This spring, Sask Polytech student Leah Lucyshyn travelled to Vancouver to compete in the Graphic Design competition at the 2022 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC). She bested 300 competitors to come away with gold and the RBC best of Region award for Saskatchewan. Now Lucyshyn has her sights on testing her skills internationally as part of Team Saskatchewan in the WorldSkills Competition set for Switzerland.
“My Skills journey started in 2017 when I participated in the provincial Skills Canada Saskatchewan competition with my high school in the photography category,” says Lucyshyn. “For the last four years, my goal was to compete at WorldSkills with Team Canada.”
A release from Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the institute from which Lucyshyn graduated, relates how challenges surrounding the COVID pandemic nearly sidelined those dreams. Restrictions impacted many of the Skills Canada provincial and national competitions. Lucyshyn participated in the provincial competition in 2019, finishing in fifth place out of five competitors. In 2020 no post-secondary competitions took place due to the pandemic. Using these setbacks as motivation, Lucyshyn picked herself up and kept working towards her WorldSkills goal. In 2021 competitions were virtual and Lucyshyn competed in the provincial and national competitions, taking home gold in both competitions. In the fall of 2021 Lucyshyn competed for Team Canada in the WorldSkills America virtual competition and took home silver and Best of Nation for Canada.
“Despite my success, I still wanted to attend WorldSkills with Team Canada in-person. 2022 was my last chance to compete due to age eligibility.” says Lucyshyn. “Having the opportunity to travel for the national competition was surreal. I thought organizers were going to cancel the in-person Skills Canada National Competition. It didn’t feel like the competition would happen. I couldn’t believe I finally had the opportunity to get on a plane and travel to Vancouver for the in-person Skills Canada National Competition and compete to join Team Canada.”
With the announcement of her joining Team Canada as a Saskatchewan competitor, Lucyshyn can see her dream taking shape. Sask Polytech’s Graphic Communications instructors have set up multiple mock competitions for practice. This fall Lucyshyn will be competing online in the WorldSkills Australia 2022 Regional Competition. The mock competitions and regional competition will help Lucyshyn prepare for the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition in Aarau, Switzerland.
“Since joining Sask Polytech, I’ve done everything in my power to get to the in-person WorldSkills Competition,” says Lucyshyn. “Winning multiple medals and joining Team Canada is overwhelming, but I’m here. I’m exactly where I’ve always wanted to be!”
“Our program is designed to engage students in their education and provides them with a lot of hands-on learning opportunities,” says Heather Craigie, program head of the Graphic Communications program and Interactive Design and Technology program. “We encourage our students to develop and hone their skills and we are really proud of their achievements. Good luck to Leah with her training and WorldSkills this fall.”
The Graphic Design Technology, WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition takes place in Aarau, Switzerland on October 12-15, 2022.