CNA-Qatar students take in prestigious Canadian event

8/3/2011 9:35:59 AM

The contingent from CNA-Qatar poses proudly in their Team Newfoundland and Labrador uniforms at the main competition site for the Skills Canada National Competition in Quebec City. From left , Reem Al-Naimi, Jennifer Tipple, Aymen Bahumaid, Jim Keith, Ahmed Suliman, Stephen Boland, Mubarak Alhajiri.

From left, Reem Al-Naimi and Ahmed Suliman have their Newfoundland and Labrador flags and team uniforms ready for Opening Ceremonies at the Skills Canada National Competition in Quebec City.

Team Newfoundland and Labrador had a special cheering section at the Skills Canada Competition this year.

A group of seven students and instructors from College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) international campus in the Middle East State of Qatar travelled to Quebec City to attend the 17th Annual Skills Canada National Competition from June 1-4.

Though the campus, CNA-Qatar, holds its own regional competitions, this is the first time students have had the opportunity to observe the preeminent trades and technology skills event in Canada. Melissa Halford, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador, says competition organizers were pleased to have representation from CNA’s international campus at the national event.

“We were thrilled to have students and representatives from Qatar join us in Quebec City as part of Team Newfoundland and Labrador,” Halford shared. “The Qatari group wore the team uniform and came to all team events. They were welcome to speak at our first team meeting and their enthusiasm about accompanying us was very obvious in what they had to say.”

Students and instructors at CNA-Qatar have been interested in developing the internationally recognized Skills Competitions at the campus and decided to send a delegation to the national competition in order to observe how Skills Canada runs its events.

CNA-Qatar President Ken MacLeod says he received unanimous feedback from the attending delegates that event was a fantastic experience.

“Much was learned about how to plan, coordinate and address the various issues involved in hosting such an event,” shared MacLeod. “And it was very evident that friendly competition is an excellent way to motivate students.”

Team Newfoundland and Labrador had their most successful competition ever, bringing home 14 medals in 13 competitions (five gold, three silver and six bronze). One member of Team Newfoundland and Labrador, Andrew Power, won gold in Graphic Design in the national event and earned a spot on Team Canada for the 41st WorldSkills Competition in London, England in October.

Halford says the Qatari students made a specific point of observing their Newfoundland and Labrador counterparts on the competition floor and chatting with them when they had the opportunity to do so.

“There were plenty of examples of cultural exchange that took place throughout our time together in Quebec,” Halford said. “One thing I picked up on was the surprise that many of the Newfoundland and Labrador students had upon learning that Reem Al-Naimi – the only female student in the Qatar group – was not only a Mechanical CADD student, but also the winner of her campus’s welding/pipefitting competition.“

The presence of the CNA-Qatar delegation at the Skills Canada National Competition was a huge success and a benefit to all involved, says Halford.

“It was definitely a way to expand the reach of the Skills Movement and another way to work with our CNA partners.”


Media contact:

Tanya Alexander
Public Relations Specialist, Qatar Project
College of the North Atlantic