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SAIT earns hardware at WorldSkills

WorldSkills 2017 SAIT competitors, L-R: Scott Dombowsky-Oneski (Cabinetmaking), Victoria Hislop (Cooking), Deanna Reynolds (Industrial Mechanics Millright), and Alex Sidorchuk (Aircraft Maintenance)

WorldSkills 2017 SAIT competitors, L-R: Scott Dombowsky-Oneski (Cabinetmaking), Victoria Hislop (Cooking), Deanna Reynolds (Industrial Mechanics Millright), and Alex Sidorchuk (Aircraft Maintenance).

SAIT's foursome competing at the WorldSkills 2017 international competition of applied education in Abu Dhabi will be returning to Calgary with some new hardware in tow.

Deanna Reynolds (Industrial Mechanics Millright), Victoria Hislop (Cooking), Scott Dombowsky-Oneski (Cabinetmaking) and Alex Sidorchuk (Aircraft Maintenance) were each awarded Medallions of Excellence during Thursday's closing ceremonies.

The medallions are given to competitors who achieve above-average scores in their areas.

"I couldn't ask for a better way to finish this journey," says Hislop, who was part of Team Canada's 31-member contingent for the four-day competition.

"I feel so thankful for all of the support from the chefs at SAIT. It was amazing to be trained by so many talented chefs."

While Reynolds was disappointed not to be called to the podium, she says she's proud to be coming home with a Medallion of Excellence.

"I am leaving Abu Dhabi with an incredible sense of accomplishment, knowing that I am of the same calibre of other tradespeople around the world," she says.

Looking ahead

Professional cooking instructor Hayato Okamitsu, who spent countless hours working with Hislop in advance of the competition, hopes Hislop's performance instills her with the confidence that will motivate her throughout her career.

"It's not all about the results and the prize," he says. "It's amazing to share what we do and the passion we have at SAIT. I hope this will bring a new level of passion for education and mentorship at SAIT and show the world-class education we have here."

The SAIT community is already celebrating the news that all four competitors earned medallions recognizing they reached higher than the standard in their fields, says Nino Belvedere, SAIT Apprenticeship/Skills Coordinator.

"The dedication, training and skills that our talented young individuals from SAIT have demonstrated is truly remarkable. We look forward to seeing them prosper in their careers as they join Canada's skilled trade and technology workforce," he says.

Future competitions

The next WorldSkills competition will take place in Kazan, Russia in 2019.

Leading up to that, SAIT will host the 2018 Calgary Regional Skills competition April 7 and 14.

The 2018 Provincial Skills Canada and National Skills Canada competitions will both be in Edmonton.

Provincials will run from May 30 to June 1, while Nationals will take place June 3 - 6.

"We want to create Canadian companies that succeed not only in Canada but globally," he says.