Like many people I have been very captivated by the drama and charm that is the Olympic Games.
In any discipline, from swimming to athletics, Ping Pong to weightlifting the stakes seem to be that much higher in the Olympic arena.
The same can be said for the International WorldSkills competitions where our yet to be determined National bricklayer champion will compete in 2013 in Leipzig Germany.
Emotions run high as competitors have to perform in this narrow window of opportunity after so much training and preparation.
WorldSkills, like the Olympics events also provide an opportunity to observe and learn about industries that you may not be ordinarily exposed to.
It’s also interesting to observe the reactions and emotions of the competitors once results are realised. Competition, and in particular Olympic style competition, has the habit of bringing out the best in people. The joy from competitors who receive a medal they didn’t expect to win.
The reactions when favoured competitors do not achieve what they were hoping, and often the sportsmanship and humility of those who admit to being beaten by someone better on the day but vowing to work harder to do better next time.
There has been a lot of discussion about whether the current Olympic Team has ‘underperformed’. I personally don’t subscribe to this as they are purely looking at Gold medal tallies. If you look at the total number of medals won, Australia would be in the top ten easily and that is a much better reflection on how we have gone in my opinion.
Having said this, comparatively the Australian WorldSkills Team (the “Skillaroos”) have been ranked in the top five (out of 52 member countries) in the past two international competitions.
In the last International Team that competed in London, 9 out of 28 competitors won medals. Aside from these 9, another 15 won medallions of excellence for outstanding performance in their field. Just as in the Olympics, many other countries attribute much larger resources and money to the campaigns, so that makes these figures even more impressive.
Our skill competitors deserve admiration for how they have performed. Just as sport plays a valuable part in the Australian way of life, so do skills and skill development. Without the skill industries, there would be no stadiums to hold the games, nor catering to feed the people or clothing for the runners to run in (that could be interesting).
The next Skillaroos team will be selected after the National WorldSkills Competition that is taking place in Homebush Sydney from the 30th August to the 1st of September. The general public are most welcome and entry is free. The bricklaying competition is a highlight of the event and the ABBTF “speed test” at lunchtime on Thursday the 30th of August should not be missed.
Bricklaying Category Expert, WorldSkills.
A/Head Teacher – Civil Engineering, Surveying and Mapping
TAFE NSW – Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus