HOSTING THE HEROES

Skills Canada competitors take training to the next level at SATA’s Ontario
training facility

By Cindy MacDonald

Six competitors and their trainers gathered near Toronto in March in preparation for the car painting competition at World Skills, to be held in Russia later this year. The Skills Canada car painting team hosted several other teams at SATA Canada’s training centre in Vaughan, Ont. It is common for the teams to have preparatory events, or challenges prior to World Skills. “We usually do get together to get the competitors out of their comfort zone,” explains Cecile Bukmeier, the national expert advisor for the Canadian team.

These events also let competitors become comfortable with the equipment and supplies they will be using during the competition. At the preparation event in March, the Canadian team hosted competitors and trainers from Germany, Denmark, Spain and the U.S. Their respective Skills organizations funded the trip, while SATA offered its training centre as the venue. Several other companies contributed donations of parts or supplies: BASF, Collision 360, Consolidated Dealers Co-op, Mirka, LKQ, and 3M. “We couldn’t have done this without them,” says Bukmeier.

The participants were Maggie Friesen and Adrien Roy of Canada; Dylan Wertz, of the United States; Johanna Kaiser of Germany; Philip Petersen of Denmark; and Hugo Rigueiro Alvarez of Spain. One of the assigned projects for this prep event was to paint a red maple leaf on a fender. Another involved repairing a scratch on a bumper, then prepping and painting the part.

SATA has been a long-time supporter of the Skills competitions, and is now the global supplier of spray guns, breathing and filtration equipment for the events.

“World Skills is a great opportunity for young people. It gives people in the trades something to strive toward,” says Jörn Stöver, SATA Export sales manager.

There are other World Skills challenges planned for in Germany, and Denmark, before the competition in Russia in August. “We do these because the participants have to learn to deal with the competitive situation.”

Stöver is particularly proud to host this group as the first official training event in the Canadian facility. Jens Sondergaard a teacher in Denmark and the World Skills chief expert for the car-painting sector says, “World Skills is all about the mental preparation. It’s hard to get a skilled person to think like an athlete. They need to be motivated and have the right attitude. We do World Skills to motivate others to dream.”

Sondergaard and Denmark’s competitor for car painting, Philip Petersen, were part of the Skills Canada event in March. Petersen says he trains about an hour per day for the upcoming contest. “I do it in my daily work, plus on vacation and weekends.” Stöver agrees that competitors at this international level need “to have drive and dedication.” Canada currently has two auto painters competing for the opportunity to represent their country at World Skills. At Skills Canada’s national competition in 2018, the two top-ranked, age-eligible competitorsSix competitors and their trainers gathered near Toronto in March in preparation for the car painting competition at World Skills, to be held in Russia later this year. The Skills Canada car painting team hosted several other teams at SATA Canada’s training centre in Vaughan, Ont. It is common for the teams to have preparatory events, or challenges prior to World Skills. “We usually do get together to get the competitors out of their comfort zone,” explains Cecile Bukmeier, the national expert advisor for the Canadian team. These events also let competitors become comfortable with the equipment and supplies they will be using during the competition.

At the preparation event in March, the Canadian team hosted competitors and trainers from Germany, Denmark, Spain and the U.S. Their respective Skills organizations funded the trip, while SATA offered its training centre as the venue. Several other companies contributed donations of parts or supplies: BASF, Collision 360, Consolidated Dealers Co-op, Mirka, LKQ, and 3M. “We couldn’t have done this without them,” says Bukmeier.

The participants were Maggie Friesen and Adrien Roy of Canada; Dylan Wertz, of the United States; Johanna Kaiser of Germany; Philip Petersen of Denmark; and Hugo Rigueiro Alvarez of Spain. One of the assigned projects for this prep event was to paint a red maple leaf on a fender. Another involved repairing a scratch on a bumper, then prepping and painting the part.

SATA has been a long-time supporter of the Skills competitions, and is now the global supplier of spray guns, breathing and filtration equipment for the events. “World Skills is a great opportunity for young people. It gives people in the trades something to strive toward,” says Jörn Stöver, SATA Export sales manager.

There are other World Skills challenges planned for in Germany, and Denmark, before the competition in Russia in August. “We do these because the participants have to learn to deal with the competitive situation.”

Stöver is particularly proud to host this group as the first official training event in the Canadian facility. Jens Sondergaard a teacher in Denmark and the World Skills chief expert for the car-painting sector says, “World Skills is all about the mental preparation. It’s hard to get a skilled person to think like an athlete. They need to be motivated and have the right attitude. We do World Skills to motivate others to dream.”

Sondergaard and Denmark’s competitor for car painting, Philip Petersen, were part of the Skills Canada event in March. Petersen says he trains about an hour per day for the upcoming contest. “I do it in my daily work, plus on vacation and weekends.” Stöver agrees that competitors at this international level need “to have drive and dedication.”

Canada currently has two auto painters competing for the opportunity to represent their country at World Skills. At Skills Canada’s national competition in 2018, the two top-ranked, age-eligible competitors

in car painting, Maggie Friesen and Adrien Roy, were invited to train for World Skills. They will compete at the national event in 2019 to decide who moves on to the international stage. This format “keeps pushing them to train,” says Bukmeier.

She says most of the World Skills competitors are currently working full-time in the industry, and training for the car-painting event after hours and on weekends.

“The Skills movement is getting more interest and more support in recent years,” says Bukmeier. As a result, stronger competitors are emerging. Yunus Tak, business development manager for SATA Canada, says his company supports Skills competitions to ensure we reach out to the younger generation of painters and so they have the best quality supplies for the competition.

“It is one less thing for them to worry about.” says Tak. SATA is now a global sponsor of World Skills, supplying paint guns, plus respiration and filtration equipment. Participants in the car-painting competition will be equipped with SATA’s new X 5500 paint gun.

“We are committed to ensuring the younger generation has proper equipment, knows what they’re doing, and are provided with high-quality products,” says Tak. Bukmeier says the Canadian challenge event also allowed the participants to develop friendships with others in the same field. “I’ve seen a lot of smiling faces during these three days, and that makes me happy.” TD



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