Niamh Conway hopes beauty pageant will lead to TV career
A Birmingham Irish journalist graduate is now vying for a Miss England title to allow her to raise money for disadvantaged children, writes Fiona O’Brien.
The family of London-born Niamh Conway comes from Gortbrack, Ballycroy in Mayo, and the digital reporter and part-time model moved to Birmingham when she was seven.
Her mother Marian is very proud of Niamh’s close relationship with her Gortbrack family, where she used to spend her summer holidays, and has particularly fond memories of the time she won the Bonny Baby competition at the annual Ballycroy festival as a ‘tiddler’.
She currently writes the content for the Jaguar Land Rover websites, and having recently graduated from the University of Staffordshire with a Broadcast Journalism degree wishes to pursue a career in television presenting in the future.
“I used to struggle to tell people that this was my ambition, because almost every reaction would be the same, laughing in disbelief that someone with such low self-esteem and poor confidence would be able to even start on that path,” she says.
This year was not Niamh’s first attempt at the Miss Birmingham title, as she had placed in the top 12 finalists in 2015, however her success was halted by a sudden case of glandular fever.
“But I had such an amazing experience that I couldn’t wait to come back and compete again,” and the 5”4 beauty jokes that she isn’t the typical ‘leggy’ pageant winner Niamh highlights the competition’s fundraising opportunities as one of the highlights of entering, having raised £400 for Beauty With A Purpose in the build up to the Birmingham finals.
The charity, associated with the Miss World competition, raises money to help disadvantaged and sick children locally, nationally and worldwide, the charity also participates in humanitarian projects all around the world.
“It’s an honour to help such an amazing charity and I hope heading into the Miss England finals I can raise even more money and hit a bigger target.”
The Miss England and Mr England finals are on 14 July at Birmingham Resorts World.
“As Miss Birmingham, I want to change people’s perception about what is involved in today’s beauty pageants, people may not know that charity work is the most important part about these competitions, the judges look for girls who are friendly, charitable and passionate about their causes.
“I want to help young people who struggle with similar confidence issues I faced, to challenge themselves and put themselves out of their comfort zone like I did.”