Trio talk their way out of seven-year drought

16:00, Mar 23 2014
hargest debaters
CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS: James Hargest’s winning debaters, from left, Matilda Phillips, 17, Hannah Brown, 17 and Claire Boniface 16. 

What is believed to be a seven-year drought for Invercargill debaters has been broken by a trio of tough talkers from James Hargest College.

A debating team made up of Matilda Phillips, 17, Hannah Brown, 17 and Claire Boniface, 16, took out the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Secondary Schools' debating competition Otago-Southland regional final.

The last time a team from the school won was in 2007, and they believe no other Invercargill team has won it since, either.

Matilda said they competed in seven debates, covering a range of controversial topics.

Hannah said the most difficult part was arguing a point they might not agree with themselves.

The team won six of the seven debates, she said.

Claire was also named in a regional development squad based on her performance during the debates, while Matilda earned a "highly commended".

James Hargest head of English, Laurel Swan, said the school was proud of the team.