Owen’s off to Russia with messages of luck

Written by Eleanor on 19th August 2019

Former Chichester College student Owen Aldous is on his way to Russia, ready to represent the UK in the ‘Skills Olympics’ this week.

Owen was selected to compete in the cabinet making category for Team UK at the WorldSkills 2019 Finals, being held in Kazan from 22 to 27 August.

He’ll be joining more than 30 of the UK’s best and brightest young skilled apprentices and students on the plane to Russia at the weekend – and he is eagerly anticipating the start of the competition.

Owen said: “I’m feeling excited and nervous but I’m as ready for it as I can be.

“It’s a big step into the unknown, as we won’t know what our project will be until the competition starts but I’ve done a lot of training and I feel it’s all going in the right direction.

“We’ve all worked really hard - the training is intense, physically and mentally, as you spend countless hours trying to improve and get better.

“I feel like I’m in a good place and I’m looking forward to getting out there and getting started.”

Owen is following in the footsteps of a number of Chichester College students who have represented the UK at WorldSkills competitions – not least the 2015 and 2013 Gold medallists Edward ‘Woody’ Harringman and George Callow, who is now one of Owen’s managers at Callow & Co.

Owen added: “I’ve had so much support from George, Woody and Luke [Griffiths, another former Chichester College student who won a Medal of Excellence at WorldSkills in 2009].

“I work for George and Luke, so it has helped that they’ve both competed at WorldSkills and understand the competition and what’s involved.

“They’ve given me advice on technique and about the competition. And they are both coming out to Russia for the competition, which will be fantastic – no pressure there!”

As well as support in Russia from his managers, Owen will also be being cheered on from a distance by staff at his old college.

Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, said: “We will be keeping a very close eye on the completion at Kazan.

“To be selected to represent the UK in any competition is a great honour and we are all very proud of Owen. His determination is an example to all of our students.

“I know I speak for everyone at Chichester College – and the wider college group – when I wish him the very best of luck for the competition.”