WITH only one entrant in 2016, the Leeton Showgirl competition could have gone down as a non-event, but winner Stephanie Cirillo doesn’t view it that way at all.
Miss Cirillo was crowned this year’s Leeton Showgirl on Friday night at the opening of the Leeton Show.
This year she was the sole entrant in the competition, but said it was still a worthwhile experience.
“I entered because I really wanted to boost my confidence,” Miss Cirillo said.
“I’m studying to be a teacher and I really wanted to get that confidence for when I need to be talking in front of a room.
“For me it’s been a really worthwhile experience.
“Going into it, I wasn’t too sure what was exactly involved.
“It’s definitely been a good thing for me to take part.”
Miss Cirillo will now attend a camp in Dubbo in preparation for next year’s zone final in Hillston on February 18.
“I’m really looking forward to the camp in Dubbo,” she said.
“It will give me a chance to meet the other winners in this area, which will be good heading into the zone final.”
Miss Cirillo is in her third year of university and hoped to be able to stay in the Riverina upon completing her teaching degree. Also crowned on Friday night was Miss Teen Showgirl Chelsea Connell.
Entries in that category were also down, according to Leeton Showgirl competition co-ordinator Melina Mandaglio.
“We only had the one, but apparently there were others coming up later in the night on Friday wanting to nominate, but it was past the deadline,” she said. “It might be something we consider holding on the Saturday morning with the rest of the junior categories.”
Miss Mandaglio said there was a common misconception surrounding the Showgirl competition that may have led to a drop in entrants this year.
“There’s still that stigma that it’s a beauty pageant,” she said.
“That’s absolutely not true. This year the competition guidelines changed and there was more emphasis on the rural knowledge, community participation and charity work.
“I think that sometimes people view it as a beauty pageant and that’s why some are a bit reluctant to take part.”
Miss Mandaglio was hopeful more young ladies would take part in 2017. Having been an entrant herself, she said it was rewarding to take part.
“Each year we go out and approach (young women) to take part,” Miss Madaglio said. “We certainly welcome people approaching us though, but we like to be proactive too.”