Young debaters chosen for training with New Zealand coaches

TRAINING: Meg Longley will receive top training this month to help her prepare for the regional debating competition to represent St Andrews College in March PHOTO: St Andrew's College Facebook page

Two year 13 debaters from the north-west have been selected for a South Island development programme this month.

Belfast’s Meg Longley and Josh Stevenson of Burnside have been selected to attend two weekend training camps, along with another Christchurch student and three from Otago.

After the programme Meg, who attends St Andrew’s College, and Josh, who goes to Christ’s College, will go head-to-head for their schools in the regional debating competition at Canterbury University next month.

Josh Stevenson will join two other Christchurch students in debating workshops this month.

They were chosen by the Canterbury Schools’ Debating Council after a selection process which monitored their abilities throughout past competitions and debates. Meg and Josh both discovered a passion for debating in year 9 and have competed against each in several different competitions.

They will work together for the first time at the development programme, going over a range of articles about different political issues and topics with coaches to develop their skills.

“It’s important to be aware of issues so that when we can vote we know what’s going on,” said Meg.

Josh said he enjoys debating social issues that challenge him and make him think. Both are looking at their options for university next year. Meg said she wants to study law at either Otago or Canterbury university, and Josh has his sights set on Victoria University.