Sapphire Carter has just been announced Miss Leicestershire 2017. We talk to her to take a look at her career so far and her hopes for the future.
I’m overjoyed to be one of the first few girls through to the Miss England finals, my preparations are starting now and I can’t wait to work more with Mr Leicestershire, Grant Cotton. He is also, competing in Mr England 2017 so it will be fantastic for us both to have that moral support on our journey to the national finals.
I first became interested in becoming Miss Leicestershire about ten years ago when my older sister was explaining that her friend Charlie (Charlotte Atkinson, Miss Leicestershire 2007) had just won the regional title. So I’ve always thought in the back of my head, I really want to do that, and in recent years I’ve wanted to challenge myself and push myself beyond my comfort zone. Miss Leicestershire was a big part of that.
The competition involves so much, far more than people think it does. There are lots of different rounds that you have to part take in such as the public vote, the social media round, the Eco wear round, the charity queen round, the publicity round and the sports round which is optional. It takes a lot of preparation and dedication. I believe the charity round is one of the more important rounds as charity is at the heart of the Miss England beauty pageant, just as it is for The World beauty pageant whose charity, Beauty with a Purpose, helps disadvantaged children all around the world.
I’ve always wanted to model and people have always told me I should because of my height. I used help my friends out if they needed a model for college or university projects and from that, other modelling opportunities came along. I’ve been involved in charity fashion shows, photo shoots, make up modelling and I walked in Leicester’s first ever fashion week at the Grand Hotel.
The competition is fierce when it comes to the social media round because everyone is trying to advertise themselves and get people to vote for them, the other rounds are not as competitive and everyone is really nice. I took part in Miss Leicestershire last year but I came fourth. I was lucky enough to have the fantastic opportunity to compete in the Miss England semi-finalists. Both times I competed, I was making friends, exchanging stories about the cities we came from, why we were doing this and helping each other throughout the day. Everyone is nice and genuine and that’s because ultimately we all have the same goal.
This year one of the obstacles I’ve had to overcome are people who don’t understand what we are doing or aren’t willing to help. With the charity round I decided to take a different approach and did some door to door collecting to raise funds for the local Leicester charity Hope against Cancer. It was been hard, some people don’t open their doors or the majority don’t want to donate. Some people already donate to other charities so I totally understood. It was hard work but I have resilience and perseverance so it hasn’t knocked my confidence too much, I just haven’t raised as much as I would like to but it’s been a great new experience.
Generally, however, I have found people to be supportive. People are intrigued as to what it is I’m doing and the support is amazing especially from people who I have never met before.
I love liaising with people, I always want to do more or give back. I’ve recently become an organ donor and I started to give blood last year. I believe that it’s the small things that count, so however big or small your contribution may be, it’s still a contribution and it’s better than not doing anything. I continually look for new experiences and opportunities that can benefit another person as well as myself.
Last year I won Sportswoman Leicester 2016, which was a part of the Miss Leicestershire competition in the sports round. We had to do a boot camp and I was the last girl in the press up challenge. The sports round is held on a day prior to the final evening of the competition and it allowed me to automatically be in the Top 10, so I’m hoping to defend my sports title this year too.
Sapphire is also a full time dancer at Studio 79’s college, she also holds down two part time jobs and another seasonal job. When she has the time she also volunteers in a charity shop. We are not sure how she manages to fit everything in but we all wish her the very best for the future and will keep you update on her progress.