Hero photograph
Photo by Rachel Heta

Debating Success!

Piper Pengelly —

The conclusion of term 3 brings about the end to the debating season. Arguably (ha) debating this year has been more successful than ever. With success at both junior regionals, and senior impromptus as well as fortnightly Thursday debates.

Senior impromptus was held on the 30th of June at St Andrews College. Burnside had three teams enter the competition. Impromptu debates are done in two teams and with only 5 minutes preparation for 5-6 minute speeches and a leaders reply of 2-3 minutes. Considering all of our teams were year 11s in a year 13 dominated event we did surprisingly well. Unfortunately Burnside just missed out on semi-finals but our top team (Piper Pengelly and Antonios Eskander) placed 5th overall (the first public school on the leaderboard) and the finals came down to St Margaret's vs St Margaret’s.

Junior regionals is the highlight of the debating year for our junior debaters. Burnside has won this competition only once before in 2013 and unfortunately fell short this time around. The day featured three rounds of general debate and a final. The first debate of the day was a prepared round with the motion This house Would, as the Tesla board of directors, fire Elon Musk. The other two general debates were limited preparation (in that the teams had 40 minutes to prepare a case) with motions regarding company’s rights to enforce eating restrictions on meat in the workplace, and prohibiting alcohol companies from sponsoring sports teams . Burnside came out well at the end of the tournament - receiving best speaker of the competition (William Wray), most promising team (Dom Wilson, Chloe Johnston, Harriet Fraser) and Burnside Coral (Franklin Altenburg, Robin Kunwar, and William Wray) made it into the final against Christchurch Girls High Year 11. The motion for the final was a hypothetical, meaning that it is a debate in a made up context, and read; THW bring back past presidents of the USA through AI as an advisory role for the current government. It was a fantastic debate to watch and the adjudication panel was split 3-4. In the end the score was given 256-257 to Christchurch Girls High School year 11.

Thursday night competitions have had an increased turnout from all around Christchurch this year and resulted in the Christchurch Schools Debating Council having to cap the amount of teams allowed to enter. We managed to have one of our junior teams (William Wray, Robin Kunwar, and Franklin Altenburg) place in the semi finals and unfortunately did not make it through to the next round with a very close debate against St Andrews losing by only half a point.

We are very pleased with our achievements this year and are looking forward to the next season coming in better than ever. Well done to all of Burnside’s debaters.

Written by Piper Pengelly 11NHWN

PS from Dom Wilson. All the teams would like to thank Piper, and Miss Heta for their hard work and dedication to the group this year.