Where there’s a Will, there’s a way


Stella Bloomfield, Ysabella Abel and Will Irvine, proved that living in the regions is no barrier to national success by placing third in the recent New Zealand Secondary Schools Debating Competition. On top of that, Will has been selected to represent NZ at the Worlds in August!

Now that he is a member of the New Zealand Debating team, Year 13 student Will Irvine will represent New Zealand at the World Schools Debating Championships in August. 

“I could give you 19 reasons why Nayland College debating is so successful.” says Will. “I am so proud to be able to represent Nayland College as a part of the New Zealand team.”

“The move from a three day event in Wellington to spending the weekend in the school library debating online was initially disappointing,” says Will, who was able to attend the in-person event in 2021. “But I think it helped us to stay focused on the intense preparation required to get to the semi-finals. Plus, we could use the mute button to discuss tactics!”

15 year old Stella Bloomfield was awarded a Promising Speaker Award, presented to students attending the event for the first time. As a Year 11 student, she can qualify for the Nationals again and is feeling determined to capitalise on her experiences from this year. 

“As third speaker on the team, my job is to convince the judges that our team has the better solution to whatever the issue is by explaining the key clashes. Having just an hour to prepare, then hearing the opposition’s logic and having to get up and speak for 8 minutes is intense,” she said.

The team all agree that their favourite moots are the ones where equity and diversity are championed. 

“We enjoy bringing our knowledge and testing our skills at such a high level. I think that knowing we are having fun it makes it more fun for others to watch,” said Ysabella. “It is pretty thrilling to know how competitive we are. During the rounds of the tournament, we beat both of the teams who made the final.”

The Kahurangi-Marlborough Debating Team off to the Nationals — Image by: Gaye Bloomfield

The three students, all from Nayland College, were joined by reserves Noah Fay and Mack Allred from Waimea College to form the Kahurangi-Marlborough squad.

By Gaye Bloomfield