Columba College presses home their debating strength

14 September 2017

Columba College presses home their debating strength

While many parents and teachers long for teenagers to stop arguing, Columba College girls are being applauded for their argumentative ways.

Columba College currently holds every cup available in Otago/Southland for debating – five in total – some of which the College has held for three years running.

This year’s top senior debating team, Lydia Joseph (Captain), Lydia Christensen and Bridget Scott, concluded an undefeated Dunedin Schools’ Debating season to win the senior division. The team also made history for their College, taking out top honours at the Russell McVeagh Otago Southland Regionals for the first time.

Last week’s Junior Dunedin Schools Debating competition was the feather in cap for Columba College. Three of the four teams to make the semi-finals were from Columba with Isobel Fraser, Abby Bowmar and Lara Seaton bringing home the win for the College.

Dunedin Schools' Debating also awards certificates to the top 10 debaters across the debate rounds throughout the year. Columba College won 4 of the 10 senior certificates and 7 of the 10 junior.

Lead teacher Anna Togneri credited the success to a strong sense of community.

“The ongoing legacy of debating at Columba College means that there is a great community where girls from as young as year 7 are encouraged and taught to debate by older girls,” said Ms Togneri.

“There is no obligation to debate competitively and everyone is encouraged to give it a go meaning that the debating club is a welcoming environment for all,”

During 2017 Columba College has received the following accolades for debating:

Dunedin Schools' Senior Debating Champions Trophy
Dunedin Schools' Debating Junior Champions Trophy
Best Speakers Dunedin Schools Debating Senior & Junior Division
Winners Otago Southland Russell McVeagh Regionals
Otago Southland Russel McVeagh Rachel Carrell Cup for the Best Speaker
Otago Southland Russel McVeagh Most Promising Speaker
Regional team representation at Russell McVeagh New Zealand Debating Championships