From April 13 to 17 the inaugural WorldSkills Oceania Competition was run in Hamilton, New Zealand and Australian Bricklaying champion Sam Spong from NSW competed as part of the Australian Team. The event was run exactly like an International WorldSkills competition so that competitors could gauge their progress in readiness for the main event in Brazil in August this year.
Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were on offer and the projects were very similar to the Brazil projects with adjustments for the different NZ brick size. It was a great test and all competitors had to really extend themselves, especially in the latter stages of the competition.
The training team was extremely pleased with Sam’s effort. He was quite sick at the time and really had to dig deep to complete the work to a high standard. Sam earned the right to represent Australian apprenticeship bricklaying internationally when he won the WorldSkills Australia national competition.
In the end, in New Zealand, Australia won the Gold in Bricklaying with China winning Silver and India, Bronze. Sam was very proud of the result but is also now even keener to train hard and make sure he’s at his best at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
All competitors were really strong and conducted themselves in the best possible fashion, playing hard but fair. This was the first time this competition has been run and it is hoped it can continue in the future.
A big thankyou must go to our friends and ‘cousins’ in New Zealand who made the event such a useful and enjoyable experience. Next week it will be back to the training shed where Sam will step-up his training to a minimum of three days per week until he flies out for South America.
WorldSkills International Chief Expert – Bricklaying