BEAUTY queen Sasha Bennington is winning contests of a different kind – in the boxing ring.
Sasha hit the headlines when she competed in child beauty pageants from the age of nine, but after being bullied at school discovered a “natural talent” for the fight game.
The 17-year-old, of Burton, still competes in pageants and enjoys the contrast between getting dolled up for the catwalk compared to sweating it out in the ring.
She said: “Once I was sparring in a training session and I got a black eye but had a pageant later that week. It’s really amazing what make-up can do.”
Sasha featured in the BBC documentary ‘Sasha Bennington: Beauty Queen at 11’, which was released in 2008.
But she says her younger years were not all about getting made-up for pageants. She said: “I was bullied at school and thought I’d take up boxing. After a while my coach asked me if I’d like to compete and I said definitely.
“I won the North West championships in 2011.
“It really made me think I could get somewhere in my life, and my coach told me I had natural talent.
“Right now I’m training every day and I’m hoping to get to the Olympics. That’s where I really want to be.”
Sasha said boxing improved her confidence.
“It made me feel like I could go places and make something of myself rather than having people putting me down constantly.”
Sasha has been boxing for around seven years, training every day of the week, but pageants are still close to her heart.
She said: “I’ve got quite a few coming up including Face of the Globe.”
She added: “Getting dolled up is just a process I really enjoy and strutting my stuff down the catwalk.
“I’m used to being hot and sweaty with my hair in plaits in the ring. But pageants are a very big difference”.
Sasha said her family had been very supportive.
She said: “They love it, they come to see me box and watch me in pageants.
“They think it’s an amazing transformation from what I look like in the ring compared to how I look at pageants.”