Sam Spong


Karate and Bricklaying are Natural Partners

Karate

Noel Peters of Sandy Bay, Tasmania has been a bricklayer who has practised Karate for forty years. He is now the highest ranked Tasmanian in IGK Karate, a ‘Kyoshi’. He told Melanie Tait of ABC Radio that he came to karate originally to learn how to fight, but forty years on it’s become an integral part of his Zen lifestyle, bleeding into all parts of his life.

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Sam Spong’s Journey from Bricklaying Apprentice to International Winner

The last four years have been an exciting and rewarding period in the life of Sam Spong. From the time he first entered Regional WorldSkills in 2011 up to his 2015 WorldSkills International success bringing home Bronze for Australian bricklaying, he’s consistently applied his skills and training, practised hard and maintained a ‘will-to-win’, that’s paid off bigtime.

When he earned the right to enter the National’s in 2012, Sam was 19 and in his third year of his apprenticeship with Job Harkness of J&S Harkness. Job was Australian WorldSkills National Champion 2001 and as such was very inspirational in helping Sam aim high. See WorldSkills International Honour Roll.

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Namoi Valley Bricks Provides Support for the Trade

We hear often about the challenge and the wins in addressing the bricklayer skill shortage in Sydney, but valuable support from regional brick manufacturers such as Namoi Valley (NV) Bricks often goes unnoticed.

NV Bricks at Gunnedah is constantly on the lookout for young talented people to start an apprenticeship with local tradesmen and is a great advocate for ABBTF’s program to increase the number of bricklaying apprentices entering our trade.

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Bricklaying shows teamwork as WA rolls out Regional Comp and Skills West Expo

Months of preparation and planning ensured that once again Bricklaying was centre stage amongst the trades at the recent Regional WorldSkills and Skills West Expo, with 16 apprentices competing in the bricklaying competition and a further 5 bricklaying students competing in the new VETis category. With a total of 21 competitors it is by far the biggest group we have collectively catered for.

Showcasing our young men and women, the future leaders and champions of the industry is what it’s about.

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Australian Sam Spong wins Bricklaying Bronze at WorldSkills against world’s best

Sam Spong has won a Bronze medal at the WorldSkills International 2015 competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The medal was a great result and a reward for Sam’s dedication and hard work in preparing for the event this past year. Sam scored 524 points out of a possible 600, only seven points behind the winner from Italy and two points off Silver.

The competition was very even and hard fought with the 27 competitors challenged by the complexities of the three separate project designs, some of which were changed or replaced prior to the start of the event.

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WorldSkills Australia Bricklaying Champions Unite in Support of Sam Spong

On the evening of Friday the 17th July there was a gathering of past Australian bricklaying Champions who came together to share insights and advice with Sam Spong who will soon be following the same journey to the international stage, that each took in recent years.

Five of the above have already represented their country in Bricklaying in the world competition, with Sam, our current Champion about to do so.

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Get Set to Message Sam Spong – Cheer on Australia’s Bricklaying Champ at WorldSkills International

With the WorldSkills Interational competition only six weeks away, Australian champion Sam Spong’s final preparations for the Bricklaying competition are in full swing. Sam has made some great progress in terms of accuracy, timing and work presentation. The nature of the challenge is to produce extremely accurate, attractive work within an incredibly tight timeframe. For this reason every aspect is scientifically measured and compared during training in order to see how his skill level compares with the world standard.

The International, help in San Paulo Brazil, will be another experience of a lifetime for all involved and their families, employers, teachers and industries. ABBTF will keep us up-to-date on results at facebook.com/becomeabricklayer and you can send Sam a message through this Facebook.

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Sam Spong Wins NZ Gold

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.

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Troy Everett Recognised as Apprenticeships Ambassador

Australian Apprenticeships, the Federal Government Agency which manages apprenticeships in its Centres across the States and Territories, has recently recognised Troy Everett as an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador. The appointment is in recognition of his excellent work in promoting the skilled trade of bricklaying in Australia and around the world.

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WorldSkills Bricklaying Champion Sam Spong, Trains with the Danes

While most other people were celebrating the incoming New Year, Sam Spong was on a plane on his way to Denmark to train in a bricklaying school there and compete as a guest at that country’s national competition. Sam is Australia’s current WorldSkills Bricklaying champion, having won the National apprenticeship title last year. Sam, from New Berrima, NSW qualified as a Bricklayer last year.

Despite the many differences in our industries, Australia and Denmark have a great rapport and Denmark has built a strong reputation on the back of consistent medals in three of the last four WorldSkills International competitions.

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Interested in trying Bricklaying? Then please contact us on 1300 30 44 77