'Inspiring' beauty queen to give speech at national awards
A Heckmondwike beauty queen is to give a speech at national diversity awards after being nominated as a positive role model.
Inspiring Clare Hurst, 33, didn’t let her learning difficulties or low self esteem stop her from following her lifelong dream of becoming a recognised beauty queen in 2017, when she decided to take part in the Miss Wigan Beauty Pageant.
Clare said: “ As a teenager, beauty pageants are one thing I always wanted to do - I remember watching international pageants like ‘Miss World’ on TV and wanting to be like them.
“I’ve been bullied nearly all my life since junior school and my confidence was so low, I live with a learning disability too, so I was going through so much.
“Luckily I have the most supportive family, my mum and dad have always told me that if I want something I’ve got to go for it.
“So in 2017, I did some research and took part in my first beauty pageant which was Miss Wigan UK.
“I was so nervous about what people would think, but when I got there everyone made me feel so welcome, there were lovely women of all ages, shapes and sizes all supporting me.
“I went on and did my best, even if I didn't win I knew it’s not about winning, but about taking part - and I'd made so many new friends on the day.
“I’d spent ages practicing my walks and getting some nice dresses together with the help of my mum - all my hard work paid off because I won my first title that year.”
After becoming Miss Wigan 2017, Clare went on to compete in various UK titles, with the help of her mum, dad and her husband, Sean, cheering her on from the sidelines.
Since then she's entered the Miss United Kingdom Rose and secured two side awards which include Miss United Kingdom Rose Role Model 2018 and Miss United Kingdom Rose Woman in 2019.
Clare said: “It was great competing in the Miss Rose pageants, they do a lot of work for the Rosemere Cancer foundation, I lost grandma to cancer in 2018, so it’s very close to my heart.
“I always donate my clothes and old pageant dresses to charity shops and I challenged myself to swim 60 lengths in an hour to raise money.
“Because of my hard work, I got nominated for the National Diversity Awards, I didn’t make the shortlist but it was an honour to be nominated.
“But I have been asked to go to the awards this year and do a talk about my story and my achievements, which is a massive honour.”
Coming off the back of these victories, she has been nominated for Positive Role model in the National Diversity Awards, an event which celebrates the achievements of communities and individuals that tackle the issues in today's society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work.
Charities, role models and community heroes from across the UK will be celebrated at the awards, which are due to take place at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral on 25 September 2020.
Clare hopes to carry on inspiring others with her determination while competing in bigger titles, including ones in Florida and Spain.
Clare said: “I want to show people that they can make their dreams happen, especially children, I want them to know that it’s OK to be confident in who you are, if you want something then go for it and keep believing in yourself.
“Life’s too short not to go for your dreams, if something like this can happen for me, it can happen to anyone.
“I’ll always wear my my crown and sash with pride, I’ve been through so much to get to where I am and become the beauty queen I always wanted to be
“At the moment, I’m writing down my speech,for the national diversity awards, I’ll be so proud to be there.”