In the past there has been a distinct lack of Senior Debating inside the Manawatu region. Young debaters are empowered to involve themselves in the John Prestige Debating junior competition in Years 9 and 10, taking part in termly debates. After this they are then presented with only a single senior debating opportunity – the “New Zealand Secondary Schools Debating Competition” which holds the regionals over a weekend in Term 1. This is a region-wide issue, as there is no formally established regular Senior debating competition structure in the Manawatu.
I was interested in trying to fix this issue and expand Senior Debating. This was not only for my own practice (along with my team), but also to support other local teams in getting more experience after their Junior years. Though there were some concerns, in 2018 we decided to form the “Manawatu Schools Debating Competition” and encouraged 8 teams made up of Years 11-13 from 5 different local schools to debate over 3 rounds throughout term 2 and 3 in Senior style, limited preparation debates.
MSDC was modelled off the same competition structure as John Prestige and in that fashion held a finals event in Term 4 to determine a champion team. There was a specific emphasis placed in developing teams for NZSSDC, by adopting the same marking scheme and debate format.