John Paul College win Waikato Regionals 2010
The Russell McVeagh Waikato Regional Schools’ Debating Competition was held on Saturday 22nd May at Waikato University. Once again the University sponsored the event, providing rooms for debating as well as delicious food throughout the day for the competitors.
There were 14 teams competing for The Alexandra Gillespie Cup. The schools came from Mt Maunganui, Rotorua, Tauranga and Hamilton. Two ‘swing’ teams also competed, and these comprised of students from a variety of schools that did not have full teams, but were courageous enough to debate with people they had never met before.
Topics debated throughout the day included:
- “That we would ban smoking” (prepared, both sides debated)
- “That we would refuse to negotiate with terrorists” (impromptu)
- “That we should impose harsher penalties on celebrities than on ordinary students” (impromptu)
The final was between Hamilton Boys’ High School (undefeated in the 4 preliminary rounds) and John Paul College from Rotorua. They debated the challenging topic “That we prefer free trade to development aid”. The economic understanding of this issue and the short and long term consequences for the countries involved was dealt with well by the two teams. However, at the end of the debate the three judges were unanimous in awarding the debate to John Paul College from Rotorua, as they were able to demonstrate the most relevant knowledge and explanation of the economic realities of those parties that this debate encompassed.
The day was very enjoyable, with a good crowd staying to watch the final. Congratulations to all students that competed. Many thanks to the teachers who spent a large portion of their weekend coaching, and driving their teams from far away.