John Paul College win Waikato Regionals 2014
The Russell McVeagh Waikato Regional Schools’ Debating Competition was held on Sunday 2 March at the University of Waikato. Schools came from as far away as Bethlehem and Thames, with 16 schools and 18 teams competing.
The teams debated in three rounds of limited preparation debates. A range of topics were discussed, including whether Te Reo should be a compulsory subject at school, and whether criminal trials should be televised.
Four teams progressed to the semi-final – Tauranga Boys’ High School, Hillcrest High School, John Paul College, and St John’s College. Waikato Diocesan narrowly missed out on making the semi-final, but had an exceptional performance throughout the competition. The teams debated whether cosmetic surgery should be banned. In a unanimous decision in both semi-final debates, Hillcrest High School and St John’s College progressed to the final.
The Final motion was “This house would re-elect the National government”. A coin toss was conducted to determine sides for the debate, with John Paul College affirming and Hillcrest High School negating.
The final debate was good-spirited, with speakers thoroughly entertaining the audience. The adjudicators were split 5-4 about the winners of the tournament. Ultimately John Paul College managed to sway the majority of the adjudication panel, and became the champions of the competition.
Winning team from John Paul College
The standard of debating on the day was impressive, and a number of awards were presented to speakers. The 2014 Waikato Team was announced, comprising of Fintan Walsh (John Paul College), Emily Scrimgeour (Hillcrest High School), and Olivia Maxwell (Hillcrest High School). The reserve to the team is Hillary Barker (Waikato Diocesan). The best speaker of the competition was Fintan Walsh.
Waikato Regional Team 2014
Some excellent speakers were awarded the Highly Commended prizes. These students were Adam Scott (Tauranga Boys’ College), Elinor Tsen (Waikato Diocesan), and Stephen Burroughs (Hamilton Boys’ High School). The most promising speaker of the competition was Hugo Thompson (Tauranga Boys’ College).
The Waikato competition is fortunate to have such excellent facilities each year. Thank-you to Susan Law and TJ Cloete of Waikato University for kindly providing a venue for the competition, as well as a delicious lunch.
Thank-you also to the adjudicators of the competition: Desley Horton, Mitch Cooper, Hamish Saunders, Glen Holm-Hansen, James Penn, Aditya Vasudevan, Lucy Harrison, Rochelle Monk, Ailidh Lesley, and Callum Lowe.
Good luck to the 2014 Waikato Team, who will be travelling to Wellington to compete in the national tournament on 23-26 May.
Josh Baxter and Kayla Grant
2014 Waikato Co-Conveners