Chelcie Kuriger, an attractive blonde 21-years-old apprentice at Waikato Toyota , will represent NZ as a member of the NZ Tool Blacks in Automotive Technology at the WorldSkills International competitions in Brazil.
The young Kiwi who came top of her trades for her age group at the WorldSkills Oceania competitions, will join approximately 1,300 under 24-years- old competitors from 72 countries to battle it out to win gold in more than 45 skill categories.
More than 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the five-day competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
For one week only, NZ and Australia put aside their usual fiercely competitive spirit so the automotive technology competitors from Down Under could benefit from a full-time, exclusive seven-day training session with the top technical training manager from European Motors Distributors on the same car using exactly the same diagnostic tools that will be supplied in Brazil. Giltrap supplied a VW Tiguan and Bosch supplied the same diagnostic scanner that will be used in the competition.
WorldSkills Australia also flew out the previous international gold media winner to talk about his experience of the competition and give the two competitors tips and advice. This kind of exposure and training is absolutely invaluable to the competitors and could give them the edge they need to bring home a gold medal.
The NZ WorldSkills team has had three rounds of competition to help them prepare for the international competitions. Team members had to win through the regionals, then the 2014 National competitions and in April this year, the Oceania competitions to get a place on the Tool Blacks.
More than 120 competitors from seven countries attended the Oceania competitions at Wintec: Canada, India, Malaysia, China, Australia, Korea and Singapore.
The intensity of competition has increased with each round, but the internationals will be a bigger step up again due to their sheer scale, the far greater number of competitors and the fact they are off-shore in Brazil.
Former Hamilton Girls' High School pupil Chelcie was the first woman to make it into the top three at the Worldskills NZ National competitions last year.
And she says fixing cars is in her blood; she grew up on a farm in Morrinsville and watched her dad fixing cars from when she was a tot.
Winning a car on the TV show “The Test Driver” has strengthened her resolve to reach the top of her field, and she finds the extra training she gets through competing in WorldSkills is helping fuel that ambition
What does she do in her spare time? Well, when she’s not talking about cars, Cchecie is into rock ‘n roll dancing at a national level and coaches kids in it!