East Lancashire pair to represent Great Britain at 'Skills Olympics' in Shanghai
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Abi Stansfield from Clitheroe and Kieran McShane from Burnley will be going up against rivals from more than 80 countries in an effort to be crowned the world’s best at the event in China in October.
Twenty-two-year-old Abi who works for BAE Systems will be competing in the CNC milling competition. While 20-year-old Kieran will be going for gold in the construction metalwork event.
Having triumphed in regional and national competitions, they have been training for the ultimate prize since January 2020. Preparation for international competition is normally a two-year programme, but the global pandemic forced the Shanghai finals, originally scheduled for 2021, to be pushed back a year.
They are part of a 39-strong team hoping to help the UK climb back into the global top 10 after a 12th place finish at the 2019 event in Kazan, Russia.
Abi Stansfield said: “I was absolutely over the moon when I was told I had made Team UK. I can’t wait to get out to Shanghai and represent my country. All the training, hard work and effort has really paid off.”
Kieran McShane said: “I am so happy to have made Team UK and so relieved all the hard work has paid off. However, the hard work all starts again now, but I am really looking forward to it. Shanghai is somewhere I never expected to go and I can’t wait to get out there.”
Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said: “I am delighted that these remarkable young people will soon be showcasing their talents and skills on the global stage – they should be so proud of their achievements to date and I look forward to cheering them on when they go for gold in Shanghai.”
WorldSkills UK deputy chief executive Ben Blackledge said: “After the delays and difficulties of the past couple of years, we should all be proud of the skill and determination these young professionals have shown to get out there and fly the flag for the UK.”