A TEENAGE girl has become the first person from her town to qualify for one of the country’s biggest beauty pageants.
Rachael Pickard has been given the title Miss Gosport Galaxy for next year’s Galaxy competition, just months after applying for her first event.
Despite her inexperience, the 19-year-old, who is about to start the University of Portsmouth to study childhood and youth studies with physiology, is excited about taking part.
She is now looking for a sponsor to help fund her effort, whose name will appear on her sash at all the events she attends in the build-up.
She’ll also be hoping to raise money for Gosport charity Square Pegs – which aims to help individuals to flourish – where she’s been volunteering for the past three years, and Angel Gowns.
Rachael said: ‘I thought one day that I would go for it and I was shocked to be accepted from over 1,000 applicants.
‘I’m excited to take part in the competition.
‘It’s a way that can help put Gosport on the map because we have so much going on here that people do not realise.
‘I took part in my first pageant at a Square Pegs event earlier this month and made it into the top 10.
‘The judges were all previous winners of competitions and they gave me some good feedback on where to improve.
‘For the pageant, you’ve got to build up a portfolio before attending, so I’ll be hosting and attending a lot of events with my sash on.
‘I’m quite nervous given my competition but I think my charity work will really help me and the winner has the chance to go to Orlando to represent England.’
Charlie Reilly, from Square Pegs, said: ‘If I could take on Rachael as a full-time member of staff I would as she is an amazing person with a great personality.’
‘She’s done brilliantly given her background story. She’s already done so much to impress the judges and she’s going into the competition with a really good chance.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘It is great that Gosport will be represented in the Miss Galaxy pageant 2017.
‘Rachael is a wonderful champion for our local area and I wish her the very best of luck. I know the people of Gosport will be cheering her on.’