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Down-to-earth Aine hopes to win green title

By Victoria O'Hara

Ulster beauty Aine Gormley will jet off to the Philippines this weekend to try and turn rival competitors green with envy and win the Miss Earth 2007 title.

The PhD student at the University of Ulster in Coleraine recently won the Northern Ireland Miss Earth title.

The 25-year-old, who has a degree in Environmental Science, will now compete against contestants from around the world to try and win the pageant - which has the theme, 'beauties for a cause'.

"I am flying out to the Philippines from London alongside Miss Earth England, Scotland and Wales," she said.

The student from Enniskillen says this was the first beauty pageant she has entered after spotting the competition in an email.

Aine, who is a member of the Environmental Science Association of Ireland (ESAI), the Irish Quaternary association (IQUA), and the Institution of Environmental Sciences, says she would love to win the overall title.

And the academic, who arrives on October 20 for three weeks, says she is excited but nervous about the competition.

"The nerves are really building up now but it is very exciting at the same time, I still can't believe it's all actually happening!"

"So far there are 82 delegates signed up from all over the globe so it should be amazing meeting that many people.

"My mother, boyfriend and two friends will be joining me for the final 10 days, which is fantastic and I'll be really glad of the support at that stage.

"The actual pageant is on the night of November 11 and will be televised nationwide via ABS CBN with international telecasts via STAR TV and the Filipino Channel."

She added: " Parts of the contest, such as environmental platform, national costume, will also be held and filmed during our three-week stay."

Northern Ireland company Belleek Pottery has sponsored Aine and has provided her with a gift for the charity auction. Each competitor is required to bring one representing their country.

"Meave Cleary from Belleek presented me with a limited edition Shamrock 3-Handled Cup from its Archive Collection to celebrate 150 years in business.

"It is absolutely gorgeous and I am so grateful for their generosity," she said.

"I think if I won, it would be fantastic and it offers the chance to try and highlight key environmental concerns as well as represent your country on a global scale."

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