Wellington debaters win World Schools Debating Champs

Two Wellington secondary school debaters – Maria English from Samuel Marsden Collegiate and Holly Jenkins from Sacred Heart College – were part of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools Debating Team which won the World Schools Debating Champs in Athens recently.

The Wellington Speaking Union congratulates Maria and Holly on their amazing success.

Particular congratulations to Maria who was ranked as the world’s second best student debater. That is a truly remarkable achievement!

Both Maria and Holly have been very successful in WSU Competitions over the years. Maria won the Premier A Grade in 2008 and was the co-best speaker in the final, along with the Impromptu Cup competition. Holly was a quarter-finalist in Premier A in 2008, a runner-up (to Maria) in the Impromptu Cup competition, and won the junior Impromptu Cup title in 2005 (beating Maria!).

Holly has now left school to attend Victoria University. Maria has another year at school left!

Enter Teams in 2009!

The Wellington Speaking Union invites schools to enter teams in the intercollegiate debating grades for 2009. Below you will find links to the key information required.

The letter of invitation to schools, containing information about the organisation of the grades in 2009, the fees, how to enter, plus more, can be found here.

The WSU Calendar for 2009, containing the dates of all the rounds plus events like the adjudication workshop,  Stockley Cup, and Impromptu Cup competitions, can be found here. Please note this is a draft only at this stage. The confirmed version will be posted here on 2 March.

The WSU Entry Form can be downloaded here.

Finally the topics for round 1 of the competition can be found here.

Entries close on February 20. On March 2, all schools will receive copies of letters from grade convenors, draws for each grade (including topics and sides), supplementary information, and a confirmed copy of the calendar. Please get your entries in on time.

For more information, please contact the Intercollegiate Convenor.

Good luck Maria and Holly

Two current and former Wellington schools debaters leave today to compete at the 2009 World Schools Debating Championships, as part of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team.

Holly Jenkins (Sacred Heart College) and Maria English (Marsden) were both members of the team that finished as runners-up at the 2008 World Champs in Washington in September last year. This year, they are aiming to finish one place higher. Good luck!

The debating starts on 11 February and you can see round by round results as they come to hand at www.debating.org.nz

Executive 2009

The Wellington Speaking Union 2008 AGM was held on Tuesday October 28 at Turnbull House.

The 2009 Executive is:

President: Christopher Bishop
Treasurer: Stephen Whittington
Secretary: David Dewar

WSU Annual General Meeting 2008

The Wellington Speaking Union, which organises adult and schools debating in Wellington, is having its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 28 October at 6.30pm in Turnbull House (on the corner of Bowen St and Lambton Quay).
This is an important meeting because a new constitution is being proposed for the WSU which will allow schools and adult debaters/adjudicators (as “clubs” in the formal sense do not exist) to vote for the committee with runs WSU throughout the year. 
The accounts of this year and the President’s Report will also be presented. A formal agenda will be sent out closer to the time, along with a draft constitution.
There will be supper at the meeting and it should go for no more than an hour.

Chilton win Premier B Grade

The final intercollegiate debating grade final was tonight. Congratulations to Chilton St James School who defeated Marsden by 3-0 to win the Premier B grade and the Fred McComish Trophy.

Victoria University win Victoria Shield

A team from Victoria University (Gareth Richards and Yogesh Patel) won the Victoria Shield tonight, defeating Joe Connell and Kevin Moar in the final.

12 teams gathered at the Victoria University Student Union Building to compete in this impromptu knock-out competition.

Special congratulations to Maria English and Holly Jenkins, who reached the semi-finals despite still being at secondary school.

Thanks to Rosy Moar for organising everything, and to the adjudicators (Christopher Bishop, Stephen Whittington, and Simon Connell).