Hillcrest High retain title
The Russell McVeagh Waikato Regional Schools’ Debating Championships were held on the 9th March and for the first time the venue was the University of Waikato.
The 16 teams debated in four rounds of limited preparation debates, with time becoming even more limited as the day went on. The topics tackled included ‘’This House would prioritise national security over civil rights’ and ‘This House would leave Iraq by 2009.’
The two finalist schools were Sacred Heart Girls’ College and defending champions Hillcrest High School. The final round was the Bioethics round with the moot ‘This House would allow deaf parents to genetically screen embryos to ensure their children were deaf.’ After a closely fought round and a panel split 5 to 2 , Hillcrest High School were the winners for the second year running.
The standard of debating on the day was impressive, especially considering the number of new schools in the competition. Highly Commended Speakers were Tegan Wilson of Whakatane High School and Rory Price of John Paul College.
For the second year running we were able to select a Waikato Training team made up of younger students, this year the team consists of Ryan Wood (Otumoetai Collge), Manasi Parulekar (Hillcrest High), Nathalie (Waikato Diocesan) and Wei-Wei Ng (St Pauls’ Collegiate).
The Waikato team for this year is Tom Chen (Hillcrest High) who returns for a second year, Jessica Jackman (Sacred Heart) and Luke Craven (Bethlehem College) with Tim Conder (Tauranga Boys) as a reserve.
The Ward Cup for Best Speaker is a prize which was introduced last year thanks to donations from Zach and Jordan Ward and this year was won by Tom Chen (Hillcrest High).
The new venue proved to be a huge success and a big thank you is due to Susan Law and the University of Waikato for providing both the venue and lunch; we hope this will be the start of a continuing relationship. Also a special thank you to the adjudicators, most of whom travelled from out of town for the day: Jordan Ward, Chris Pearce, Akif Malik, Max Harris, Paul Paterson, Claire Ryan, Dileepa Fonseka, Glenn Riddell, Ben Milsom, George Minton, Mark Tushingham and Anisa Barrowclough, many of the schools commented on the fantastic feedback which the judges provided.
Waikato Convenor 2008