Over the past three terms the year 9 D-grade team, coached by Mr Wight, has represented, and competed for Whitefriars in the DAV debating league. The league started out with a bang against Mullauna College, where the teams’ newcomers: Isaac Di Donato and Alex Griffiths, competed in their first debate and lost by a margin of one point. The team took a while to get the hang of the 8:00pm debates, losing our second debate by a margin of one point and being forced to forfeit the third, due to injuries and other commitments. With this streak the team’s morale was low, but we then decided to instead of going out there to win, we would go out there to have fun. This allowed the team to find their footing and really get into their groove, and as a result we won the next two debates by margins of 2 and 3 points, a fantastic way to end the DAV Debating League.
The DAV debating league was a great experience and loads of fun, however, the ACC Debating tournament held at Mazenod College in Term 3 was the tournament the team had been waiting for. The tournament consisted of three debates: a prepared topic, an advised topic, and a secret topic. However, the tournament began about a week before the actual day, with the team working with Mr Wight to unpack the prompt of “We should abolish the ABC and SBS,” in which we were the Affirmative. This topic took many hours on call with the team outside of school hours, where we were having a laugh and bouncing ideas off each other, until the debate was ready to go. Then on Wednesday the 23rd of August, we were told to be at school by 8:30am, as the maxi taxis were often late, but by a freak stroke of luck, the taxi arrived, ON TIME. The team arrived at Mazenod College, took some last-minute pointers from our coach, and were off to debate against St. Bernard’s on the topic of “We should abolish the ABC and SBS.” The team one this debates by a margin of one point with our second speaker Joshua Lyons taking best speaker of the debate.
Soon after the first debate, the team found out the advised topic on “That we should limit the amount of water to households” in which we were the negative. Due to the ACC tournament running behind schedule, our team only had 30 minutes to prepare for this debate and resulted in lots of stress throughout the team. We went into the debate knowing that both teams would have to improvise but unfortunately, we lost by margin of two points to Salesian
The third and final debate was the secret topic on “That we care to much about academic grades” in which we were the affirmative. We had only an hour to prepare, and our team worked with haste to ensure we would do better on this debate. We went into the debate against Emanual, who we beat by a margin of one point, which sealed our team’s position in third place.
Though we did not win the season, our team looks upon debating as a fantastic way to build our public speaking skills, enhance our English abilities and most importantly, make new friends. I know from the many hours on call working on each debate, having fun, and doing my best alongside my team, that I have made lifelong friends in Josh, Isaac, and Alex. I am looking forward to debating with these guys in the future, and would encourage others to give debating a try.
Matthew Haste, Year 9