A SPARSHOLT College horticulture student could be going to Brazil after winning WorldSkills gold.

Gold medal-winning student Dan Handley, 19, along with Andy Hannam, 25, who won bronze, were amongst the UK’s most talented apprentices and students all competing to win honours at WorldSkills UK.

The horticulture students competed in the landscaping category at the event, which is the UK’s largest skills and careers show, with over 700 people pitting their skills against each other.

As the gold medal winner, Dan now has the chance to go through to the WorldSkills International final being held in Brazil in 2015.

The competition incorporates 70 categories which cover skills as diverse as forensic science and hairdressing.

Over the three days of the show, more than 80,000 visitors came and saw the 700 finalists compete.

Both Dan and Andy are currently enrolled on the second year of the Extended Diploma in Horticulture and graduate in July 2014.

Dan said: “Competing in the WorldSkills landscaping competition has been an amazing experience, it has truly changed my life, teaching me valuable new skills that I can take forward into my own work.

“It has inspired me to push myself further and pursue an exciting career in horticulture.

It has been brilliant fun and I am now looking forward to representing the UK at the international final in Sao Paulo Brazil in 2015.”

Bronze medal winner Andy said: “I have found the experience of competing in the world skills tournament very enriching and enjoyable.

“The competition gave me new skills both with the use of tools and the construction of walls and paving.

“One of the best parts of the competition was building a garden at RHS Tatton Park and meeting new people.”