After three years of competing in finals at the Mayor's Cup Debating Competition, the Orange Christian School debating team has been dubbed this year's winners.
Orange Christian School team members Maddison Liddicote, Elliot Bangert, Lucy Grant and Calista Krkac went up against Orange High School at council chambers on August 5.
The Christian School's English teacher and debating coach Adrian Lee said the final debate was very tight.
"The team went up against Orange High School who are a very experienced team," he said.
"Both teams had an hour to prepare impromptu speeches on the topic, 'local councils respond to residents and inform them about changes and progress in their community' and I believe that our team was able to maintain the case throughout the debate.
"The Orange High School team should be commended for their effort."
Mr Lee said this was the first time some of the students on the team participated in a debate and they were surprised that they won.
"The setting was a bit different this year with COVID-19, we had a little audience in the gallery with councillors Tony Mileto and Stephen Nugent and the other students from Kinross Wolaroi School and Orange Anglican Grammar School," he said.
Mr Lee said he is pleased the students worked hard on their rebuttals during the competition as he considers debating to be a "brain sport".
"We have a weekly meeting with the students so they are able to expand on their skills and run through different debating exercises," he said.
Orange Christian School's Calista Krkac was also presented with the Kerri Parkes' Memorial Trophy for most outstanding debater.
"She was over the moon to be awarded the trophy," Mr Lee said.
"Calista has quite a lot of public speaking but she doesn't have much debating experience, she worked really hard on her arguments, structure and the approach was clear and thoughtful."
Mr Lee added after the debating competition he took the students out for a celebratory hot chocolate.
"After the event, the students were buzzing and I thought it would be nice to take them out to celebrate their win," he said.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...