Miss Great Britain Belfast: Meet the 21-year-old marketer and model competing for title

21-year-old Katie Mcerlean -Credit:Sean Donegan Photography
21-year-old Katie Mcerlean -Credit:Sean Donegan Photography

One contestant competing for the Miss Great Britain Belfast title has opened up on her journey so far and how she hopes to inspire other young women.

Katie Mcerlean is a 21-year-old marketer, model, and fire dancer from West Belfast, who hopes to be a positive role model for others.

For the first time, Miss Great Britain will be holding a live heat in Belfast on June 9, at the Merchant Hotel in the city, directed by Lizzy Doherty.

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The contestant crowned Miss Belfast will go on to compete in the Miss Great Britain final in Leicester in October.

Katie, who competed in the Miss Northern Ireland pageant 2021, told Belfast Live why she signed up to take part in the Miss Great Britain Belfast heat and said: "I had competed in one pageant before. The more I looked into [this one], the more I seen that it's such a positive atmosphere. It just looked like a really great platform to get in and spread positivity. If there was a place for you to go and do a pageant to promote charities and empowering women, this would be it.

"There are four different rounds, the interview, which is a two-minute pitch instead of a Q&A, the final evening gown, the bikini round, and then we've been tasked of going and finding our own black outfit with the theme sparkle, and it's completely up to you and what you interpret it to be."

The 21-year-old says competing so far has boosted her confidence, and added: "At the very beginning... you just don't really know when you get into a pageant what way you are going to feel. You are trying to show that you are charitable, your qualities, your attributes.

Katie is a finalist in the Belfast heat which takes place next month -Credit:Submitted
Katie is a finalist in the Belfast heat which takes place next month -Credit:Submitted

"I didn't really understand it when I did Miss NI because I was still quite young. Now doing it, I am a lot more mature and I have a lot more things I'd like to speak out about. The charities that we are working with are Alex's Wish and Cancer Research. Cancer Research is such an important cause to everybody, and it's really important to me."

In the lead up to the pageant, Katie has been raising funds for Cancer Research UK herself, with a current total of £965 raised.

She added: "Cancer Research is a really personal one for me. Both my grandparents have passed due to cancer and my nanny actually had pancreatic cancer, which is one of the least researched cancers anyone can have. I’ll be running the Race for Life on 26th of May for both of them. But as well as that I’ll be completing the Seven Peaks of the Mourne Mountains on the 21st of May. I really wanted to challenge myself for such a good and important cause."

Katie also told how she hopes to be a positive role model for other young women, and said: "My favourite attribute about myself is my drive. I like to be busy and I like to put a lot of effort into the things that I love. If I can any way inspire young women, even if it's not pageants, to just go after your goals, then I've done my work. That's exactly what I've wanted."

Four women from Northern Ireland have been crowned Miss Great Britain in its seven-decade history, including Eden McAllister who became the latest Miss GB success from NI in 2021, taking the top spot after being named Miss Belfast.

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