Sheffield IT analyst in the running for Miss Scuba International 2019 crown
An IT analyst from Sheffield is hoping to bring the Miss Scuba International crown back to British soil for the second year running after winning the UK heat of the beauty pageant.
Ashley Powell will be flying the flag for the UK in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, on November 16, as she competes in the grand finale of the Miss Scuba International beauty pageant.
The 25-year-old IT analyst won the two-week trip of a lifetime after impressing judges at the Miss Scuba UK 2019 final in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, beating off competition from 12 other women to win the title.
She now hopes to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Daisy Whetlor, by returning the crown ‘home’ to the UK.
Ashley, who is originally from Killamarsh but now lives in Sheffield city centre, said: “The UK rarely wins international pageants. But amazingly Daisy Whetlor won for the UK last year so fingers crossed that I can bring the crown home again.
“Most of all I’m just excited, it is a trip of a lifetime and I’ll be with like-minded women. I just feel very lucky to have won and to get this far be honest.”
Ashley is already a familiar face in the beauty pageant community having won the title of Miss Great Britain six years ago, before going on to win a host of other pageants including Miss Scuba Ireland.
She said: “This is my fourth national title, which is pretty extraordinary. I believe I am the first UK girl to achieve four national titles and I'm pretty chuffed to be able to say, for a Yorkshire lass, I've done pretty well and achieved so much through pageantry for the UK.
“I was a competitive swimmer from a young age and always wanted to take up scuba diving,” she added. “Miss Scuba gave me the opportunity to take up the hobby in 2013 and I have never looked back. I am now an advanced speciality diver and I have since set up a project where I attend schools to present an assembly on the adventures of a scuba diver and the importance of marine conservation.”
Miss Scuba UK is an annual pageant which aims to help raise awareness of marine conservation, whilst also working to get more UK women participating in scuba diving.
The competition will consistent of a pageant section, including evening, swimwear and talent rounds, along with speciality scuba diving such as a nighttime and shipwreck dive.
Ashley said: “I just want to show that us girls can do it and I want to prove myself to the diving community but also the critics in the beauty pageant community as well. Scuba diving is a hugely male dominated sport and I'd love to inspire other women to take up this adventurous hobby.”
Throughout her journey Ashley has been sponsored by Ashley Travel, a family-run business owned by her parents. She thanked them for their support.