Otago Southland Debating Championships

Sunday 1st April 2018

On the 17th and 18th of March, John McGlashan sent 6 boys to compete at the Otago-Southland Debating Championships, hosted by the University of Otago.

McGlashan had two teams of three competing in the event, with JMC One comprising of Alex Leckie-Zaharic, Jack Craig-Pearson and AJ Visagie as first, second and third speakers respectively. JMC Two was made up of Jaiden Tucker, En Watanabe and Johnny Baker, also in the same speaker order.

The two teams would compete in five debates over two days, with the topics of debates ranging from the implementation of compulsory voting to the increase in personal income tax. With over sixty eager debaters, it was a fine chance for the McGlashan boys to test their mettle against schools from all over Otago and Southland. Both teams did incredibly well, winning three debates out of the five, with JMC One taking out a narrow victory against JMC Two in a debate about the prohibition of gender-slanted toys. The teams collectively beat Otago Girls, Otago Boys and Southland Boys among others; a very impressive performance for a relatively fresh group of debaters, with four members calling these regionals their first true debating contest.

In most debates, teams are composed of three people, yet late on the first day, both teams ended up a man down and still managed to pull out victories against their full-strength counterparts. Unfortunately, with the rules of the competition, teams that had won with less than three people were prohibited from making the finals which ended any chance McGlashan had. However, the boys stayed around to watch the finals, picking up skills from the best debaters Otago-Southland have to offer. McGlashan also had representation at the prizegiving, with Alex Leckie-Zaharic being named on an Otago development squad.

Congratulations to all the boys for a strong showing, and the school should feel confident of coming out with a victory when our best debaters go up against St. Andrews College in our annual exchange.