CWB Welding Foundation presents cheques to Skills Canada National Competition competitors

The Skills Canada National Competition that was held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was not just a place for secondary and post-secondary welding students to demonstrate their skills on the national level, but a time to meet fellow welders, learn from industry professionals and also walk away with some extra cash in their pockets – courtesy of the CWB Welding Foundation.

Nineteen welding competitors from all over the country participated in an Olympic style competition, proudly representing their home province or territory for three days of testing their abilities of striking an arc.

While the competitors were focused on standing tall on the podium if they captured a medal, a little down time while having a good hearty meal during a CWB Welding Foundation reception was the perfect time to surprise all the competitors.

“It was a nice surprise,” said Eli Schonewille, secondary gold medal winner, representing Ontario. “This year when we got the $1,000 from the CWB Welding Foundation, it meant a lot – we were all surprised and appreciative. I know personally, this money will help me out a lot, and I want to say thanks to the CWB Welding Foundation.”

Zachary King, 25, who hails from the rural community of Anchor Point located on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador, was a post-secondary competitor who also received $1,000 from the CWB Welding Foundation.

“All that was going through my mind was ‘wow’”, he said. “I was really surprised. I already received money from the CWB Welding Foundation earlier in the year through their post-secondary awards program, so this was not expected at all. It clearly shows the CWB Welding Foundation is here to support the next generation of welders.”

Calum Harbidge, 19, from Red Deer College captured gold for the post-secondary level during SCNC, shared similar sentiments as both Eli and Zachary.

“I thought that the money given out at nationals was a great way to show that hard work, dedication, and lots of practice does pay off and for me I always wanted to make it to nationals and to take home gold,” he said. “It was an unbelievable experience. I also had no idea that money was going to be handed out to the competitors, I just thought it was a lunch and a speech, I was quite thrilled to receive a cheque. It was a very good incentive to continue to try and do the best I can to my ability. I greatly appreciate all that the CWB Welding Foundation has done to help apprentices and welders across Canada.”

Deborah Mates, Executive Director of the CWB Welding Foundation, was on hand to present the competitors with the financial support and also provided them with some words of encouragement while wishing them the best during the competition.

“Seeing their reaction of the financial support was truly an amazing feeling,” she said. “I heard first-hand accounts that some of these competitors travelled all the way to Skills Canada Nationals Competition with little funds in their pockets, so to be able to help out in this way is rewarding.”

“These competitors are the next generation of welding professionals,” Mates added. “Supporting them in anyway so they can be successful and continue to realize their dreams and full potential is the core foundation of our principles as an organization.”