By: Amy Cleary
The 24th Skills Canada Competition was held in beautiful Edmonton, Alberta from June 4-5. This year, 46 members representing Newfoundland and Labrador were competing against 550 skilled students from other provinces all across Canada. The students competed in more than 40 different competition areas like trade and technology.
Team Newfoundland brought home 14 different awards in all trade areas and academic skill levels. They represented trades like networking, animation, public speaking, and photography. College of the North Atlantic was well represented, but high schools like Holy Spirit High School didn’t do too bad either.
The greatest award that the team won was the Team Spirit Award, which is given to the provincial team that shows the most pride out of all the provinces and territories in Canada. Zach Bennet knows all about how much team spirit means, considering this is his first swing at the Skills Canada Bat.
“It was so much to take in, being my first year, but it was such a great experience,” he says. “It was stressful at first, but my teammates were able to help out with putting everything into perspective. Even though I didn’t get a medal in my competition, in my mind I can’t say that I really lost either because of all the great friendships and memories I made along the way.”
Even our own Stephanie O’Brien from OzFM was on hand in Edmonton with Team Newfoundland, and The Herald sat down to hear all about her experience. “It’s like the Grammys meets the Olympics,“ she said.
Having attended the last four trades competitions, O’Brien is pretty familiar with all the work that goes into the event.
“This was probably the best year yet, and this is my fourth year going.”
Hard Work Pays Off
Since O’Brien had a bird’s eye view of all the work that the team put into bringing home all those shiny awards, she has a message for everyone on the Newfoundland team; “congratulations on your hard work.”
Stephen Kettle, the bronze medal winner at the Skills Canada Competition, has some advice for anyone who is interested in trades.
“It is truly amazing to be able to witness all the talent and support in skilled trades and technologies at this event. The Skills Canada National Competition is nothing like I have experienced before. This is my third time competing, and every year I am blown away by the skill level demonstrated by each competitor. Winning a Bronze medal in my skill area is awesome and I highly encourage anyone interested in pursuing a trade or technology program to check out this exhilarating event.”