Champion swimmer Leo hopes to make a splash at Mr World

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

A LIMERICK model who has represented Ireland on the world stage in swimming is hoping to make a splash in the international world of fashion.

A LIMERICK model who has represented Ireland on the world stage in swimming is hoping to make a splash in the international world of fashion.

University of Limerick student Leo Delaney, who claimed the Mr Ireland title for 2012 last week, will now go on to represent Limerick and Ireland in the Mr World contest in Kent, England on November 24.

Leo will join the other Mr World finalists in Kent this Friday where they will be pushed to the limits and tested on their strength, intelligence and abilities. They will attend army bootcamp, perform military drills and tackle an assault course. “They are not just looking for the pretty face – they are looking for the whole package,” explained the 22-year-old who will fly out to London at lunchtime on Friday in preparation for the final.

“There are different elements to it – there are different sports and there is an army bootcamp for three days to find the fittest person. There are also multi-media awards. We each get our own Facebook fan page and it’s based on whoever gets the most ‘likes’,” he explained.

Leo, who is a model with the Holman Lee Agency, moved to Limerick five years ago from Dublin and resides in Castletroy. “I moved down for the high performance centre,” explained the handsome model, who is an accomplished swimmer and has represented Ireland on the world stage since the age of 15. He also played junior cup rugby.

“Swimming brought me all over the world. I have competed in European Championships. I’m delighted to be back swimming in the UL Arena to keep up the fitness,” he added.

The only son of Margaret and Gerry Delaney, Leo has two sisters Shona and Danielle and is dating Castleconnell girl Martha McDermott.

He has become a well-known face on the Limerick fashion scene since he joined the Holman Lee Modelling Agency.

“Celia is great,” Leo remarked. “She is a great person to have on your CV – she is such a well-known face.”

Once he is has completed his studies in UL, Leo is considering a move to London to continue his modelling career.“I have opportunities to go over there but I just want to finish my degree first. I may even do a part-time masters over in London while doing the modelling full-time.”

Leo is the first Mr Ireland to be crowned since Limerick’s Kamal Ibrahim took the title. The Thomondgate man then went on to win the Mr World title in 2010.

“I consider myself nearly more Limerick than Dublin at the moment,” said Leo. “I won Mr Limerick so I am representing Limerick.”