The NZCB Apprentice Challenge 2022 sponsored by ITM will be ingrained in my memory forever. Although I was extremely nervous the need to stay confident and levelheaded stayed with me the entire weekend. Not only that, but the study and practice that I had put into this point all culminated in me being crowned the NZCB Apprentice Challenge 2022 Winner.
My road to nationals this year was driven by missing out in 2021 by one placing. This year I returned with the drive and willingness to win the regionals & head down to Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton to compete against some of the country’s best apprentices.
Disrupted by COVID the competition was postponed until November, which didn’t help the nerves. Upon arriving in Hamilton, I was greeted by my fellow competitors as we sat and waited for the impending trade exam, which I was most nervous about as I didn’t quite know what to expect. Up until this moment I has submitted a CV, Work Portfolio and prepared and practiced my presentation.
With the exam out of the way, I could breathe a little, however not for long as Nick Matthews explained the Mitre10 Great Apprentice race which would be taking place bright & early the next morning. It consisted of working in peers & constructing a Rickshaw to race against nine other teams, where I discovered I was paired with Josh Shoebridge from the Tauranga District.
Upon arrival at Claudelands the four hours went by in a flash & ten projects were lined up ready to go. The race wasn’t until 5pm so this gave me a chance to walk around the expo & awe at the multitude of stands. 5pm rolled around and after ten minutes of chaos and only one causality the race was over.
Saturday brought on a very nervous day as I had both my interview with the judges, followed by my speech. I was the last interview & I told myself “Now is your chance to smash it out of the park!”. I found the interview very comfortable and felt I could be myself. This allowed me to speak from the heart & share why I am on this journey. My speech was quickly after which I told myself to remain calm, confident and speak clearly. I personally felt very proud of myself, and with that it was left in the hands of the judges.
We arrived at the Gala, the event was beautifully decorated, and the tensions were high. After dinner & entertainment, we found ourselves front and center stage. Third place was called, then second. At this stage it felt like a moment ‘too good to be true’ so I had assumed that it would never happen to me. When first place was announced, I stood mouth wide open in amazement as all the hard work had paid off. Fighting back tears I delivered my thank you speech and left the stage in what felt like a blur.
I’d like to take the time to thank the New Zealand Certified Builders for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills & intentions for the future, and the sponsors for making this a truly unforgettable weekend. I am thankful to have met some amazing people & made lifelong friends.
To all the other apprentices, you did a fantastic job & the future of the industry is in great hands.
Kia Ora Koutou Katoa
2022 NZCB Apprentice Challenge, Sponsored by ITM, Winner.