My WorldSkills Experience: By Yacoob Damon

The following letter was received from Yacoob Damon.  Yacoob was elected on his abilities, above all in South Africa to represent the continent at the 2017 WorldSkills Competition in AbuDhabi in the category of Automotive Body Repair. While he faced technical challenges, the maturity and determination demonstrated throughout and after the competition is further testament to the amazing character and ability the College’s student’s display.


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERNYacoob Damon

Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to share with you my WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 experience regarding my participation in AutoBody Repair.

I forward this mail with great respect provided that it had elevated me to a higher standard since the time it all started.
Many thanks and appreciation to World skills South Africa Association.

It started off when I first saw a poster describing the application to WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. An experience of a lifetime! That gave me the chance to challenge myself against competitors all around the world. I learned that I was capable of pushing myself to achieve the best, and even so I continued doing better enhancing myself to my fullest potential.

When I earned the gold medal in World Skills South Africa 2017 I learned that I needed to be at my very best when competing in Abu Dhabi. I then began my training with immediate effect. I entered the automotive industry as a rookie who was eager to pace myself with the best in the industry and then carried on to be an Inspiration.

When I took the floor in Abu Dhabi I learned that technology was held back from me as I was unfortunate not to have been familiarized with the machines which are being used in the international working environment of Autobody Repair, but that never stopped me from challenging myself. I operated the Car-O-Liner Vision 2 (which was not part of my exposure in South Africa) with basic knowledge of operating measuring systems. Not knowing, I was the only competitor who had this disadvantage. I pushed myself even harder through the remaining course of the competition only wishing to make up for time where I lost the majority of the points. I had many short comings with the tools that were supplied for example I had a power bar with no sockets, my pneumatic saw was faulty, I struggled to clean panels for wielding because I never had a grinder or orbital sander that could reach tight spaces, which had to be done manually and had to rely on my instincts many a times because of this.

I had a tough time persevering myself through the duration of the competition. Though much support were given from crowd's cheering, (members from South Africa) who were eager to see their panel beater make headway amongst other competitors. I was not discouraged and motivated myself when time became of essence. I then drove myself to do the very best I could so I can make my family proud. I wanted to make South Africa proud as well as myself.

Now I am able to grow knowing that I have the potential to always be better and I wish to share my knowledge and experience in training the next competitor who will be presenting our nation fellow South Africans and making sure he/she is equipped and well prepared to compete on the international floors for AutoBody Repair.

I give you my utmost respect and appreciation and I will be eager to provide you with any necessary information on building the legends of tomorrow by sharing my experience
The exposure which was given to me by Worldskills South Africa, has most certainly empowered me to a level whereby I can be able to pioneer the next competitor in terms of mental and global research on trending the specific equipment which will place South Africa somewhat in a better position to compete against international professionals.

I am Yaqoob Damon and I have become a champion.
Thank you