NSCC takes silver for Canada

Three grads medal at Abilympics international skills competition

NSCC takes silver for Canada

Burridge graduate Amanda Langthorne (right) was one of three NSCC alumni to take home silver for Canada. Celebrating with her is faculty member and mentor Bonnie Williams.

"I couldn’t have asked for a better crew of competitors. We all understood each other, with some help from interpreters, and got along really well. It's kind of amazing to make friends in a competition like that." ~ Helena Mabbett

Fast Fact

Madison also won the Medallion of Excellence for achieving the highest score on Abilympics Team Canada

With little time to compete, and the use of hot tools forbidden, you could say that the recent Abilympics were pretty hair-raising for Amanda Langthorne.

“I was doing three hair designs on mannequins, and at the event briefing, changes were revealed unbeknownst me,” says the Burridge Campus Cosmetology program graduate.

“I had to change my whole style. It was a lot of pressure because I was up against some of the best hairdressers in the world, but I think the challenge brought out the best in me.”

Amanda wasn’t the only one who felt that way about the world’s largest skills competition for people with disabilities. She and two other NSCC alumni who participated in the Abilympics all brought home silver medals in their categories – a very impressive performance, given the calibre of the competition.

“It’s a very elite field,” says cosmetology instructor Bonnie Williams, who trained and accompanied Amanda to the event. “You have South Korea, which absolutely dominates in this field, and so do France and Russia. Given the level of expertise we had to compete against, to come away with a silver medal demonstrates just how skilled she is.”

The competition also brought out the best in aircraft maintenance graduate Madison Somers. She trained for six months with NSCC grad and World Skills medalist Ryan Leedham, drawing on his experience in competitions to continually upgrade her skills.

“It was an absolutely amazing and eye-opening experience for me,” says Madison. “With all the pressure that was put on us, everyone on team Canada showed so much support for each other, which made it easier for us to stay focused. I couldn't have done it without them.”

Welding grad Helena Mabbett agrees, crediting her NSCC instructor, Steve Stewart, for helping her stay focused when the heat was on. She says the silver medal wasn’t just for her. “I felt like I was representing Canada, Skills Canada – Nova Scotia, NSCC Akerley and the Irving Shipyard, where I’m working. I wanted everybody to feel proud, so it felt really good to win that medal.”

All three competitors say they’d encourage NSCC students with disabilities to consider competing in the Abilympics, not only to put their skills to the test, but also to help further their career goals.

“If you have the opportunity, go do it,” says Helena. “The memories and benefits of it will last you a lifetime.”
 

20/04/16

"I couldn’t have asked for a better crew of competitors. We all understood each other, with some help from interpreters, and got along really well. It's kind of amazing to make friends in a competition like that." ~ Helena Mabbett

Fast Fact

Madison also won the Medallion of Excellence for achieving the highest score on Abilympics Team Canada

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