Miss Northern Ireland Meagan Green prepares for Miss World 2013 final in Bali Indonesia
'It has been an incredible year and I'm very proud to be an ambassador for Northern Ireland'
Miss Northern Ireland Meagan Green will share the Miss World stage with X-factor winner Matt Cardle and boy band Blue for the final of the world's biggest international beauty contest.
The Lisburn woman has been in Indonesia for the past five weeks for the competition and is proving to be a real contender among the world’s most beautiful women.
The 23-year-old student, studying business management, has taken part in the swimsuit, talent and national dress rounds as well as making it to the final of the Miss World sports section.
Saturday's final was originally meant to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city on Java, but was moved at the last minute to Bali following protests from hard-line Islamic groups.
While the vast majority of Muslims in Indonesia are moderate, hard-liners have managed to get a number of events postponed or cancelled recently, including a Lady Gaga concert that was due to be held in Jakarta last year.
Organisers scrapped the bikini round earlier this year and replaced it with a swimsuit round with contestants wearing a traditional sarong to cover up, in keeping with local sensibilities.
Meagan told the Belfast Telegraph: "We had to move to Bali. Flights, accommodation, surrounding events and plans had to be changed.
"Head of Miss World Ltd Julia Morley had the contestants safety in mind at all times and the change of plans was welcomed by all contestants involved and their families. Safety is the priority."
The controversy has not affected Meagan’s Miss World experience and enthusiasm for the event -- saying it is an "incredible feeling" to be representing Northern Ireland on a global stage.
The business student said: "To have the opportunity to meet more than 130 girls from all over the world and to share these experiences with them is something I will never forget.
"Northern Ireland has had an incredible year, a year to be extremely proud of. Hosting such events as the World Police & Fire Games, the G8 Summit and the 400th anniversary of Belfast's Royal Charter.
"It has been an incredible year and I'm very proud to stand on the Miss World stage as an ambassador for Northern Ireland and promote our beautiful country."
Asked what winning the title would mean to her, Meagan told the Belfast Telegraph: "It would be an incredible achievement, not only for me but for Northern Ireland.
"Being able to share that stage with these incredible young women from all over the world is an achievement in itself but to walk away with the Miss World crown and have the eyes of the world on Northern Ireland for positive reasons would be a dream come true."
Sharing her excitement at the upcoming final and paying tribute to the “friendly and welcoming people” of Indonesia, Meagan said on her Facebook page: “What a night this is going to be, I am so, so excited. And the Miss World contestants get to share a stage, singing and dancing with Blue. How lucky are we? It’s a dream come true.”
Meagan's Miss World profle video
Meagan was also keen to highlight the charity work and fund raising that lies at the heart of the contest. Beauty with a Purpose is the registered charity and a non-profit organisation associated with Miss World and has raised millions of pounds for local and international organisations.
Meagan said: "That's the underlying reason why contestants from all over the world have gathered in Indonesia - to make a real and lasting contribution.
"The Northern Ireland Hospice and The Northern Ireland Children's Hospice are both my chosen charities to work alongside during my year as Miss Northern Ireland."
Show your support for Meagan
Meagan's parents, Edward and Linda, are urging Belfast Telegraph readers to show their support for their daughter.
Mum Linda said: "We are all immensely proud of Meagan and not just because she is Miss Northern Ireland or because she is doing her best to represent us, but because she is a genuinely nice person.
"She works incredibly hard and yet always seems to have time and energy for everyone. I never fail to be amazed at her energy and drive, which coupled with the fact that she is genuinely a nice person, makes her someone that I know everyone can be proud of."
Meagan is doing well in the people’s choice rankings after attracting almost 4,000 supporters to her Facebook page. You can show your support by liking her page at facebook.com/MissWorldNorthernIreland
How to make Meagan a winner
Everyone in Northern Ireland can do their bit to help Meagan put the province on the global map on Saturday by voting for her to win the new People's Choice Award.
It is the first time ever the public has been given the chance to vote for their favourite contestant and Miss Northern Ireland is hoping the province will get behind her.
All you have to do is download the official Miss World app. It costs just 69p and entitles you to two votes.
The contestant who gets the most votes from the public wins the People's Choice Award and automatically gains entry into the final round.
As well as that, the highest ranked UK contestant automatically becomes Miss United Kingdom, so Meagan is hoping for as much support as possible from Northern Ireland.
The final of Miss World 2013 will be broadcast on Sunday, September 29 from 5pm-7pm on E! but you can watch it live on at 12:30pm UK time on the Miss World website: www.missworld.com/LiveStream/
Miss World 2013 will be the 63rd edition of the Miss World pageant. It will be held on Saturday 28 September, at Nusa Dua Convention Center in Bali, Indonesia and will be hosted by Myleene Klass. The current Miss World is Yu Wenxia of China. Miss World was created in the UK by Eric Morley in 1951. Since his death in 2000 Mr Morley's wife, Julia, has co-chaired the pageant - the biggest in the world. Wikipedia
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