The Skillaroos fight to the end

The Skillaroos walked into Anhembi Park feeling tired but excited to take on the last day of the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo. Over the last several months John Shiel, Expert Team Leader, has witnessed both highs and lows from the entire team. Today he proudly watched on as the Skillaroos fought for every last second to take home the title of the world’s best in their profession.

“Competitors are really putting in and working hard. Experts are quite anxious to get on with their judging… they won’t be finished until midnight. I think they worked really hard together, both competitors and experts, and regardless of the results I think every one of them has given it their absolute all” said John.

A small but energetic group of Australian supporters felt relief and were full of pride as they cheered on the Skillaroos from the sidelines. Margo Carlon, who travelled from NSW to support her son Sam Spong compete in Bricklaying, shared her thoughts on Sam’s achievements over the last two years and how his involvement in WorldSkills Oceania and supporting competitions have provided him with the training he needed to reach his goals today.

“He got to go to Denmark and New Zealand so he’s got a few competitions underneath him which has helped for this international competition” Margo said.

Margo was quietly confident that Sam would complete his project in time before the alarm sounded. “He’s at a really good place today because he has completed the other two projects. He actually started his third project yesterday. He’s done his cuts which I think they like to get that out of the way. He’s on a roll”.

Sam’s fellow teammate, Dale Fisher representing Graphic Design Technology, was also feeling confident about his results. “I feel really good. It was a tough day, a lot to do but got it all done in the end and I’m happy with what I’ve made. I had a few stuff ups along the way. I think I’m sitting around fifth. I’ve learned a lot about my industry. Timelines especially. Even learning wise, there are things I didn’t know a year ago which I now think I could work in easily” said Dale about his WorldSkills experience.

From cheers to tears each Skillaroo were supported by their fellow teammates, family and friends both present and back home in Australia. The Australian team spirit pulled them through to the very end and will take them through to the final stages of the competition, the Closing Ceremony. Check out the photos from day four of the competition here.