THE finalists of the Miss Wales 2018 competition have been announced, with nine young women from across Gwent on the shortlist.

As the official qualifier for the Miss World contest, entrants from Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen could be named as the Welsh winner.

The winner will be crowned at Newport’s Riverfront Theatre on Saturday, April 28, following two days of events on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27 at Cardiff’s Mercure Holland House.

The nine contestants from Gwent are as follows:

  • Holly Bosanko-Sheady, 17, from Rhiwderin, Newport:

“I currently work part time at the Celtic Manor in the restaurant ‘Steak on Six’ which I enjoy a lot since it gives me the opportunity to communicate with a lot of new people.

“I am also in my local netball team who I play matches for on weekdays and weekends, I love going to the gym and socialising with friends and family.

“I am currently still in school studying four A-Levels which include psychology, business, religious studies and Welsh BAC.

“I am working towards a criminology course in university as I am really interested in this.

“I am really grateful to have landed a place in the Miss Wales final - the support from my family and friends couldn’t have been any better and I look forward to what the future has to come.”

  • Bethany Harris, 20, from Newport:

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“I am a home-loving, family-orientated young woman, who appreciates all the love and support I have received so far on my Miss Wales journey.

“My philosophy in life is to enjoy every opportunity that arises, and to treat others the way I would like to be treated myself. I currently work in House of Fraser Cardiff, and also model in my spare time.

“I enjoy being outside and exploring the Welsh countryside. Family camping holidays have been a big part of my childhood and have allowed me to appreciate the beautiful country we live in.

“From a young age, I swam competitively for Newport, and this enabled me to recognise the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. I believe that taking part in regular exercise, and maintaining a balanced diet, is extremely important, as a healthy body is a healthy mind.

“I hope to inspire other young people to believe in themselves, and that anything is possible. Helping and supporting others is an avenue I am keen to explore, and I am excited to be part of Miss Wales, while raising money for Beauty with a Purpose.”

  • Lois Meredith, 22, from Brynmawr:

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Picture: Yolanda Kingdon

“I am a determined, highly motivated and ambitious individual who is passionate about life, business and finance.

“I continually challenge myself to be better than yesterday, living by the motto ‘be the best you can be’.

“I am currently employed in the financial services sector for a multi-national company, alongside studying accountancy. I aim to have a successful career in finance and aspire to become a chartered accountant.

“I lead a healthy and active lifestyle and enjoy socialising with friends, playing the piano, and taking any opportunity to travel and experience new things. It has been a pleasure to invest my time into fundraising and raising awareness for Beauty with A Purpose and I am extremely grateful for all those who have supported myself and donated to the charity.

“I am honoured to be a finalist and having the chance to meet some truly inspirational ladies along the way, making memories I will forever cherish.

“I will continue to treasure this experience and cannot express enough what a privilege it would be to continue the journey as an ambassador for Wales.”

  • Katie Burchell, 20, from Ebbw Vale:

“My ambition in life is to be a one-to-one tutor so I can help children and young people who are no longer in mainstream education.

“I help my parents at the family business, training racehorses. I love being with the horses as they’ve been a huge part of my life and one of my hobbies is showjumping.

“My other hobbies include; keeping fit, watching comic book movies and reading detective novels.

“I have loved every second of my Miss Wales journey so far, from getting to meet an exceptional group of women and making so many friends, to raising money for the truly inspirational charity, Beauty with a Purpose.

“I chose to take part in in the Miss Wales competition this year because I felt it was the perfect end to my teens and a brilliant way to begin my 20s.”

  • Nia Parsons, 18, from Blackwood:

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“I am currently in my second year at Ballet West. Ballet West is a ballet school that offers a Bachelor of Arts degree course in dance performance and is located near Oban, Argyle in Scotland.

“I have always wanted to become a professional dancer and I am so excited to be so close to achieving my dream.

“In 2015 I went to Morocco with World Challenge. During this time we stayed in a town and rebuilt sports facilities for the local school. We also met local people and I learnt so much about the local community.

“From this trip onwards, I have strived to do as much charity work as I possibly can. Beauty with a purpose is such an amazing charity and I cannot wait to raise more money alongside my fellow finalists.

