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OC students notch 13 podium finishes at Skills Canada BC competition
Okanagan College Media Release

Five Okanagan College students have punched their tickets to Winnipeg, MB to compete in the Skills Canada National Competition next month, after gold medal-winning performances at the provincial competition in Abbotsford last week. The five gold medalists were joined on the podium by eight more OC students who earned four silver and four bronze medals, in categories spanning a host of trades and technology disciplines, from Aerospace Technology to Refrigeration.

OC was the best in the province in the areas of Automotive Collision Repair, Automotive Service, Carpentry, Culinary Arts and IT. Brendan Battersby, a second-year student in the College’s Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEN) program won gold in IT – Network Systems Administration. Kurt Breton, a level 4 apprentice earned gold in Automotive Service, while Lukas Pfob, also a level 4 apprentice, took the top spot in Carpentry. Siobhan Detkavich, a dual-credit Culinary Arts student at Okanagan College and Southern Okanagan Secondary School, came away with Gold in the Culinary Arts (Secondary) category.

Skills BC Provincials 2017Andreas Roth, a level 3 apprentice, won gold in Automotive Collision Repair – a category swept by OC. Roth was joined on the podium by Caleb Loewen who brought home the silver medal and Marcel Kaemmerzell, who earned bronze.

“As a first time competitor, I did everything I could to prepare ahead of time, but it was definitely a new and unique experience for me,” says Roth. “I’m really excited for nationals. I am going to practice hard and try my best for another good result in Winnipeg.”

Roth and his fellow Collision Repair competitors were evaluated on their skills across a variety of tasks, including welding, plastic and metal repair, and damage analysis over the 6.5-hour competition.

Collision Repair instructor Danny Marques said while preparation plays a big role in students’ success, it is their ability to perform under pressure that is the determining factor on competition day

“We couldn’t be prouder of these three students – and all the students who represented OC and themselves so well at the competition,” says Marques. “As coaches, we obviously try to mentor the students as much as we can, but ultimately they are the ones competing and it’s their ability and motivation that sets them apart.”

Overall, Okanagan College students captured a dozen medals at the competition, which was held on Wednesday, April 5 at The Fraser Valley Trade & Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford. Other institutions that took part included Vancouver Island University, BCIT, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Camosun College, Northern Lights College, University of the Fraser Valley, Riverside College, Thompson Rivers University and Vancouver Community College.

Okanagan College students placed as follows:
Gold
Brendan Battersby – IT – Network Systems Administration
Kurt Breton – Automotive Service
Lukas Pfob – Carpentry
Andreas Roth – Automotive Collision Repair 

Silver
Jason Clair – Electrical
Caleb Loewen – Automotive Collision Repair 
Tijana Nelson – Cabinetmaking
Brandon West – Heavy Mechanical

Bronze
Marcel Kaemmerzell – Automotive Collision Repair
Patryk Norek – Automotive Service
Bryce Mackay – Aerospace Technology
Rob Cordonier – Refrigeration

Gold medalists earn a berth to the National Skills Canada competition on May 31-June 3 in Winnipeg. The national competition attracts more than 500 competitors who compete in 40 contest areas. The program was launched in 1994, and is the only national multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.