18 Jun 2015

Thursday 18 June 2015

On Friday, 12 June nine Spanish students, accompanied by Ms Chloe Baillie, travelled to Rangitoto College to compete in the annual STANZA Spanish National Debating Competition.

King's 1 team, made up of Max Kennedy-Till, Nicholas Bodenstein and Peter Xu, succeeded in bringing back the ‘Lamberto Cup’ to King’s, resulting in the event being held at the College next year.

The first moot of the competition (in Spanish) was 'Mothers should stay at home to look after their children', which Team 1 was affirming and narrowly won against a vehemently opposing Wellington High School. This was the first debate in which Team 1 had to argue for the upholding of certain gender roles while defending that they are not sexist.

In the second round of debates, King’s 1 (negating) won against Albany Senior High School, King’s 2 (affirming) lost to Auckland Grammar School 2, and King’s 3 (affirming) won against Rangitoto College 2. The moot for this round was 'This house would change the driving age to 18 in New Zealand'.
In the semi-final, the King’s 1 team once again held strong, arguing for the benefits of both sexes, affirming the moot 'This house would contract the same number of men and women in the educational sector', against the calls of 'sexism!' coming from the negating team, Diocesan School 1. Max Kennedy-Till, Nicholas Bodenstein and Peter Xu worked together to form a cohesive argument and won because of this, as the other team were not so organised or united in their approach.

While the King’s 1 team prepared for the final debate against Northcote College 2 on the moot 'Parents are always right', the rest of us contended in a Spanish trivia 'Kahoot', conveying our knowledge on Hispanic culture, history and geography.

The final debate, negating the moot that 'Parents are always right' was incredibly close - in fact, it actually came down to a draw. The King’s debaters’ main points focused on the importance of moving forward into modernity rather than taking a step back by listening to everything that our elders may say. With equal points awarded to the King’s and Northcote teams, the adjudicators discussed the tough decision and awarded the victory to King’s 1, noting the outstanding speech of Peter Xu and the collaboration and earnestness of the team as a whole.

All in all, the day was a success for the Spanish debaters and they should all be commended for their hard work; debating in your second language is no mean feat!