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13 October 2009

WorldSkills Calgary bids a fond farewell

By WorldSkills Calgary 2009

Try-A-Skill at Skill City

It took four years to plan, one week to run and now it’s over - except for the final reporting.

WorldSkills Calgary 2009 was, in the words of WorldSkills International President Jack Dusseldorp, the “best Competition ever”. 850 Competitors and thousands of Delegates from around the world descended on Calgary, Alberta, Canada for one magical week in September. During their time here, they toured the world-renowned Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park, they cheered as they proudly crossed the Grandstand stage at the Opening Ceremony, they competed in four days of intense competition, they laughed and danced at the City of Calgary WorldSkills Cultural Celebration at Olympic Plaza, they enjoyed superb weather throughout and they shed a tear and saluted their new-found friends at the emotional Closing Ceremony and Farewell Party. All in all, it was truly an event to remember.

Team Japan visits their school during One School One Country
WorldSkills Calgary 2009 leaves a proud legacy on many fronts:
  • More than 50,000 school students travelled from across the province to attend the event to see first-hand what career options are available in the skills, trades and technologies sectors. They also test-drove various skills at the Try-A-Skill tent.
  • More than 55 Calgary schools participated in the One School One Country program, where elementary schools adopted a team and learned about the culture of their country/region prior to meeting their team’s Competitors at their school before the Competition.
  • The Government of Alberta sponsored a $14 million equipment legacy program which saw brand new equipment from the Competition distributed amongst high school and post secondary institutions around the province. Everything from computers and diamond-bladed water saws to ice cream makers and compact injection molding machines is finding its way into the hands of Alberta learners to replace obsolete equipment and support apprenticeship and other training programs across the province.

Now that WorldSkills Calgary 2009 is in the history books, Competitors and organisers look ahead to the excitement of WorldSkills London 2011 when the UK will play host to the 41st WorldSkills Competition. In the meantime, Skills/Competénces Canada and other WSI Member countries/regions around the world will continue to foster the WorldSkills Movement and encourage young people to pursue lucrative careers in skills, trades and technologies. So as we pass the torch to our friends in London, we bid you a fond farewell from Calgary. Thanks for the wonderful memories and for contributing to the “best ever” WorldSkills Competition. See you in London!