A year on and the South Otago A&P Association’s 2018 show queen Bayley Coates (22) still believes her crowning has been a life-changing moment.
The Balclutha stock manager said the experience greatly increased her confidence and self-esteem.
“People recognise me now, they come up and talk to me, it’s helped me fit in more here, especially since I don’t come from here,” she said.
Since she entered the annual competition everyone had welcomed her with open arms.
“You have to give it a crack. It’s all about building yourself up. The support you get from the organisers and the other girls serves to give you so much more confidence to take on more in your community,” she said.
“It has given me so many new opportunities. I’ve made lots of new friends and I’m more confident talking to people that I would never [otherwise] have the opportunity to meet.”
During her reign she rode in the Balclutha Christmas parade, helped at the giant pumpkin judging day and had “heaps of fun”.
“It’s been a real confidence booster. Initially, it takes you right out of your comfort zone, but you have to take a leap and enter the competition. You won’t regret it,” she said.
In the next few weeks, she will help prepare the next group of show queens to start their journey.
Entries for the 153rd South Otago A&P show queen close today and entrants must be between 18 and 25 years old as of November 1, 2019.
Entry forms are available from Zouave Hair Salon or by contacting convener Ingrid Keating on 027551-0847.
The 2019 show queen contestants have been invited to take part in the Clutha Valley Bridal Show being held on November 16.