Bulldog Tools and our parent company Rollins have been sponsoring Luke Denby, a student at Craven College in Skipton. We have been sponsoring both the college and Luke this year providing them with the tools they need to train up young landscapers for the future. I am delighted to inform you that Luke Denby has now progressed to the finals of the World Skills 2009 in Canada. Below is the press release from his recent success. Stay tuned for future and archive blogs on his progress!
Congratulations to Luke Denby
Congratulations go to Luke Denby, 18 from Craven College in Skipton for being selected to represent the United Kingdom in the Landscape Gardening competition at World Skills 2009. Luke who is from Skipton will team up with William Gadd 21, from Bury St. Edmonds (Country Life Landscapes and Otley College).
World Skills is held every two years and this year is to be hosted by the Canadian city of Calgary, starting on 1st September. The event is often likened to a ‘Skills Olympics’ and when event comes to London in 2011 the profile of World Skills in this country is likely to get a massive boost.
The 26 final team places covering 25 disciplines were announced by Simon Bartley, chief executive of UK Skills at a packed House of Lords event on 30th June. Landscape Gardening is one of 45 competitions in which over 1000 competitors (all under 23) from 51 countries will compete. Other competitions at World Skills include Floristry, Carpentry, Bricklaying, Electronics and Hairdressing.
At the squad announcement Simon Bartley told the assembled dignitaries and team members, “WorldSkills is a beacon of aspiration, we can be the best in the world, we must not loose sight of the investment and life changing opportunities. Despite challenges, of which there will be many, we must get behind the team and competition and celebrate going to Canada.”
Guest speaker James Cracknell OBE, the double Olympic gold medallist and TV adventurer, told the audience “luck is something that you earn … good things happen to people who deserve it”.
Luke’s journey to Canada began back in June 2008 when he competed in and won the regional heats of the UK Skills Landscape Gardening competition at Askham Bryan College along with fellow Craven College students, Andy Brier and Polly Throup. Luke and Andy subsequently competed in the national final of UK Skills in September 2008, a competition in which they came a credible third.
Both Andy and Luke were among 12 young landscapers asked to attend a selection competition from which five or six were invited to train for possible selection onto the UK squad. Luke was selected and since Christmas has spent several months training at the World Skills landscape training centre at Askham Bryan College. In addition to learning new skills, Luke has also built show gardens at the Malvern Show, BBC Gardener’s World Live and a Scandinavian competition held in Norway. At World Skills in Canada Luke and William will have to build their show garden in 22 hours over 4 days, part of their final preparation will be to practice building the garden at the forth-coming RHS Show at Tatton Park.
Michael Myers, Horticulture Co-ordinator at Craven College said he was extremely proud of Luke’s achievement and wished him luck in Canada. Luke began his horticulture career at Craven College on the 1st Diploma in Horticulture and progressed onto the National Diploma in Horticulture. Prior to the World Skills event Luke had been considering a degree course after his current studies but may need to reconsider if successful in Canada. Whilst at Craven College Luke gained valuable work experience working for local landscaping firm, Roderick French Groundworks and it quickly became apparent that he was a skilful and highly competent worker. Luke has received a generous donation of tools from Rollins/Bulldog tools to enable him to practice techniques with tools he is familiar with. Bulldog have also supported Craven College in their successful UK Skills and Harrogate Flower Show competitions.