“Becoming a Miss Wales 2018 finalist has really taught me a lot. One of the main things that I have learn from learn competition is how to wake up every morning and tell myself that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to and work hard for.”

  • Charlotte Redmond, 17, of Caerleon:

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“I study and have a huge interest in A Level English language and business studies in sixth form and absolutely love it.

“My intention for my future is to become an entrepreneur running my own business. Throughout my school days I had a passion for sports - running for Cwmbran Harriers, playing hockey for Gwent County and dancing for Le Clares School of Dance, which has influenced my competitiveness in everyday life.

“However, now you will find me in the gym at least five times a week but a girl always has to have her cheat days and mine is a Nando’s with chocolate covered strawberries.

“My true goal in life is to spread the importance of self-love and self-worth, to not only women but also men, by learning the skill to become an empowerment speaker; which reminds me that without my amazing family, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I am so thankful for their support and love.

“A year ago, I would never have thought that I would have entered a pageant but here I am, putting my all into raising funds for the amazing charity that is Beauty with a Purpose, being able to put myself out there, having the best experiences ever and having the belief that I can do this."

  • Holly Pilling, 18, from Chepstow:

“I’m a caring and outgoing individual who has a passion for being creative. I love being outdoors and being able to take in the amazing surroundings I’m lucky enough to have on my doorstep living in Wales.

“Pushing myself to apply for Miss Wales has encouraged me to better myself. Having to step out of my comfort zone to secure my place in Miss Wales has meant I’ve strengthened my self-belief and confidence.

“Seeing this change in my confidence from the short amount of time I’ve been part of Miss Wales has made me realise how important it is to empower young women and I’m proud to have been raising money for Beauty With A Purpose which does this and so much more.

“It has been such an amazing experience to meet the other fabulous ladies who are a part of Miss Wales. I can’t wait to carry on this journey and continue to make myself, my family and friends proud.”

  • Paige Rees, 23, from Cwmbran:

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Picture: Jordan Stephens (Red Deer Photography)

“I am a teacher in a local Torfaen school and I currently teach Year 3.

“I'm passionate about teaching and learning and I try to ensure I am a good role model for the children I teach, especially young girls.

“I am motivated, enthusiastic and determined to reach my goals in my personal life and within my career.

“As a Miss Wales finalist, I would like to have a positive impact upon the environment such as showing people the importance of looking after the environment and become a positive role model within the community.

“I am also passionate about health and fitness, I would like to inspire others to exercise and educate themselves about health and fitness especially children as I believe being healthy has such a big impact upon our self-esteem and our well-being which is often something young people have difficulty with.

“I applied to become a Miss Wales finalist to not only improve my own self confidence but also to meet new, amazing people and to raise money for a charity which will help improve the lives of thousands of children all around the world.”

  • Sophie Trezise, 24, of Newport:

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“I am a confident, bubbly, determined, goal getter who loves to socialise and encourages a healthy lifestyle by keeping fit up to five times a week.

“I am a sociology and education graduate, currently working as part of a management team at Pandora in Cardiff.

“As a Miss Wales finalist it gives me the opportunity to embrace my femininity unapologetically and promote positivity.

“I aim to do this while using the platform to create and attend events which raise incredible amounts for Beauty With a Purpose and above all, make a difference to people’s lives.

“I am blessed to have an amazing support system of family and friends. I have put my heart and soul into this journey.

“My aim is to lead by example to inspire and teach people that no matter what walk of life you come from, being yourself, having confidence, determination and self-belief will lead you to do great things, experience life changing opportunities and achieving any goal you set yourself.

“Winning the title would simply be the icing on the cake to such an unforgettable journey and being an ambassador for Wales would be an honour I would wear with pride for the rest of my life.”

As well as the fundraising for good causes the finalists have had the opportunity to model in Cardiff Fashion Week, take part in self-defence classes and will gather together for a celebration on International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8 as part of the competition.

Paula Abbandonato, the organiser of Miss Wales organiser, said: “Miss Wales is committed to Beauty With A Purpose and that means empowering young women and raising money for good causes through the glamour and fun of pageantry.

“The girls get to make great friends and experience new opportunities while really doing their bit for charity.”

For further information on Miss Wales, go to any of the following websites:; or