LIMERICK students who can boast both beauty and brains are being put through their paces as part of a fitness and beauty bootcamp in a bid to become Miss UL.
Twelve students of the University of Limerick are literally jumping through hoops as part of the bootcamp which is taking place at the Lakeside Hotel in Killaloe in the run up to the UL Fashion Society Model Search and fashion show which takes place on Wednesday, October 19 at the Strand Hotel.
And when they are not breaking a sweat the girls can be found in their stilettos in the company of model agent Hilary Thompson who is tutoring them ahead of what is for many of the girls their catwalk debut.
“I train them because they are taking to the ramp on the night of the show with my models so I felt it would be unfair not to give them some tuition. They will all get a fair chance. I am trying to bring a fun element into it as well and it is getting to be more fun the more I get to know them individually,” Hilary explained.
Twenty-year-old Aoife O’Carroll from Murroe became involved in the bootcamp after spotting information on the Fashion Society’s Facebook page. But it took a little coaxing from family and friends to sign up for the bootcamp and fashion event.
“I wasn’t sure about it because I had never done anything like that before but a few of my friends and family convinced me to do it and I said I may as well give it a shot as it might do something for my confidence,” she said.
Aoife, who is in the third year of her Arts degree and is studying Psychology and English, is already enjoying the results of the bootcamp.
“We had to do exercises with our trainer - jump through tyres and exercises like that. I wasn’t fit and I’m not a sporty person myself but I think my fitness has increased a lot from it. We have had catwalk classes with Hilary and she is brilliant. It was my first time doing it and I wasn’t sure about it but she taught us how to correct our posture and walk properly,” she continued.
The UL Fashion Society emailed Hilary about a year ago with their idea and through a series of meetings the concept became a reality.
“We put the word out then and we had about 30 contestants. We had castings and we narrowed it down - which was very difficult - to 12. I must say it is going to be quite difficult to make a decision,” continued Hilary.
A judging panel will choose a winner on the night who will be crowned Miss UL. The lucky girl will receive a number of prizes - including a contract with the Hilary Thompson Agency and a photoshoot.
Proceeds from the night will go towards a special cause.
A number of local shops will feature in the fashion show. Tickets are available from local shops and the University of Limerick.