NZ ranked first after preliminary rounds at Debating Champs
For immediate release
New Zealand ranked first after preliminary rounds at World Debating Champs
The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Team lies in 1st place after the initial eight preliminary rounds of the 2013 World Schools' Debating Championships being held in Turkey.
New Zealand beat Wales, Ireland, Argentina, Turkey, Malaysia, Slovakia, Lebanon and Singapore in the preliminary rounds and is the only unbeaten team in the competition.
Topics debated so far at the Championships include requiring schools to teach religious studies, ceasing the exploitation of resources in the Arctic region, and preventing the media from intruding into the private lives of public figures.
President of the New Zealand Schools Debating Council Desley Horton said the team had had a competitive draw in the preliminary rounds but were pleased with their form heading into the knock-out phase of the competition.
The competition now moves to a knock-out phase, with New Zealand drawn to debate 16th-ranked Canada in an octo-final on Sunday evening, New Zealand time.
If New Zealand wins that debate they will debate either Peru or Ireland in the quarter-finals the following day.
The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Team comprises James Penn (Captain, Wanganui High School), Thomas Simpson (Hamilton Boys’ High School), Ashley Varney (Kings College) and Edward Foley (Wellington College).
The team is being coached by Clodagh O’Connor-McKenna and Udayan Mukherjee, both former champion university debaters.
New Zealand has won the World Championships four times since 1988 (in 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2009) and reached the quarter-finals in 2012.
This year's tournament involves 48 teams, including Australia, England, Scotland, India, Swaziland, Pakistan, the USA, South Africa, South Korea, and Japan.