Sixth former Daisy Ward swapped her weekend job for Florida to become a hit in a big health and beauty competition.
The 17-year-old from Hatfield Woodhouse crossed the Atlantic after pictures of her modelling were picked up across the pond.
Now, after finishing in the top five of her first such contest, she is hoping to go from strength to strength, and is lining up a trip to Las Vegas for a similar event in the future.
She was recommended to take part in the contest after doing modelling work for ASOS.
She travelled to the United States to compete in the June Fitness Universe Weekend’s Model Universe Championships. Her journey, the culmination of a year of contest preparation, resulted in a top five placing.
More than 400 national and international competitors descended on Florida to compete in the fitness-centric competition, consisting of model (male and female), fitness (male and female), bikini, physique (male and female), bodybuilding (male and female) and figure.
Daisy worked hard all year for her one opportunity to showcase her modelling prowess. And she did have the advantage of getting ‘gym-ready’ with training from her dad, Paul Ward, who runs the Body Blitz gym on Sheep Dip Lane, Dunscroft, where she works as a part-time trainer at weekends.
Daisy said: “For the past year I have been fully focused on training for this competition.
“No matter how hard it has been, my friends and family have kept me going. I couldn’t have done it without them.
“But the process was definitely made easier having my dad’s training expertise on hand and my mum’s support encouraging me to be a part of something so exciting and possibly life-changing. I am very excited to take part and compete but also to meet and mingle with fellow competitors.”
She has since been offered modelling work in America and is looking to take part in more contests.
She added: “From preparing in England for the show, to flying over to America to compete, I can honestly say I have had the best time of my life.”
Back to school and to her gym for teenager
Daisy is back down to earth after her experience of the glamour of the competition in Fort Lauderdale.
She is heading back to lessons at Hall Cross School, where she is ready to start the last year of her A Level courses. And she will be back to her weekend work as a fitness trainer at her dad’s gym, where she is working towards trainers’ qualifications. She reckons using weights there has helped her get where she is.
She said: “When working out, keep in mind, especially young female girls,not to be afraid of weight training. Resistance work is just as important as cardio and healthy eating habits. On my journey to the Model Universe Championships, I found that women are hesitant about incorporating the use of weights into their health and fitness regime. They incorrectly feel that they will become more masculine - this is simply not true.”