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Headed to Skills National

Oct 23, 2020
Eli takes home gold at Skills Ontario competition AGAIN!

Eli Schonewille made sparks fly at last week’s Skills Ontario welding competition.

The grade 12 Port Colborne High School student left the May 5 competition with a gold medal, his second win for the all-Ontario contest.

The contest was to build a small structure based on a blueprint given at the start. The students had six hours to interpret the drawing and weld it into place.

“It was good. I like doing it, like reading blueprints and stuff, I find it interesting, a challenge,” said Schonewille.

He and his teacher, Vic Barker, estimate that Schonewille has logged around 500 hours of practice since September.

“Going into the competition I felt really prepared for it and I knew what I was going to be doing,” said Schonewille.

Barker said that drive makes Schonewille easy to coach.

“I’m very proud of him, he’s very coach-able, not afraid to put the hours in,” said Barker, “Since he started welding in grade 9 he probably has 2000-3000 hours of practising and welding.”

Schonewille is currently on a co-op term at school and spends half of his day at his placement at Barber Hymac Hydro Inc. He enjoys working and getting the experience. He’s hoping to do either a linesman or millwright apprenticeship when he graduates.

“I like to build stuff, I like reading blueprints and building a project and all the different welds on it is a challenge right to make everything completely perfect,” he said, “Vic has taught me a lot and being at my co-op placement has helped me a lot.”

Last week’s win has qualified Shonewille to compete at the Skills Canada competition at the end of the month, where he will be defending a gold medal win from last year.

Schonewille and Barker are now busy getting ready for Skills Canada, which will be hosted in Saskatoon, Sask. on May 25.


By: franki.ikeman@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @FrankiIkeman