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Local students head to Skills Canada national stage in Winnipeg

Lloydminster and area students are heading to Winnipeg to represent local schools in the final leg of this year’s Skills Canada.

Looking for top honours in carpentry is Lakeland College’s Tyler Bendfeld after winning back-to-back golds in provincials over the last two-years.

Lloydminster Comprehensive has a couple students making the trek. They are Alexis Grillandini in Architectural Technology and Ash Godin in IT Office Software Level 2.

Over at Holy Rosary, Brynt Belizar (Photography), along with Lucas Feeley and Jerico Manaloto (Video Production) are shooting for gold under national lights.

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Feely says that he and Manaloto learned from their previous two-years at provincials and were finally able to punch their ticket this year to the big stage. He reflects that competing in Edmonton with “shoulder-to-shoulder-traffic in a room the size of their school gym was crazy, as they ran around trying to get their shots in the allotted time frame.” He says the team is looking forward to Winnipeg and playing to their strengths.

“Definitely more planning – maybe sitting down, slowing down things a little bit more. I mean it’s rushed. It’s competition. And when you see other people with thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, and they are heading out and there’s 15-minutes and we are thinking we should be out there too. But this we just have to slow it down and realize that we know what we are doing and we can execute.”

Communications media teacher at Holy Rosary, Skye Ferguson has been tutoring the Winnipeg trio since grade eight and says they are willing to put in the hard work.

Citing the calibre of the talent in Alberta, Ferguson notes the fact they walked away overall with five provincial medals is “absolutely unreal.”

The preparation for the national showdown involves fine-tuning their skills and time management, says the media teacher.

“I have to train the photography kid and the video production kids. So, they have their scopes and we do training to make sure they are prepared. Also training time-wise is the biggest thing. So, making sure we can do things in the proper amount of time. Some of the stuff we don’t know. We get it there. So, I give them a broad topic to make sure that they feel confident and comfortable with whatever topic they get.”

In 2021, then Holy Rosary Grade 12 students Mackenzie DeCrescenzo and Sierrah Bennet brought back gold at nationals with their video project on the examiner’s topic, ‘What are the top five ways the education system has changed in Canada since the COVID-19 outbreak?’

The nationals Skills Canada contest takes place at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg from May 23-26.

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