Debaters thrive during lockdown debates

By Ivy Mitchell
Year 11


While thousands of sports competitions across the country have been cancelled, there is still one ‘sport’  that has managed to continue through these challenging times. Unlike the sports that require large outdoor spaces and physical contact, debating is the perfect ‘sport’ during lockdown. There is no need for physical contact, it can be done from the safety of your bubble, or even in your pajamas if you wish!

Myself, other Westlake Girls debaters and hundreds of other high school students across the country, have signed up to New Zealand Schools’ Online Debating competition. This competition is running throughout lockdown, with weekly debates.  The debates are held through Zoom and teams get 30 minutes beforehand to prepare their debate in a Zoom ‘breakout’ room. Teams then get together on a group Zoom to debate against each other in the comfort of their bedrooms!

My school debating team (Westlake Girls’ High School Junior Premier 1) has signed up to the online debating competition to compete as the Advanced Westlake Girls High School Yellow.  So far we have debated thrice against Keri Keri High School, Tauranga Boys High School and Chilton Saint James School. We have won two debates and lost the other.

My team and I have really enjoyed the online debating and I am sure everyone involved has too! Especially during the lockdown, it is great to have something to look forward to each week! With all the other sports cancelled, perhaps debating is New Zealand’s ‘most played sport’ in the current situation!

Ivy is pictured with the debating website on her laptop.

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