Joshua ramps up preparation efforts for his WorldSkills challenge

When two young men at the top of their game come together, you'd expect them to be competitive. Add to that, these two young men have been chosen to represent New Zealand and Australia in an international competition, and you would expect the competitive spirit to be ramped up even more. This was not the case during the last week of April, when Joshua Fistonich, the WorldSkills NZ Car Painting representative for New Zealand travelled to the DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC) Training Centre in Sydney, along with his Skill Expert, Roger Hiini, from Resene Automotive & Light Industrial (RALI), to meet up with Andrew McCormick, the WorldSkills Australia Car Painting competitor. In fact with ANZAC Day looming, the ANZAC spirit pushed aside each man's competitive nature and replaced it with the camaraderie typical of the ANZAC "it's us against the world" attitude that will benefit both young men when they travel to Leipzig, Germany, to take on the other 23 competitors from around the world, vying for the WorldSkills Car Painting gold medal in July this year.

DuPont Performance Coating's technical waterborne specialist and an ex-WorldSkills competitor himself, Stuart Aisbett conducted some product-specific training and was able to pass on some valuable insights for competition too.

Three full days of training was undertaken, working specifically on test project module scenarios expected in Germany (wet-on-wet, non-steel, full and half panel blending and colour and design modules); perfecting the best technique for generation 3 Waterborne paint, preparing and painting numerous panels, and performing all these modules within the time restraints:

Joshua was extended an invitation to join the Andrew at the Australian WorldSkills week long training camp again in June at the same facility. Another sign of ANZAC spirit maybe?

Feeling that this was perfect preparation for the WorldSkills International Competition, Joshua returned home tired but enthused, having gained further confidence in his abilities to perform on the world stage.

Diving back into the training programme co-ordinated by Roger Hiini, Joshua's WorldSkill Skill Expert, which will include the use of some Aqua Premium product that WorldSkills International are sending to NZ, both at Phill Clark Panel Beaters in Orewa where Joshua works, and during two more 3-day training camps planned for Joshua at the RALI DuPont Training Centre in Auckland, before heading off to Germany in June. There is plenty of hard work still ahead!

Everything possible is being done to help these young men reach their true potential - and bring home the medals.



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