Our 'Olympic' medalists

Whyalla is now home to three national champion tradies.

WINNERS: Boilermaker apprentice Shari Hunt took home a bronze medal at the WorldSkills national competition last month while fitting and turning apprentice Daniel Smith took home silver.

WINNERS: Boilermaker apprentice Shari Hunt took home a bronze medal at the WorldSkills national competition last month while fitting and turning apprentice Daniel Smith took home silver.

Boilermaker apprentice Shari Hunt, along with fitting and turning apprentices Matt King and Daniel Smith recently returned home from the WorldSkills national competition.

After placing in the regional sections of the competition in March, all three apprentices flew to Perth to compete in nationals last month.

Held on September 18 to 20, the competition has been described as the 'Olympics for tradies'.

Shari and Matt competed together in the first ever national competition for their category, which saw them having to build and complete a hammer crane.

Their hard work was rewarded when they were awarded a bronze medal for third place.

"It was a shock to win - we weren't expecting it," Matt said.

BRONZE: Whyalla Hose and Fitting apprentice Matt King took home a bronze medal at the WorldSkills national competition.

BRONZE: Whyalla Hose and Fitting apprentice Matt King took home a bronze medal at the WorldSkills national competition.

"It took three days to make, by the end it was quite physically and mentally draining, we were glad to be able to finish the project."

Fitting and turning fourth year apprentice Daniel Smith was required to build an air powered turbine in his section of the competition.

Daniel was up against 12 other apprentices from around the country which is why he said it was such a shock to be awarded a silver medal for second place.

"I was heaps shocked," he said.

"It [air powered turbine] was pretty complicated to make, it took three days."

The apprentices were each awarded their medals on the Sunday of the competition with a formal ceremony presentation.

Each of the winners said they were incredibly appreciative of their employers that allowed them to attend the competition and supported them all the way through.

"My boss was cheering, he sent me a message saying 'well done'," Shari said.

"I reckon my dad had a heart attack."

All said they had learned an immeasurable amount from both of the competitions, including how to work under pressure.

An international competition will be held in Brazil for Daniel's section of the competition, however he will only be eligible to attend if the gold medal winner is unable to attend.