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NNSL photo/graphic

The Coral Harbour students and staff behind Sakku School's first appearance at the Skills Canada Nunavut competition in Iqaluit this past month are Crista Collins (teacher), Marc Champagne (teacher), Andy Nakoolak and Norman Jr. Nakoolak, back row from left, and Becky Ottokie, Mavis Ell, Kerri Ningeocheak, Delilah Netser and Robin Hatfield (teacher), back row from left. - photo courtesy of Noel Kaludjak

Showing their skills for Sakku

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CORAL HARBOUR - It was an historic first for Sakku School in Coral Harbour when six of its students took part in the Skills Canada Nunavut competition in Iqaluit this past month.

Representing Sakku School were Grade 12 student Andy Nakoolak (carpentry), Grade 11 student Norman Jr. Nakoolak (carpentry), and Grade 10 students Becky Ottokie (baking), Mavis Ell (cooking), Kerri Ningeocheak (baking) and Delilah Netser (cooking).

Ell earned Sakku's first medal at the skills competition, bringing home a bronze in baking.

Grade 4 to 12 industrial arts teacher Marc Champagne said it was an exciting time to have students compete at the event.

He said Sakku now runs a skills club, which any interested student can sign up for.

"Those who were more proficient in the skill they were trying to learn were given the opportunity to go to Iqaluit to compete," said Champagne. These six decided they wanted to give it a try and showed up as we did the training sessions at the school.

"They were a little bit overwhelmed, at first, in Iqaluit because they didn't have any competition at home.

"So, it really opened their eyes to the fact they really have to work hard if they want to become good at their chosen skill."

Champagne said the Coral students quickly learned there was more to the competition than just going through the motions. He said they realized they had to get good at what they were doing, if they were going to be competitive at the territorial level.

"That motivated them and, now, for next year, they want to get started earlier so they can spend more time practising and be better prepared for the skills competition in 2011," said Champagne.

"I was very pleased with their showing in Iqaluit, considering it was their first time.

"There were a lot of nerves there, but, once they got past that, they were able to do their best.

"Once they were done, they realized if they work a little harder here at the school during the training sessions, they would have a shot at winning, and they're willing to make that commitment next year."

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