Epworth well represented at KZN Debating Championships

Eight Epworth debaters who were selected to represent PMB at the KZN Debating Championships. Back row from left: Tiara Joseph, Catherine Moffet, Meluthando Ngema, Kimberly Gemmel, and Sunusha Moodely, front row from left: Josie Makkink, Shaniae Maharaj and Samira Rajaram.

Eight Epworth debaters were selected to represent Pietermaritzburg at the KwaZulu-Natal Debating Championships at Glenwood High School, in Durban, recently. The girls excelled at the tournament, with five of them being selected for the Junior and Senior KZN teams to compete at the National tournament in December.
To qualify for Pietermaritzburg representation, they debated in the Schools’ League that runs from January to August. The topics ranged from supporting the topless protests at Rhodes University to scrapping racial quotas in national sporting teams. The PMB Junior team with one Epworth girl and girls from other schools won the Junior section of the KZN tournament, and two other Epworth girls were in the team which came second.
Debating starts at school level where fifteen schools are represented with 64 teams in Pietermaritzburg. The PMB teams then debate at KZN level and the select few are chosen to represent South Africa. Laurian Polkinghorne, Matric class of 2015, was the first Epworth pupil to represent South Africa in 2013, and Shaniaé Maharaj is the second. Shaniaé has just returned from Thailand where she was ranked as the 19th speaker at the Asia World Schools’ Debating Championship and her team reached the semi-finals.
Marion Kroukam, Debating coach at Epworth and Head of Pietermaritzburg Schools Debating League, is extremely proud of Epworth and all fifteen PMB schools that participate in the League. The PMB Debating League has been in existence for over 20 years.
Marion said of the Epworth girls who participated in the KZN tournament, “Their team work is amazing and they were very excited to have participated in this competition. They did very well, with quite a few Epworth girls ranked in the top three speakers of the tournament in the Junior and Senior categories”.
The PMB League finals were held on Wednesday, July 27.  The Epworth Junior team made it to the finals after eight rounds, and won the League, defeating Hilton College while debating the topic of subsidising indoor crop growing. St John’s and GHS won the Senior and Grade 8 categories respectively.

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