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Lauren Brown swaps catwalk for a whole new ball game as North Down Ladies prepare for new season

By John Flack

Published 09/09/2015

Model performance: Lauren Brown
Model performance: Lauren Brown
Model performance: Laura Clarke, captain of North Down Ladies, with Selina Lewis and Lauren Brown

Full-time student and part-time model Lauren Brown is equally comfortable on the catwalk as she is on the hockey pitch as a key member of the North Down Ladies club.

A finalist in this year's Miss Northern Ireland competition, Lauren helped the Comber side achieve promotion to the Ulster Premier League when her busy schedule permitted.

The 21-year-old is studying pharmacy at Queen's and has been playing hockey at North Down since she was just 13.

Although she didn't make the top three at the Miss Northern Ireland competition, reaching the final had a positive spin-off as she was signed up by the Alison Campbell Modelling Agency.

"The whole Miss NI experience was a complete whirlwind," Lauren said.

"From the confidence it gives you, the friends that you make and the opportunities that the contest brings with it, it was one of the best experiences of my life and through it I get to work with some of the very best professionals in the industry which is incredible."

But Lauren also loves her hockey and is excited about the new season when she will be playing alongside one of her mentors when she was a youngster on North Down's books.

"I have been at the club since U14 level and my very first coach was Laura Clarke, who is now my captain on the 1st XI," she continued. "I'll play wherever I'm put but my preferred position is left midfield. I'm extremely competitive when it comes to hockey and can't wait to get back into it!"

Lauren won't have long to wait as North Down begin their Denman Ulster Shield campaign tonight at Lurgan.

Captain Clarke is also eagerly awaiting the new season and the start of the Premier League campaign.

"We are under no illusions about the gulf between Premier League and Senior One; it has been obvious for many years," Clarke said.

"Many teams have won Senior One at a canter then not won a game in the Premier League the following season.

"Therefore we know that it is going to be a tough challenge but it is one to which we are looking forward."

TONIGHT: Denman Ulster Shield Section A: Queen's v Lisnagarvey (Upper Malone, 6.40pm). Section B: Lurgan v North Down (Lurgan Junior HS, 7.45pm); Randalstown v Portadown (Mossley, 8pm).

FRIDAY: Section B: Portadown v North Down (Edenvilla, 8pm).

SATURDAY: Section A: Lisnagarvey v Belfast Harlequins (Comber Road, 2.30pm); Armagh v Ballymoney (Ardmore, 2.30pm). Section B: Dungannon v Lurgan (Royal School, Dungannon, 2.30pm).

Senior Cup Section A: Banbridge v Larne (Havelock Park); Knock v Victorians (Shaw's Bridge). Section B: Ballyclare v Rainey (Ballyclare HS); Cookstown v Raphoe (Steelweld Park).

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