LEEK’S Tania Garside, 24, is in the running for the coveted 2017 Miss Staffordshire title (writes Gary Shenton).
The equine veterinary practice receptionist/administrator is through to this year’s finals.
A modest Tania said:“ I never expected to be selected for an audition, never mind being being selected to compete in the finals.”
Tania, known as Tarnie to her close friends, was one of 30 hopefuls chosen from some 200 entries to attend an audition at the Angela Beardmore School of Dance in Sneyd Green.
“I was so nervous,” she confessed.
It was Tania’s mum, Valerie Johnson, who encouraged her to try for Miss Staffordshire – a qualifier for the Miss England.
Tania said: “I wanted to apply (for Miss Staffordshire) last year but chickened out.
“This year I saw the advert again and asked my mum if she thought I would be good at it. She was the one who persuaded me to apply in the end.”
Newcastle boutique owner Joanne Clay has taken over the running of Miss Staffordshire from Uttoxeter Racecourse.
Joanne is familiar with the competition as she has dressed past Miss Staffordshires at her To The Nines boutique and was one of last year’s judges.
She said:“I used to have my own misconceptions about the competition, but the bikini round is long gone. Beauty is so many different things including drive and ambition.”
Joanne has warned contestants that being Miss Staffordshire involves a lot of hard work and commitment.
“It means being an ambassador for your county and being ambassador for your country if you get through to Miss England,” she said.
Tania said: “There is a lot of charity work involved in being Miss Staffordshire and the charity I always support is Douglas Macmillan.
“They are a charity very close to my heart as they looked after my (late) nan until the end.
“If I win Miss Staffordshire I will be campaigning to raise as much money as I can for them,” she added.
“Beauty contests aren’t what they used to be any more, they now have a sportswear round.
“I am always on my feet so I think I’d be a good role model to promote health and fitness, along with everything else that goes with being Miss Staffordshire,” said Tania, whose love for horse riding and socialising keeps her in shape.
“I also love getting dresssed up and having a laugh,” she confessed.
“I want to get stuck in now and get practising (for the Miss Staffordshire finals),” said Tania.