Duncan, Coquitlam and Vancouver schools take top honours at BCAA/BCIT/BC Ford
Dealers' Auto Skills Competition

BURNABY, BC, May 4 /CNW/ - Using both motor power and brainpower, students from Cowichan, Centennial and Britannia Secondary schools got a jump start on their automotive careers and education at the BCAA, BCIT and B.C. Ford Dealers' Auto Skills Competition held in Burnaby on May 1. Each student from the top three teams won an automotive scholarship to the post secondary institution of their choice and an open scholarship to BCIT's automotive program.

David Hind and Brad La Rose, seniors at Cowichan Secondary School in Duncan, revved into first place and took home student scholarships, tools and diagnostic equipment totalling close to $5,000. Hind and La Rose also won their automotive department a Ford Focus courtesy of MSA Ford, Abbotsford and Steve Marshall Ford, Nanaimo.

Anthony Assalone and Mitchell Testani from Centennial Secondary in Coquitlam received the second place prize while third place was swept up by Leon Chandler and Alex Pyne from Britannia Secondary in Vancouver. Both second and third place competitors also received various tools and equipment along with other automotive training aids.

In addition to Duncan, Coquitlam and Vancouver, students from Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Penticton, Qualicum Beach, Salmon Arm and Terrace were represented at this year's event.

Now in its 20th year, the Student Auto Skills Challenge is aimed at encouraging careers in today's high-tech automotive industry and raising awareness of the current and predicted shortage of qualified technicians in the automotive trade. The Challenge also highlights the high-level of skill and knowledge required to be a trained auto technician, in areas such as: mathematics, electronics, mechanics and computers.

To qualify for the hands-on competition, auto students completed a written exam which tested their theoretical knowledge of today's complex automotive systems. At the event, 10 two-student teams competed to correctly diagnose and repair identical malfunctions deliberately installed in vehicles. After properly identifying and fixing their assigned vehicle within the 90 minute time, students left it to a team of judges who inspected the car for accuracy and workmanship. The team that successfully repaired the most "bugs" would be declared the winner. Racing against time - and each other, Student Auto Skills competitors prove it takes more than simple tinkering under the hood to become an expert auto technician.

Editors notes:

2010 Student Auto Skills photos are available at


                       2010 BCAA/BCIT/BC FORD DEALERS'

                                  "HANDS ON"
                              COMPETITION TEAMS

                                 SCHOOL                     TOP STUDENTS
                    Abbotsford Christian School       Brandon Jansen
                    Instructor: Gary Verbeek          Dustin Gilding
    3rd place       Britannia Secondary               Alex Pyne
                    Instructor: Kim Or                Leon Chandler
                    Caledonia Senior Secondary        Austin McNeil
                    Instructor: Doug Brewer           Nolan Bedard
    2nd place       Centennial Secondary              Mitchell Testani
                    Instructor: Geoff McElgunn        Anthony Assalone
    1st place       Cowichan Secondary                David Hind
                    Instructor: Ryan Gough            Brad La Rose
                    Garibaldi Secondary               Calvin Krangle
                    Instructor: Tom Wallace           Cameron McDougall
                    Kwalikum Secondary                John Menassa
                    Instructor: Luc Ouellet           Travis Vanderberg
                    Penticton Secondary               Ross Raison
                    Instructor: Kevin McGrifford      Hu Harries
                    Salmon Arm Secondary              Aaron Montague
                    Instructor: Gary Lebeter          Travis Kuchta
                    Westview Secondary                Bachir Bah
                    Instructor: Greg Erho             Kyle Bradford

SOURCE British Columbia Automobile Association

For further information: For further information: Niela Melanio, BCAA Public Affairs Advisor, Office: (604) 268-5342, Cell: (604) 376-6889, E-mail: niela.melanio@bcaa.com

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British Columbia Automobile Association

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