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15 February 2011

Preparing for the BEST WorldSkills Competition EVER in London

The venue of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies: The 02

By Pia Hegner, Technical Delegate for Denmark and Jury President of Team Leaders

I have just returned from a working group with eight Team Leaders (TL), representatives from WSI and the WorldSkills London 2011 Operations team, lead by Ross Maloney. In four days we covered every aspect of the Competitor experience and I must say I am deeply impressed.

Since 2001, we have tried to get the TLs more involved at the preparation stage and this time it has been taken to a completely new dimension. All Host Organising Committees have learned from previous experiences and now we are beginning to see the results of this legacy being passed on. TLs are being recognised as very valuable experts in the wellbeing of their teams and this is yet another important step forward.

The WorldSkills London 2011 team had prepared well. The key objective of the meeting was to ‘Live the Competitor experience’ which meant that we stayed in a Competitor hotel, we had Competitor breakfasts, we walked their distance to the Venue (the great ExCeL London), we travelled the route to the Ceremonies the exact way it will happen in October, and we visited the venue of the Farewell Party. 

Team Leaders waiting for the train

We visited all hotels and checked their laundry and ironing facilities. We even nominated Luc Morin, TL from Canada, our official bed-tester, a job he threw himself into. We discussed the menus and how to get it right taking into consideration both cultural and religious requirements. We had the lunch set-up demonstrated and came up with some good ideas to improve the speed and efficiency of that.

All along, the WorldSkills London 2011 team was very open for ideas and discussions. The good mixture of TLs from all around the world was perfect for making sure that as many angles as possible were covered.

There is now work to be done in sharing all this information with the rest of the TLs. We have already decided how to go about it: the TL discussion forum. It will be loaded with information and hopefully hold some good discussions over the coming months. There is a great wish from both WorldSkills London2011 and the TL Working Group to help all TLs coming to London to be as well prepared as possible.

We are now in the process of checking the registrations of Team Leaders so we can make sure we provide “Buddies” for all new TLs. If your country/region has not yet named your TLs, we urge you to do it as soon as possible.

The participating Team Leaders came from Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom and we all want to congratulate the WorldSkills London 2011 team and WorldSkills International Secretariat for this excellent preparation meeting. We feel sure that this will be the best Competition ever, and we will dedicate ourselves to the preparation of our fellow TLs.