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Shield winners ... St Peter's College pupils and support staff celebrate after winning the Bishop Shield at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

It was a “whitewash” win for St Peter’s College when it won the Bishop’s Shield on Sunday.

The speech and drama competition was held for the 75th time between four Catholic schools in the southern region – Kavanagh College, of Dunedin, St Kevin’s College, of Oamaru, Verdon College, of Invercargill, and St Peter’s College, of Gore.

St Peter’s was the clear winner, finishing 11 points ahead of runner-up St Kevin’s, which claimed the Marist Centennial Plate.

Alongside winning the shield, St Peter’s won seven of the 14 individual awards up for grabs.

Director of religious studies Brendan Terry was over the moon with the pupils’ performances.

“I’m immensely proud of them all. A tremendous amount of work went into this shield. They’re victims of their own success,” Mr Terry said.

About 22 pupils from years 9 to 13 competed in debates, scripture reading, drama, impromptu speech and prepared speech performances.

The pupils auditioned to take part and were chosen in their strongest categories.

Mr Terry spent three weeks preparing the pupils.

“We spent three weeks intensively working together. We did debating during every lunch time, and the kids would send me their speeches and I would provide them with feedback on them,” he said.

Grace Turipa (16) was a standout for St Peter’s, winning both the Bishop Kavanagh Cup and Nora Brophy Cup for senior scripture study questions and psalm reading.

“Grace won the most prestigious award. She was just stunning – we’re so proud of her.”

Mr Terry had been involved in the Bishop’s Shield as a teacher for the past 10 years, and had also competed for the shield as a pupil at St Peter’s College.

“The shield has developed so much since I was a pupil. Everyone takes away such fond memories from competing at the shield.

“It’s not just the competitive nature, it’s the outstanding friendships the children are able to create with people from other schools they wouldn’t make anywhere else.

“The shield is a great venue for future politicians and speakers to develop their skills.”