A WorldSkills UK alumni told this year’s EuroSkills competitors that their skills “keep the world moving” at a lavish opening ceremony earlier this evening.
Dan McCabe, who was part of Team UK at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 in 3D Digital Game Art, told the 600 European competitors in the audience that making it to EuroSkills Gdansk in Poland was the “real privilege”.
McCabe, who is now a European representative of the WorldSkills Champions Trust, also told competitors that participating in EuroSkills was not just about winning, but about promoting excellence in skills that “keep the world moving”.
“If you only focus on winning, I’m afraid you’ve missed the whole point of this event,” he said.
“We are promoting excellence, your excellence. Showing the skills keep our world moving and that you are the people with the skills that can do that.”
He wished competitors to relish the experience as it will be something “your fellow competitors will only truly understand and it’s a bond that you will form a family over.”
McCabe won gold medals at the 2015 WorldSkills UK National Finals and EuroSkills Gothenburg 2016. But his participation in Abu Dhabi “jump-started” his career as a game developer and led to working with Formula One.
Well wishes for Team UK have already poured out from skills sector leaders and including from skills minister Robert Halfon, who was not in attendance for the ceremony.
Representatives from 32 European countries attended the opening ceremony of the eighth EuroSkills competition finals.
Nearly 600 competitors joined technical experts, delegates, and supporters at the Polsat Plus Arena in the city of Gdańsk to observe the spectacle.
Officially opening the competition was Teija Ripattila, chair of the board of WorldSkills Europe, and Prof. Paweł Poszytek, WorldSkills Poland official delegate and general director of the Foundation for the Development of the Education System (FRSE).
“Helping young people to develop their skills with the goal of achieving the world-class standard of professional excellence underpins everything we do at WorldSkills Europe – all because we believe that skills change worlds,” said Ripattila.
‘We are promoting your excellence’
The opening ceremony marks the start of a three-day intensive competition in 42 different skills, ranging from robot systems integration to fashion, which will see competitors tested to new heights.
Before the speeches, spectators enjoyed entertainment including live artistic sand painting by Tetiana Galitsyna, artistic light painting by Tony Dream and a live DJ set with music producer DJ Gromee.
A parade of nations took place shortly after followed by competitor and expert oaths.
Competitions will officially commence tomorrow morning at the arena and the Amber Expo Hall in Gdańsk and conclude on Friday evening.
The closing ceremony will take place on Saturday evening where the results will be announced, and medals presented to the winning competitors.
Follow the FE Week twitter feed (@FEWeek) for live coverage of the ceremony and competition and send good luck messages to the team using the hashtag #TeamUK.
FE Week is the official media partner for Team UK and WorldSkills UK.