Students back with plenty to say

Students back with plenty to say

Public speaking is still the number one fear of most people, but not for students involved in the recent Mount Gambier Eisteddfod Debating.

After two years of forced cancellations due to COVID, it was with no small sense of nervousness and excitement that schools across the region gathered to participate in the school-based Debating.

The Wehl Street Theatre played host to some lively topics ranging from Hogwarts being the ideal school to humanity being the next dinosaur.

The competition was open to all students from across the region, giving them the chance to develop the valuable skill of public speaking.

The first day saw the Primary Division make their debating debuts.

Delivering two-minute speeches, the Compton Primary School team of Zac Telford, Parker Pignotti and Koby Parker emerged victorious as the best team of the day, arguing the negative side of the topic ‘That schools should provide free food to students’.

Zac Telford was the best speaker of the day, also winning the Lions Encouragement Award.

The Junior Secondary Divisions were held on day two, with most students debating publicly for the first time.

Their topics included “That beauty is more useful than brains” and “That Disney is the greatest teacher”, stretching students to balance facts with humour.

Despite some initial anxiety, students soon settled with increasing confidence throughout the day.

The winning team for Division 2 were from St Martins Lutheran College, comprised of Jacob Halleday, Jenna Agnew and the best debater in this division, Keira Quill.

Division 1 winners were also from St Martins Lutheran College and included Josh Tilley, Joshua Halleday and Eleanor Doyle, who was also adjudged as best speaker.

Senior Secondary teams took to the stage on the program’s final day..

The more experienced students provided entertaining, detailed, and well-argued debates, engaging the audience with humour and enthusiasm.

Taking the negative side ‘that it is better to be one of the crowd’, the team from Tenison Woods College, consisting of Flynn Davison, Mariam Kassim and Campbell Fox won their debate and the division.

Campbell Fox was also awarded best speaker for the division.

Despite cancellations and other setbacks, all students challenged themselves this year, stepping out of their comfort zones and onto the big stage, and can all be proud of their efforts.

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