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Victoria debaters defending title

MEDIA RELEASE

16 November 2006

Victoria debaters defending title

Twenty-four university debating teams from throughout New Zealand will congregate in Wellington this weekend for the New Zealand British Parliamentary Open Debating Championships where Victoria University will have the chance to defend its title.

The championships will be held on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November at the Victoria University of Wellington Kelburn Campus. The grand final starts at 4pm on Sunday in the Hunter Council Chamber, Level 2, Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade.

The ‘British Parliamentary’ style of debating, in which there are four teams in a debate compared to the usual two, is used in debating world championships. This style is relatively unfamiliar to New Zealand universities so this tournament was established by the Victoria Debating Society in 2004 to give students the opportunity to increase their expertise.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pat Walsh, said the university was supporting the championships because debating provided students with valuable skills the University was keen to promote.

“To be a good debater you’ve got to be a leader and you’ve got to be able to think critically and creatively as well as being a good communicator. These are attributes that the University wants to be the mark of all Victoria graduates and so we’re pleased to support the Society in hosting these championships.”

Victoria has won this important debating event twice previously, in 2004 and 2005 and this year they are going all out to defend their title. Victoria University has entered 10 of the 24 teams.

At this year's tournament two cups will be awarded for the first time. Named in recognition of support received from Victoria University’s Vice-Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor's Cup will be awarded to the winners of the tournament.

Christopher Bishop, incoming President of the Victoria Debating Society, says “Professor Walsh’s support was imperative to the Victoria Debating Society's highly successful hosting of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (Australs) in July 2006”.

The David Lange Cup will be awarded to the best speaker at the tournament. “David Lange was a renowned parliamentary debater and it’s fitting to name a cup in his honour at a parliamentary debating tournament,” says Mr Bishop.

ENDS

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