WorldSkills Kazan: Principal pays tribute to Team UK

College principal Ian Pryce will perform special song at the Team UK send-off, before they head to WorldSkills Russia

Julia Belgutay

Ian Pryce, principal of Bedford College, has written a song to support Team UK as they prepare for the WorldSkills competition in Kazan, Russia

A principal whose college funding anthem, Justine, went viral has penned a song in support of WorldSkills Team UK as they prepare for the competition in Kazan, Russia, this summer.

Ian Pryce, principal of Bedford College, wrote the song To Russia With Love to the tune of Bond theme From Russia with Love and Kalinka, and recorded it with Andrew Hubbard, a professional violinist and pianist who also produced the song, and singer Jo Done – both former members of staff at the college.

More on this: Principal covers Dolly Parton hit to plead for funding

Background: How WorldSkills transformed education in Russia

More on WorldSkills: Team UK announced for WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan

Celebrating skills

“I’m a big fan of WorldSkills because it celebrates the skills so many students acquire through further education. Given the effort the organisation and squad put in, I thought they deserved a team anthem,” Mr Pryce told Tes.

“I’m of that generation when your football team would produce a song when they got to a big final, so I wanted to do something that nodded to that but also do something that linked to the host country. The Russian traditional song Kalinka does both”.

He said the lyrics tried to “reflect the fun of the competition but also the high standards on show”. “This really is their chance to be the best in the world, and the flags and medals make it memorable. I’m really pleased WorldSkills UK liked it – that means a lot.”

WorldSkills UK chief executive Neil Bentley-Gockmann said: “We are hugely honoured that Ian has dedicated a song to Team UK and we are excited that the first performance will be at the send-off at the Houses of Parliament.

“Team UK will be championing our FE and skills sector on the world stage, demonstrating that the UK is a world-class place to do business and create jobs.  We want everyone to get behind Team UK as they deliver the performance of their lifetime and this song will really help shine a spotlight on this extraordinary group of young people.”

The over 30 members of Team UK were announced earlier this year and there will be a formal send-off for them at the Houses of Parliament later today. The young people from across the UK will compete against their peers from around the world in skills from car painting and carpentry to mechatronics and mechanical engineering. WorldSkills Kazan 2019 takes place from 22 to 27 August at the Kazan EXPO International. Young people from over 60 countries will test their skills to secure medals in 56 skills.

In September 2018, Tes and WorldSkills UK launched a strategic partnership to promote technical education and apprenticeships.


'To Russia with Love' - the lyrics


To Russia with love you take your skills
Time to compete, a battle of wills
So let the games unfold
Returning with bronze, silver and gold

La la la, la la la, we’re supporting Team UK

To Russia you fly the stage is set
All at your peak, our best squad yet
See Union flags unfurled
Your chance to be the best in the world

La la la, la la la, we’re supporting Team UK

Team UK, Team UK, Team UK

Na Zdorovje!


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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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