Neil heads to Germany for florist world cup
AN internationally award-winning florist is gearing up to compete in the profession’s world cup.
Neil Whittaker, from Salford, will travel to Berlin to showcase his creativity and craftsmanship along with 22 other leading designers from around the world.
The battle could see him crowned as the World Champion Florist.
But with 30 years’ experience, Neil has already crafted a career as one of the UK’s and Europe’s most renowned and respected floral designers.
Neil represented the UK at the Europa Cup in the Czech Republic, and coming third made him the highest placed British competitor since 1960.
And the floral virtuoso has even been named British Florist Association Florist of the Year, Interflora Florist of the Year and has three gold medals from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Commenting ahead of the Interflora World Cup 2015 Neil said: “I feel incredibly privileged and excited to be given the opportunity to compete at the World Cup again.
“Now Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are behind me, I’ll be focusing my preparations for Berlin.
Neil is preparing hard to give the upcoming competition everything he’s got
He added: “It takes an enormous amount of time and dedication to compete at this level, but I’m going to give it everything.
“I’ll spend hours practising different designs in the shop, asking my staff to make up surprise tasks and select flowers for me to work with.
“Nothing can completely prepare you for the surprise element of a competition, but on the day I will just have to stay calm and use my experience and time wisely.”
The theme of this year’s World Cup is ‘Freedom’ and the host city, Berlin, will play a special role in the event.
Organiser Fleurop Deutschland explained: “The end of the Second World War left the city divided. On both sides of the wall, people experi- enced restrictions on their freedom in different ways.
“All this changed in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin wall.
After 40 years of German division, Berliners experienced what it means when, all of a sudden, possibilities are unbounded.
“The quest for freedom inspires the imagination, breaks down walls and overcomes borders.
“This exceptional force is to be the inspiration for contestants at the World Cup 2015.”
Neil will compete in three championship tasks over the first two competition days, entitled 100 per cent personal, 100 per cent handmade and 100 per cent recycled, before hoping to reach the grand final on Saturday, June 13.
●●Award-winning Manchester florist Neil Whittaker is now gearing up for the 2015 Interflora World Cup.