Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ beat St Bede’s.

The Grand Final of the tournament, as is traditional, took place in the prestigious and grand Canterbury Provincial Council Chambers. The motion for the debate was, “This House would allow the media to freely report suicides”. Despite what some seemed to consider a slightly dry topic for the final, a full house in the Chambers seemed to enjoy a high quality and close debate.

With both Canterbury Schools’ Debating Council’s new Patron, Professor Richard Scragg (the Dean of Canterbury Law School), representatives of the Christchurch Lions’ Club in attendance, the final was a great success, with the Shirley Boys team particularly euphoric!

The following prizes were awarded:

Winners of Senior Press 2009: Shirley Boys’ High School (Tim Bain, Thomas Jordan, Cameron Ellis, Callum Galbreath)

Runners-Up of Senior Press 2009: Villa Maria College (Sarah Holmes, Fran Chapman, Kate Johnstone)

Canterbury Regional Development Team 2009:
Sophie Boot (Christchurch Girls’ High School)
Alex Kendall (Christ’s College)
Ashleigh Ooi (Papanui High School)
Sean Walters (Cashmere High School)

Highly Commended:
Robert Brownlee (St Bede’s College)
Sarah Holmes (Villa Maria College)
Callum Galbreath (Shirley Boys’ High School)
Tim Bain (Shirley Boys’ High School)

Canterbury Regional Schools’ Debating Squad 2009 (in photo below, L-R):
Tim Robinson (St Bede’s College)
Tom O’Brien (Christ’s College)
Josh Toohey (St Thomas of Canterbury College)
Vicky Clarke (Christchurch Girls’ High School)
Finn Davis (Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti)
Patrick Carroll (St Andrew’s College)

Most Promising Speaker:
Tim Robinson (St Bede’s College)

Most Promising Team:
Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti

Best Speaker:
Josh Toohey (St Thomas of Canterbury College)


Thanks are owed to several people for their help and support over the weekend – first to Christ’s College for providing us with a venue and particularly to Sian Evans, without whom the weekend would have been a lot more difficult!

Thanks also to all the adjudicators the CSDC was lucky enough to draw on – Jeremy Johnson, Sarah Keast, Julia Whitehead, Hamish Silverwood, Rose Austen, Ben Plummer, Dave Turner, Guy Carter, Nicola Allely and Ben Lawless.

Special thanks also to those who came to Canterbury especially – Rosy Moar and Julia Fetherston.

Erin Jackson
Convenor, Canterbury Regional Schools’ Debating Champs 2009