We are the champions

Ormiston Senior College students Aadi Golchha, Serina MCarthy & Jahnavi Shah with the winning Auckland Schools Debating Cup. Times Photo Wayne Martin

They love arguing. There is no debating that when it comes to the winning team from Ormiston Senior College which recently won the Auckland Schools’ Debating Championship.

They were the only undefeated team and walked away with the grand cup beating 80 schools.

The college is particularly proud as it is the second consecutive year winning the competition.

The Senior Open team this year, comprising of two Year 11 students Jahnavi Shah and Aadi Golchha, and Year 12 student Serina McCarthy, had come together for the first time for these championships.

“We all enjoy arguing and love problem-solving. We’ve learnt to build on each other’s arguments,” says Serina.

Aadi interjects saying, “What I love is winning.” The former Mission Heights Junior College student says he has been in debating teams for the last four years.

Jahnavi adds, “It’s thrilling to compete and debate on topics we are passionate about.”

A case in point being the motion: `Should a child pay a percentage of their income to support their parents in their old age’, for which they were the affirming team.

Apart from the logical appeal, things got a bit emotional. The trio even came up with a plan on how one could save funds to look after their parents with a required a tax system in place.

However, the motion that finally won them the exhilarating final round was: ‘Environmental groups should focus on consumer behaviour instead of Government policies’.

David Ashley, the English teacher who coordinated the debating teams at the college, says there are about eight grades of competitions for schools all over Auckland to enter depending on their age and experience.

“We had three teams participate this year,” says Ashley.

“One, in Advance Open level (Year 13s) and two teams in Senior Open. All of our teams reached the final eights and one of our senior teams (of Serina, Aadi and Jahnavi) made it through to the grand final.”

He says this year, due to lockdown, the debate was conducted by video conference which had its own challenges but the students showed real commitment and patience in linking up and managing each of their debates.


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