Logan Park triumphs in junior debating competition

By Suzanne Robins | Posted: Thursday October 2, 2014

It was great to see two teams from Logan Park competing in the semi-final round of the Junior Division of the Dunedin Schools Debating Competition on September 3rd.

Emerging triumphant as the 2014 champions were Year 10 students Oscar McGuire, Ben Clayton and Clair Caird.

They have been challenged this year to consider moots as diverse as "Whether we should mine national parks", "Whether there should be tax increases for the wealthy" and "Whether they would reveal to the rest of the world if an alien species made contact with them and their government". Quite an ask! It’s also worth noting that Oscar was judged as 5th best speaker in the competition, and Ben as 3rd.

This year’s Interschool Debating Competition for secondary schools has seen some fierce intellectual competition and great team work. The semi-final involved two teams from Logan Park High School and two from Columba College, but there had been quality debating from a broad range of teams and schools throughout the eight round competition.

The Logan Park team was coached by Year 13 debaters Connor Seddon (member for two years in the Otago-Southland Regional Team in the national Russell McVeigh competition) and Helen Prime. Year 12 student Meran Campbell-Hood has also offered support and advice. Connor, Meran, Helen and Year 12 student Jacobi Kohu-Morris represented Logan Park in the Senior round of the competition, ending as runners up (again, to a Columba team).

Thanks are due to Jamie Torcher, who coordinates the DSD competition in his role as Schools Liaison Person for the University of Otago Students’ Debating Society. Jamie has been ably assisted by a cast of adjudicators from this group, and the school students have benefited enormously from their generous feedback and advice.