Swafield teenager Gabbi Ryan wows judges at Miss Teen Great Britain final

Gabbi Ryan, 18, from Swafield, (left) who came third in the Miss Teen Great Britain, with competition winner Hayley Galloway from West Lothian (centre) and Rachael Altenburg from West Dunbartonshire, who came second. Picture: SUBMITTED Gabbi Ryan, 18, from Swafield, (left) who came third in the Miss Teen Great Britain, with competition winner Hayley Galloway from West Lothian (centre) and Rachael Altenburg from West Dunbartonshire, who came second. Picture: SUBMITTED

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
5:21 PM

A budding performer and model is in shock after coming third in a top national beauty pageant.

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Gabbi Ryan, from Swafield, who came third in the Miss Teen Great Britain contest. Picture: ANTONY KELLYGabbi Ryan, from Swafield, who came third in the Miss Teen Great Britain contest. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Gabbi Ryan, 18, from Swafield near North Walsham, was one of about 50 girls from around Britain who battled it out at Blackpool to become Miss Teen Great Britain.

It was the first time she had entered a beauty pageant and since achieving third place the former Paston Sixth Form College student has been offered an audition to play Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast at Disneyland Paris.

Gabbi, who recently completed her A-levels, said: “I’m very happy. It went better than expected. It was brilliant, I had such a lovely time. Most of the girls had done pageants in the past so that was daunting because I have had no experience.

“I made a lot of friends. It seemed more like a show where we were working together. Everyone was very supportive.”

The teenager who earned the title Miss Teen Norfolk in June, has bounced back to health and a very active life after breaking her back in an accident, aged eight.

A keen gymnast, Gabbi was being held in an acrobatic lift when she was accidentally dropped and fell flat on her back.

The accident caused a blood clot and fractured her spine as well as years of illness that disrupted her school years at North Walsham High School.

Gabbi described those years as “dark” but she had a lot of support from family and friends.

As part of the final at Blackpool’s Globe Theatre she was interviewed by the six judges about interests and walked down the catwalk in two different dresses.

Before the final last weekend she also had to raise money for a charity and get involved in community events as Miss Teen Norfolk.

She won the Miss Teen Charity award for raising the most money out of all the entrants for her chosen charity Claire House Children’s Hospice, on the Wirral, and Miss Teen Pageant Girl award.

Gabbi raised nearly £1,736 by a series of acrobatic, dramatic and dancing sponsored stunts which have seen her back-flip, hop around North Walsham on a pogo stick, become a Barbie-doll stilt walker, a mermaid, and pose as a human statue.

“I have learned helping others has its rewards. If you work hard it pays off. I have learned I can do more than I thought I could,” she added.

She wants to raise more money for the hospice.

Gabbi, who has ambitions to dance in the Cromer Pier Seaside Special, will be helping out at a coffee morning during North Walsham in Bloom this month and will turn on the town’s Christmas lights this year.

Do you know a young person who has achieved beyond adversity? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

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