Sarah lifts chance of beauty prize

Photo Ian Robinson'Weighlifting beauty queen, Sarah Davies, 19, from Bilsborrow
Photo Ian Robinson'Weighlifting beauty queen, Sarah Davies, 19, from Bilsborrow

SARAH Davies is the girl that has it all...brains, beauty – and brawn!

The university student from Bilsborrow has just been crowned Miss Leeds and has qualified for the Miss England finals, and did so with a little help from her talent for weightlifting.

Sarah, 19, has just won the British Universities weightlifting championships and came second in the English Championships, just five months after taking up the sport.

She is already being tipped as a future champion, and has set her sights on competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

But while she is deadly serious about her weightlifting ambitions, she admits she only entered the Miss Leeds beauty contest as ‘a bit of a laugh’, and never dreamed she would end up winning.

“I work in a bar on Saturday nights and they were coming round asking for people to enter. I did it for a laugh really, I have no ambitions to be a model, and when I saw all these tall leggy blondes at the auditions I didn’t think I’d have any chance,’’ said Sarah, who is in the second year of a degree course at Leeds Metropolitan University, where she is training to be a PE teacher.

But the former Garstang High School student ended up getting through to the final 10 girls from more than 200 applicants, and when it came to the section to demonstrate a ‘talent’ Sarah emerged in her leotard and proceeded to impress the judges with her clean and jerk.

Sarah said: “I wanted to show that it is possible to be fit and healthy and still be glamorous and, in the end, I think the judges thought the weightlifting was something a bit different, but I still couldn’t quite believe it when they announced I’d won!

“I just did it for a laugh really – modelling isn’t a real interest, I am definitely wanting to be a PE teacher, but it’s all good fun and I’ll take it in my stride.’’

Sarah now qualifies for the Miss England finals in Leicester at the end of June – the winner of that going on to Miss World and a shot at a £25,000 first prize.

In the meantime, Sarah has the small matter of the British weightlifting championships to look forward to at the end of April and a chance to impress national squad coaches after a whirlwind rise in the sport.

Sarah was an accomplished gymnast at school and, as a member of Garstang School of Gymnastics, got to national standard.

The strength and flexibility that gave her has helped Sarah find a natural flair for weightlifting, something she took up only late last year after being introduced to the discipline by boyfriend Jack Oliver, who is a Great Britain weightlifting squad member hoping to compete at this summer’s Olympics.

Sarah, who lifts at the 63kg weight, has now targeted a place on the GB squad and would love to compete at the Common- wealth Games.

In the short term she is hoping to make the European Junior championships in November, which are being held in Israel.

Sporting success is also something that runs in the family – Sarah’s brother Tom is a golf pro and lectures in golf at Myerscough College.