Barbados was among 63 countries whose flags were raised during the official opening of the WorldSkills Village earlier this week at WorldSkills Kazan 2019.
Hundreds cheered as the flags were hoisted to signify the start of the pre-competition period and the readiness of the venue, which is home to over 1,300 competitors and their accompanying officials.
The WorldSkills Village is a modern complex integrated into a green neighbourhood in Kazan, Russia, which will house approximately 5,500 people in single and double rooms.
During the ceremony, President of WorldSkills International, Simon Bartley, told the competitors: “This will be your home for the coming days. Home should be a place of friendship, of comfort, and support. And that is what we aim for in this wonderful community.”
Also speaking was President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, who welcomed the visitors to the WorldSkills Village.
“We will ensure top quality conditions for you to feel comfortable and be able to show your best at WorldSkills Kazan 2019,” he said.
During the ceremony, competitors planted trees to represent their countries and to mark the occasion. Peabo Sampson and Danny Mayers of Team Barbados did the honours, while Team Leader, Sarah Gilkes-Daniel and teammates Zaria Archer, Kristina Patrick, Shae White and Terrique Ward cheered them on.
Following the ceremony, Barbados’ competitors joined the other participants on a heritage tour of the 1,000-year-old city of Kazan. At the end of the excursion, they attended the Welcome Reception at the Kazan Hippodrome, where they socialized and participated in traditional activities.
The largest technical and vocational skills competition, WorldSkills Kazan 2019 will be held from August 22-27.
The WorldSkills competitions are the pinnacle of skills development and excellence and a unique opportunity for young people to showcase their skills and abilities.
Numerous countries use the competitions to benchmark their vocational education and training systems against international standards. Competitions also inspire thousands of young people worldwide to learn a skill so they could take charge of their own lives by becoming active participants in a more inclusive and productive economy. Jamaica is the only other Caribbean territory competing at the 45th biennial WorldSkills Competition.