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PRESS RELEASE 26 May at 4.30 p.m.

National team is competitors’ family

Team leaders were exhausted but satisfied after the first competition day. In the press conference held at the end of Thursday team leaders from Finland, Brazil and Netherlands reviewed the events from the day and discussed the position and meaning of the team leaders.

Team leader has a vital role in the competition. Many of the competitors are abroad for the first time and homesickness might occur unexpectedly. Also the actual competition is tough – even small failures can depress the competitor so much that he is ready to head back home. This is when the team leader steps in.

“I have suddenly noticed that I am a father of 35 children. I wake up my family in the morning, feed them during the day and put them to bed at night. I am always there to support them in any way.” shares Mr Dik van der Hak, the Team Leader of the Netherlands.

Brazilian Team Leader Mr Antonio Carlos has noticed that the national team forms a temporary family for the competitors. The head of the family has great responsibility and the team must have faith in him. The responsibility is increased by the fact that the team represents their culture and country all the time during the competition.

Unlike in the previous competitions, the team leaders have also been taken into consideration. In WorldSkills 2005 Helsinki competition there are facilities and staff provided for their use only.

Young people have the opportunity to get to know new nationalities. The eagerness of young people to exchange the pins between themselves has been unexpectedly popular. Team leaders marvel, how these small pins reveal new sides of the competitors. “When seeking different pins, even quiet and a bit shy youngsters are brave enough to approach anyone”, informs the Coordinator for the Team Leaders Ms Pia Hegner.
Finland’s Team Leader Ms Hannele Marttiini states that the spirit of togetherness has an immeasurable importance for the team. Every morning the Finnish team has a morning briefing where they form a circle of hands in order to gather energy for the upcoming day. Also other teams gather together before the competitions with the aim of lifting up the competitive spirit.

Finnish team has also their own lion mascot, whose purpose is to pass on good spirit. Jeppe-lion has a bit better status among other mascots because he has his own VIP-card. Ms Martiini recommended other team leaders to improve their mascots’ status immediately

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Updated 28.5.2005  © 2004 Skills Finland ry

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