Miss Wales finalists walk on fire

The finalists of Miss Wales 2011 will walk barefoot over hot coals this year as part of the three-day grand final, which will culminate in the crowning of the new Miss Wales.

The women – all chosen from 22 local authority heats across the country – will take the barefoot walk during an empowerment day just two days before the crowning ceremony.

Leading the firewalk will be life coach Tosin Ogunnussi who has been brought in by event organisers Vibe. Tosin will be using the experiences, including the firewalk and a board-breaking seminar, as a metaphor for self-belief.

Paula Abbandonato, of Vibe, said: “Our main aim through the Miss Wales competition is to empower young women to reach for their goals. Walking the catwalk is hard enough, but this year we will be adding a barefoot walk over hot coals in to their Miss Wales experience.”

A number of the contestants will be using the firewalk as a fundraiser for the competition’s chosen charity, The Joshua Foundation. In recent years, the competition has raised more than £300,000 for the cause, which provides holidays and experiences for children with cancer and their families.

The motivational day will take place at the Park Inn in Cardiff on Thursday 30 June; and the following day the contestants will be guests at the Miss & Mister Wales charity ball at the Holland House Hotel. Miss Wales 2011 will be crowned at the grand final on Saturday 2 July at St David’s Hall. She will then go on to represent Wales at Miss World later in the year.

Paula added: “The three day event is going to be quite a marathon. While only one girl will walk away with the crown, we hope that all the others who take part will get a lot out of the experience.”

The reigning Miss Wales is 21-year-old, Courtenay Hamilton, from St Donat’s in the Vale of Glamorgan.

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