The crucial first stop: a bakery up the road from King’s, where Srta. Lamberto kindly shouted everybody a much-needed morning snack, and then we were oﬀ on our way.
We arrived in plenty of time at Rangitoto College, despite a late departure and against our expectations for the motorway traﬃc. At about 8.30am, over 150 students from 14 different schools we were welcomed inside by a pōwhiri performed by the students and staﬀ. This was followed by a welcome from the multilingual headmaster in Māori, Spanish, and English, the singing of a few waiata, and the sharing of kai; then it was onto business. Srta. Lamberto, as organiser, announced our preparation rooms and our moots. We separated into our teams, which were arranged in three categories: Open (competitive Year 12s and 13s), Friendly (any year group), and Junior (Year 11s), and went our separate ways.
After 40 minutes full of consulting dictionaries, bouncing ideas around, and hasty scribbling of notes (all en Español, of course), we reconvened in the main hall, and were soon oﬀ to our first rounds. Every team debated valiantly, but results did not go our way. The top King’s Open team only lost by 2 out of 120 points available.
In the second round of debates, King’s did considerably better this time round; two of our teams won their second debate. Furthermore, one of our friendly teams showed the rest of us up and won their category.
Unfortunately, no King’s team managed to make the semi-finals. However, Darrick Pan, a Year 13 from our top competitive team, was selected for the final for the Best Speaker competition, which he achieved a very impressive 3rd place in.
The second half of the day was by no means less exciting than the first. After the Best Speaker competition was attended by all King’s students present to show support, we returned to the main hall for an incredible dance showcase and Spanish singing session. This, however, was only the entertainment while we waited for the main act: the final debate. Both teams performed incredibly well, with excellent arguments from both sides, but ultimately Auckland Grammar’s top team beat out Green Bay’s.
Finally, thoroughly mentally exhausted, we all piled into the van to return home, our job done. All in all, it was an excellent day, and really provided a good learning experience that will no doubt better our Spanish skills overall.
Conor Doherty (Year 12, Marsden)
Best Speaker Finals
Darrick Pan (Major)- 3rd place
King’s Oro - Darrick Pan (Major), Andrew Yu (Marsden), Conor Doherty (Marsden) 5th place
King’s Plata - Rubie Duder (Marion Bruce), Sophie Mead (Taylor), Max Woodhams (Averill) 8th place
King’s Azul – Alex Grant (Peart), James Wilson (Averill), Max Jiang (Parnell) 5th place
King’s Rojo- Raniera Whiu (Parnell), Ben Caskie (Greenbank), Billie McKessar (Taylor) 8th place
King’s Verde- Muireann Devlin (Middlemore), Sasha Gabriel (Taylor), Jett Mueller (Greenbank) 6th place
King’s A – Max Elsmore (Peart), Dante Ng (Peart), Jason Lee (Major), Diego Gerbich-Pais (Averill) 1st place