Hundreds of students were at RIM Park in Waterloo last week for the provincial Skills Canada competition, putting their hands on knowledge to the test.
Among the competitors in categories like carpentry, hair styling, refrigeration, food preparation and many more, were Elmira District Secondary School students Ally McMurray and Quinn Young in the horticulture and landscaping competition and Walker Schott in the plumbing build competition.
In both competitions, the students placed third – a big accomplishment when going up against the best from around Ontario.
The competition ran from May 2 to 4, with the main competition day on May 3.
McMurray worked with Young to build a landscaping display with gravel, a stone wall and the like in a predetermined arrangement. The twosome came third out of 11 teams in the build contest.
She says there were a few challenges to tackle on build day.
“In the competition, we had to spread out gravel on just the bottom layer (of the display) and we had never really done that before, so that was a first, which made it a little bit tricky,” she said after the competition, adding that part of the excitement was seeing what other teams were capable of. “A lot of them were really talented. All of the areas were really well done. I knew it was going to be a really tight race. There wasn’t any team that was really far behind or anything. They all did a really good job.”
The two-person EDSS team received a bit of feedback on their work before the judges made their decisions.
“They talked to us a little bit about the stones – some of them were placed upside down. They told us to be careful of that for future reference,” she said. “But, I am really proud of me and Quinn.”
Walker Schott came third of seven competing in the plumbing contest, requiring him to put together a plumbing system in a time limit. He says he didn’t think he did as well as he ended up doing.
“I wasn’t really sure how well I did. It is mixed with secondary and post secondary, so it is hard to see how you are doing while you are working. You just do your best and hope it works out,” he said.
The Grade 11 student has been at Skills Canada before, competing in the four-person team carpentry category, but decided on a change this year. He says he loves the environment at the province-wide contest, and wants to go back.
“It was great. It is always fun and it is really well organized. It is always a challenge, but it is always fun to compete against other people and see that they are doing,” he said.
The Skills Canada provincials are held at RIM Park every year.
For a full list of results in every category, visit their website at www.skillsontario.com.