College – Issue 31

School Debating Championships in July this year. Matthew is the only South Island member of the team. Matthew and Angus Dysart- Paul were also chosen for the Canterbury team which will debate at the finals in August. Angus says they have debated together for four years, competing regularly, and have a good mix of different skills and styles. “The main thing is that we work well together developing cases and strengthening the argument. Our greatest strength is that we are able to develop nuanced cases which are consistent with what we all say – we are all generally on the same page. We can run consistent strong lines and build on each other’s material.’’ The three Year 13 students had 10 debates in the first term. Matthew thinks the commitment of all three to attending coaching lessons on Saturday mornings and making sure they turned up well prepared

for every debate is part of their success. “We have had a good coach, Old Boy Austin O’Brien, and have had tremendous support from the English Department, Ms Rayward, Ms Campbell and now, Ms Harland.’’ Ms Harland says the team is “awesome’’ and one of the best she has seen in her years of debating. “I have been very proud of them this term and it certainly has been a high point of my teaching at College,’’ she says. “We have had highly topical moots which require excellent knowledge of what is current and the boys always surprise me with the depth of their general knowledge. When they prepare they can’t take research in with them, so it needs to come from off the top of their head and these boys are remarkably intelligent. They always deliver. “As first speaker, Matthew is a measured pitbull. He has a razor-

sharp mind and is quick off the mark. He becomes someone else when he is debating and is mature beyond his years. He gives edgy rebuttal. As second speaker, Hamish is passionate and sometimes his mouth can’t keep up with the speed of his brain as he has so many ideas and thoughts. He takes the points the other two have made and articulates them well. “As third speaker, Angus’ job is to walk the adjudicator through the points made in the debate. He makes things crystal clear and his tone is so authoritative that he commands respect and people listen. It is interesting to have such a rich tone coming out of such a slight frame.’’ The team are all in Year 13 and Ms Harland says there is no doubt they will leave a giant hole in College debating. However, she is hoping that if any of them remain in Christchurch, they will come back to coach up-and-coming teams.


College Issue 31 2016

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