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Competition Preparation Week in Lyon 

FINAL – Competition Preparation Week in Lyon

24 March 2024

At the end of January, New Zealand Technical Delegate, Michael Naus headed into a Northern Hemisphere winter as one of 80-plus delegates to attend the Competition Preparation Week in Lyon.

Competition Preparation Week is a four-day intensive gathering eight months out from the WorldSkills International competition. It is a programme of work that begins to give a sense of the scale and logistics of the event.

During the week, Michael and other representatives from competing nations convened face-to-face meetings for skill management teams to finalise the test projects and confirm resources, for new Technical Delegates to receive training and fine-tune a myriad of details to ensure a smooth-running competition in September.  

For Michael, who has attended five WorldSkills Internationals (Leipzig 2013, Sao Paulo 2015, Abu Dhabi 2017, Kazan 2019, and Cardiff in 2022) as an Aircraft Maintenance judge, the Lyon competition is a first as a Technical Delegate (TD). One of his responsibilities will be to support the skills in running a fair and transparent competition.

“I had a lot to learn about my new role as Technical Delegate. I will be supporting the New Zealand judges for Refrigeration & Airconditioning and Aircraft Maintenance skills throughout the competition using the experience I have built up over the previous competitions.”

Michael shoulders another role as a delegate for the Competition Committee working to support the IT Network Administration skill. 

“This is a new area for me. I am looking forward to learning about IT Network Administration from their skill management team and helping them by providing advice and mediation around any issues that might arise during the competition.”

A major event during Competition Preparation Week was the launch of “One School One Country” with press, sponsors, and diplomatic representatives. This cultural exchange programme pairs local schools with competing countries. New Zealand is teamed with Robert Doisneau College in L’Isle d’Abeau in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes district 35km outside of Lyon. 

“In the lead up to the competition, our New Zealand competitors, Jack and Elliott, will be connecting with a class at Robert Doisneau College. They will introduce themselves and find out about the French students and their interests. Once in Lyon, but before the competition begins, we will go to Robert Doisneau College and meet the students in person and share gifts from New Zealand and insights into each other’s countries.”

This was Michael’s first visit to France and his stay in Lyon has been a valuable reconnaissance mission. He has taken in a short visit of the competition venue and the city to share what to expect with the rest of the New Zealand team.

“Lyon is France’s third largest city. The little I managed to see was very impressive — from Roman ruins to modern day malls and everything in between.  My first impressions showed me that Lyon is a beautiful city and I hope to experience more of it in September.”

“It was altogether a very full-on four days and well-worth the 34-hour travel and jet lag!”