Schoolgirl from Fareham makes semi-finals of Little Miss Teen Great Britain
AN 12-year-old from Fareham has reached the semi-finals of Little Miss Teen Britain - impressing the judges with her awards for chess.
Rosalia Richard, 12, who goes to Oaklands Catholic School, beat more than one thousand applicants from across the UK to be one of 50 girls in the semi-finals.
Rosalia impressed the judges with her English Federation of Chess junior award and her performances of Bharantnatyam - a classical Indian dance.
She said: 'I'm really excited to be in the semi-finals.
'My friends are very excited - i said they should enter, but they said they were too nervous to take part.
'My sister says she's excited - but I think she's a little jealous’
The competition's director, Holly Pirrie, said: 'We were really impressed with Rosalia's chess awards and her dancing.
'We want to be different from pageants by celebrating who the girls are.
'With this age group it can be seen as a bad thing to celebrate your achievements.'
Rosalia was entered into the competition by her parents, Richard Manuel, a taxi driver, and Shiny Va, a staff nurse at QA, who live in Elmhurst Road. They said they had ‘never entered anything like this before’.
Richard said: 'We were surprised, but we thought she would do well because she is extraordinary.
'She is very confident - and she has a big heart.'
'In the past, she has performed her dancing at the Hedge End village hall for a fundraiser for Kerala flooding.'
Rosalia - whose parents moved from Kerala, in India, 15 years ago - is more interested in medicine than make-up, with her dream being to become a doctor.
She said: 'I think it would be nice to help other people - there is a lot of suffering in the world and it would be good to change that.'
A panel of judges including pageant industry professionals, former winners, and business people will decide which competitors make up the 15 finalists at the grand final, held in Blackpool in October.
But even if Rosalia’s competition journey ends before the final, her parents are happy to she he achievements recognised: ‘We’re just happy she’s made it this far,’ Richard said.