Miss England Needs You!

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The annual Miss England competition – England’s only entry to Miss World is coming to Pontins at Camber. Run by former Miss England 2009 and Army Veteran Katrina Hodge otherwise known as “Combat Barbie” she is looking for local girls to enter or be nominated by their friends and family!

Katrina was Miss England back in 2009, at the time she was a serving soldier decorated for bravery in Iraq. 10 years on from wearing the crown herself she is now organising this years Semi Finals.

Katrina says “I entered Miss England never imagining in a million years I’d get anywhere. I wanted to challenge people’s stereotypes, I was often asked how I was in the forces when I was so girly. I couldn’t understand how you couldn’t be in the Army and be a beauty queen. Who wrote the rule book? When I entered Miss England I could barely walk in a pair of high heels, I was used to army boots – let alone on a catwalk. It’s such a fun event and really helps girls feel empowered and build their confidence.”

Katrina used her year as Miss England to promote the Armed forces as a career for girls and to raise much needed funds for injured troops. She now regularly appears on Good Morning Britain debating and has her own book called “Combats to Catwalk” which tells her story of joining the army, her time in Iraq and how she was commended for bravery for wrestling rifles from a Iraqi insurgent to her pageant journey to Miss World.

Katrina actually got the famous swimwear round banned back in 2010. “For me the role of being a contestant in Miss England is about being a ambassador and role model in your local areas. I couldn’t understand why you had to be the girl who also looked the best in swimwear and found it very dated.” The competition replaces the swimwear round with a sports round instead. Promoting health is much more important. “I spend a lot of time having to explain to people what Miss England is all about, I think some people have a dated view on pageant still rather then knowing that they have moved with the times. In my eyes there is nothing wrong with a event that celebrates women, this is a hobby that teaches girls to be proud of their achievements, the ladies who take part in Miss England all do something worthwhile with their time like raising money or awareness for charities”

In the last few years contestants have raised funds providing a respite caravan for families of disabled children and their families, as-well as buy a horse aptly names “Beauty with a Purpose” after the charity the girls raise funds for.

The eventual winner of Miss England will fly to Thailand for 5 weeks to compete in Miss World – with a cash prize of $100,000. Along with many other prizes – this years winner Alisha Cowie is now the proud driver of a Suzuki car provided for her, and has appeared on The BBC just this week.

This years competition will take place in the theatre at Pontins Camber Sands on Sunday June 23.

The event itself will see 50 girls from allover the South East compete. There will be special awards on the night, with 10 girls advancing onto the Grand Final. The competition hasn’t dropped in popularity with 22,000 girls entering from across the country every year!

There is still time if you wish to enter or want to nominate anyone to enter. You don’t have to have done anything like this before. Katrina will be spending time coaching and mentoring all the girls.

If you are aged 16-26, never been married or had children then Katrina would love to hear from you. (These are the Miss World Rules of entry that the competition has to adhere to)

Enter by email or nominate someone at Kat@missengland.info

Source: Miss England competition

Image Credits: Katrina Hodge .

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