Bronze-medal win at top computer competition

Justin Cooper, 29, from Amble, won his bronze medal in the IT Support Technician competition.
Justin Cooper, 29, from Amble, won his bronze medal in the IT Support Technician competition.

An Amble man battled his nerves to win a bronze medal at the WorldSkills UK national IT competition finals.

Justin Cooper, 29, took the accolade in the IT Support Technician category, which was staged at The Skills Show in Birmingham.

He studied his IT technician course with Northumberland College and has now moved on to an HNC in computing at the Ashington-based centre.

Justin said: “I challenged myself and battled my nerves and came out the other side with a medal. I got through the experience with support from my family, my fiancée Trisha, and with the advice of my coach Mark.

“All the competitors worked hard and should be extremely proud of themselves.

“We had to get through the regional heats to earn a place in the final and we had to face our nerves and draw from our knowledge and experience.”

The Skills Show, the UK’s largest skills and careers event, gave youngsters the chance to discover opportunities in further education, skills and apprenticeships.

The WorldSkills UK event plays a part in lifting standards of training and performance while promoting world-class skills.

Toby Bell, IT lecturer at the college said: “Justin should be very proud. To reach the national finals is a fantastic achievement in itself, but to have a bronze medal underlines Justin’s hard work and determination.”