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Aimee’s got gift of the gab

Aimee Clouston has been named as the top junior debater in the Wellington region. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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Aimee Clouston has proved she has the gift of the gab.

The Kuranui College year 10 pupil was awarded best junior speaker in the Wellington Regional Debating Championship held at Wellington College over the weekend.

It was Kuranui College’s first time competing in the regional championships with the Kuranui mixed team, comprising Clouston, fellow year 10 Katie Taylor and year 13 Caelum Greaves, placing fifth out of 30 teams.

Clouston has been interested in literature and politics since she was young, and said she found debating to be a good way to explore her interests.

“I took debating in my first year at Kuranui, so there’s obviously a lot of opportunities here, and we were encouraged, but [Kuranui Head of English] Mrs Homes really helped this year, especially with the 30-minute prep task.

“Considering I’m into drama and things, I need to get better at improv, and it was just generally a good way to involve all of my interests.”

None of the pupils had been involved in unprepared debates before, but Clouston said she “definitely recommended it.”

“I really liked it. I thought it was a bit stressful, considering I had only done debates where I had three weeks to prepare – 30 minutes versus three weeks is quite a big difference, but it was good.

“I think the hardest thing for me personally, considering I am not very good at improv, and I prefer written script, was definitely the fact that I didn’t have enough time to write my own scripts, and had to go off bullet points, meaning I had to really think on my feet. I think I’ve definitely got better improv skills because of it.”

Despite losing their first four debates, the Kuranui Junior-only team refused to be disheartened, coming back to win their final debate against Solway College.

Kuranui Head of English, Kathryn Homes said, “I think it’s the first time we’ve ever entered the Wellington Regionals, so that’s pretty exciting.”

The next step for the speakers will be representing Kuranui in the Wairarapa Regional Debating Competition later in the year.

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