Three LBPSB Students are Competing in the Olympiades Québecoises des Métiers et des Technologies
by Sonia Ruivo
We’re excited to introduce the three LBPSB students who are heading to the Olympiades Québecoises des métiers et des technologies this year. Affectionately known as the “Olympiades”, the competition gives vocational students an opportunity to demonstrate their skills as they compete against other students from their trade.
The competition will be held from May 11 to 12 in Quebec City, and will host over 260 finalists, representing 35 trades from 98 vocational centres across Quebec.
When she was in grade one, Nisanthy Mahathevan made a drawing of herself as a hairdresser. Many years later, she’s wrapping up her studies in the Hairdressing program at Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy and heading to the Olympiades. Nisanthy’s journey to the Olympiades was nearly over before it started. Coaches Sylvie Lavigne and Martine Gaudreau are very confident in Nisanthy’s abilities and her potential to win big. Yet if she wins, she will not be allowed to compete at the national competition because Nisanthy is over 21 years old. In the end her coaches agreed that Nisanthy should compete even if she could not advance to the nationals.
Nisanthy’s passion is obvious to her coaches, Sylvie Lavigne and Martine Gaudreau. A meticulous, autonomous student, with excellent organizational skills, Nisanthy has been working hard to practice for her time in the spotlight. She has a competitive streak and is looking forward to the adrenaline rush of competing. In addition to learning from her coaches, Nisanthy is thrilled to be able to access additional resources to give her as much knowledge as possible.
Cool, calm, and confident. Those words describe Ibrahim Damlaj, Automobile Mechanics student at the West Island Career Centre. A lifelong car lover, Ibrahim takes his competition prep seriously. He has recently cut back on his part-time job hours so he can concentrate on preparing for the Olympiades. Coaches Nathan Mascarenhas and Dirk Gundlach describe Ibrahim as calm and logical. These qualities will serve him well as he needs to follow detailed procedures, which focus not only on mechanical skills, but also on following all safety protocols.
Ibrahim is excited about the competition and is proud to represent WICC. During the competition, he will not be allowed to speak with the coaches, and he will be surrounded by large crowds, as well as the judges who can, and do, speak directly to the competitors. The large crowds and close proximity of the judges don’t stress Ibrahim. “I don’t stress at all. In my opinion, I have tasks to do and I’m training to do those tasks. If you prepare ahead of time, there is no need to stress.”
Lucas Schachtler started his journey to the Olympiades like most students do, by enrolling in a vocational program. Once he started the program, his teacher and coach Michael Luciano saw that Lucas was not your typical student. He was zipping through the assigned tasks and easily completing all the assignments.
The son of an electrician, Lucas has spent many hours by his dad’s side learning how to become an electrician. Coach Luciano told Lucas that he was a perfect candidate for the RAC process. RAC stands for the Recognition of Acquired Competencies and is a process that allows adults to have their competencies officially recognized. Once all competencies are successfully recognized, the candidate receives official recognition in the form of a diploma or attestation. Lucas enrolled in the process and is currently getting his competencies evaluated.
Lucas plans to take over his dad’s business. He feels that with his technical skills and university degree, he is well placed to manage and grow the business.
He decided to compete in the Olympiades because “I thought it would be something fun to do.” He feels confident that he has the skills required to be successful. His coaches have full confidence in Lucas’ ability.