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. From left to right in the image we have:
· Job Harkness – South Korea 2001
· Zac Boyd – Switzerland 2003
· Tim Hambly – Japan 2007
· Nigel Croke – Canada 2009
· Lester Tibbles – London 2011 and
· Sam Spong – Brazil 2015 (August 11-13)
The most striking observation that evening was how incredibly outstanding each of these guys is in his own particular way. Each one spoke about how the competition had influenced their lives and how important it is to make the most of opportunities like representing your country. Sam took a lot away from the dinner and could see the strengths and calibre of each Champion who had gone before him. The toughness of Job, the competitiveness of Zac, the pure heart of Tim, the speed of Nigel and the determination of Lester – all shone through for Sam – attributes that are all so important in the workplace as well as competition.
Each Champion present on the night has set up his own successful venture and now trains his own apprentices, passing on all the skills and knowledge gained through WorldSkills Australia and TAFE.
It was a great boost at this late stage, as Sam wraps up his final preparations for the event of a lifetime.
The Australian Bricklaying Team gathers in Sydney on August 4 and will depart for Brazil the next day. Altogether there are 25 other Skillaroos making the trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The competition will run from August 11 -13 and you can follow all the action on www.worldskills.com.au and even send Sam a message of encouragement.
Other useful links on Sam’s journey so far:
WorldSkills International Chief Expert – Bricklaying