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NZ Wins World Schools Debating Championships

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
NZ Wins World Schools Debating Championships

19 FEBRUARY 2009 - The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Team has won the World Schools' Debating Championships after defeating England in the Grand Final, recently concluded in Athens, Greece.

New Zealand beat England by a 6-1 margin, proposing the motion "That all illegal immigrants should receive amnesty".

39 other countries competed at the 2009 Championships. On the way to the Grand Final New Zealand defeated Singapore, Scotland, Canada, Wales, Peru, the Netherlands, Chile, Bangladesh, and Germany.

New Zealand were runners-up at the 2008 Championships, losing on a 4-5 decision to England.

Christopher Bishop of the NZ Schools Debating Council says that its an amazing achievement for the team and reflects months of hard work. "This victory proves that New Zealand has some of the brightest and most articulate young people in the world", said Mr Bishop. "All New Zealanders should be very proud", he added.

It is the first time since 1995 that New Zealand has won the Championships, and the fourth time since 1988 (previous victories were in 1991, 1992, and 1995), making New Zealand the second most successful country ever to compete in the tournament. The five person Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Team was selected at the national finals of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Championships held in May 2008. The team comprises Maria English (Captain, Samuel Marsden Collegiate), Holly Jenkins (Sacred Heart College), Jennifer Savage (Wanganui Collegiate), Tom Chen (Hillcrest High School) and Ben Kornfeld (King's College). The team was coached by Julia Fetherston (an Australian law student and champion student debater) and Kevin Moar (a policy analyst at the Ministry of Health), and sponsored by Russell McVeagh, New Zealand's leading law firm. The World Schools' Debating Championships, a global competition for high school debaters, has been held each year since 1988. This year's tournament involves 39 teams, including England, Wales, Scotland, India, Pakistan, the USA, South Africa, South Korea, and Japan.

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