Whirlwind two weeks for would-be model

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton meets aspiring young model from Cookstown Kate Grant and her mother Deirdre.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton meets aspiring young model from Cookstown Kate Grant and her mother Deirdre.

Following a whirlwind two weeks for aspiring model, Kate Grant, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton took time to congratulate her on her success.

Cookstown schoolgirl Kate, 19, who has Down’s syndrome, hopes to break down barriers for disabled people by taking part in a unique beauty pageant next year.

Kate is one of 50 beauty queens chosen from hundreds of applicants from around the globe who will compete in the 2018 Ultimate Beauty of the World pageant next summer.

This is a dream come true for Kate who has always wanted to become a model. Her dreams became a reality two weeks ago when her mum’s appeal on Facebook went viral and resulted in Kate being booked for her first fashion shoot just two days later.

Lots of other modelling offers have followed but by far the biggest opportunity is the Ultimate Beauty of the World Competition.

The international beauty pageant was launched three years ago and is open to all women regardless of age, size, height or marital status. The event final will be held in the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown over two days next summer.

Council Chair, Councillor Kim Ashton praised Kate for following her dreams: “Kate is a truly remarkable girl and an inspiration to us all! She has taught us that we should never give up on our dreams. I am delighted Kate’s modelling ambitions are becoming a reality.

“Kate has helped to break down barriers and act as a symbol of hope for everyone. I would like to wish her the best of luck in the Ultimate Beauty of the World Competition.

Kate, a student at Sperrinview Special School in Dungannon, added: “It is my dream come true. To me people are beautiful not just on the outside but on the inside and everyone is special.

“I will work hard and do whatever I need to do.

“I want to be a model and I have Down’s syndrome and I hope other people with Down’s syndrome will be encouraged to follow their dreams.”