Is it ever good to mix politics with sports? No, Never! Well, not unless you’re a parent of The Hills Grammar, debating the impromptu topic, ‘that we should boycott sport in countries with repressive regimes.” Ouch! …. ‘boycott’?  ‘countries with repressive regimes’? That’s enough matter to start up a raging fire…or bull!  What authority do we have anyway on the topic?  What can we pull out of our collective hat to vigorously defend our side and debate whether we should or should not? And anyway, who’s “we”? Australia? The World? These are the questions that were bounced about, thrashed around, processed and finally delivered to an audience, in the inaugural parent debate on one cold and wintry evening in The Hills Grammar School Centre for Learning.  Past events such as the Moscow Olympics, South Africa under Apartheid, and Bahrain – Formula 1 were examples that were used to illustrate positive effects of boycotts on sport events in repressive regimes. International sport events, financial gains, taking a stand, the power of media exposure  and raising awareness were all points of contention…..but,  there can be only one winner,  and under the trusty adjudication of our own Tristan Dearden,  Year 12, School Captain and Debater Extraordinaire, a momentous decision was made to give this debate to the Negative, who felt that it would be wrong to prohibit sport  teams from participating in world sport events, in the much same manner as the practices of repressive regimes. Yes, media is a powerful way to raise awareness. Yes, participation suggests legitimisation of repressive practices, but ultimately, the decision was made that to boycott would simply be no better than repressing the freedom of sport teams to participate in something as positively unifying as world sport events.  Congratulations to the Negative Team who won their points and to the Affirmative Team .…who came second. Great thinking, everyone!  

AFFIRMATIVE TEAM: PETER LOVE, AJITH RANGANATHA, MITCHELL CLENDINNING, FIONA KHOO,

NEGATIVE TEAM: ZOHRA ALY, LISA AINSWORTH, PHIL SIM, JUSTINE ZAREBSKI

Fiona Khoo | Junior School Teacher