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UK Roofing Team prepare for IFD World Championship

3 mins
Phil Houghton, Paul Simpson (Recticel) and Will Emerton
Phil Houghton, Paul Simpson (Recticel) and Will Emerton

Training sessions for the UK Roofing Team are now underway for the 28th World Championship for Young Roofers, which will see the team members and their mentors travel to St. Gallen, Switzerland, to compete against other young roofers from around the world.

This had been made possible by Recticel Insulation UK, who have sponsored the Team to enable them to travel to Switzerland and take part.

UK Roofing Team sponsored by Recticel at IFD preparation
left to right: Phil Houghton (Competitor, UK Roofing Team), Paul Simpson (Commercial Director at Recticel Insulation UK Ltd), Will Emerton (Competitor, UK Roofing Team), Andy Rowlands (Mentor and NFRC Regional Director), and Bob Coutts (Mentor).

The Team is made up of previous winners of the UK-based SkillBuild competition—Will Emerton (formerly a student at Leeds College of Building) and Philip Houghton (formerly a student at The Eastern Region Roof Training Group). They are being mentored by Bob Coutts, Matt Timby and Andy Rowlands, all of whom have long histories of highly-skilled workmanship.

To prepare, Will and Phil are practicing a range of skills against the clock, with guidance and advice from their Mentors. They have access to a purpose-made competition rig, a replica of the one they will be using at the championship. One major challenge that the team will be facing is needing to be adept with a Swiss mountain roof design—something the Swiss, Austrian and German teams are already well versed in.

Materials have been sourced from a number of generous suppliers so that the team have the best opportunity to practice with the correct materials. A. Proctor Group, BMI, Etex, Ecological Building Systems UK, Fakro GB, Recticel Insulation UK, Rockwool UK, SR Timber and Velux all contributed materials to the UK Team for this purpose.

Paul Simpson, Recticel Commercial Director, said:

Good luck to the UK team in this year’s IFD competition. They are a wonderfully talented, hard-working group, hence Recticel is incredibly proud to be their official sponsor for this acclaimed industry contest. The IFD finals are a chance for the team to showcase their expert roofing workmanship on a world stage whilst flying the flag for the fantastic levels of talent and professionalism that define the UK roofing sector globally. Whatever the outcome of this year’s finals, the UK team are great ambassadors for this country and our industry.

Bob Coutts, Mentor to the Team, said:

It’s fantastic to be back training for the IFD World Championships with two highly skilled and motivated young roofers, Will Emerton and Philip Houghton. Will is the senior member as he competed in Riga, Latvia 2018 where we won the day three ‘Special President’s Prize’. This is Philip’s first experience of IFD and he has a steep learning curve as all the tasks are set by the home country where many of the roof details are very different to UK practice. Switzerland has set very difficult tasks for the competitors both in technical details and size of rigs, so it will challenge all the competitors (including the poor mentors Matt Timby, Andy Rowlands and myself).

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