NEDLANDS primary education university student Sharni-Leigh Kittow will swap football for fundraising after making it to the final 24 in the Miss West Coast 2017 competition.
The Swan Districts women’s player, who is stepping out of her comfort zone to bring awareness to a good cause, said it was important to make a positive impact in the community.
“I haven’t actually done anything like this before,” she said.
“I definitely want to inform others of ToyBox International’s fundraising project, which focuses on raising enough funds to buy WA a NETS ambulance for sick and disadvantaged children in Western Australia.
“I think it is really important to be involved with such causes, as making a positive impact on them can be life changing for those involved.”
Taking to the catwalk as opposed to the football field the 23-year-old, who has played football in the WA Women’s Football League, said the introduction of the national competition was something she was extremely excited about.
“I would love to play nationally; it has always been a dream of mine to play sport at such an elite level, whether AFL or basketball, another sport I am really passionate about.
“I am in the WA Talent Academy and have recently been selected to represent WA in the under-23 Women’s State AFL team, which is something to look forward to.
“It’s so great to see so many girls dreams come true, and it really does show how powerful equality between men and women (through a sporting aspect) really can be.”
Kittow, an Aboriginal woman who was born and bred in Albany, said she took pride in being a girl from the country and looked forward to completing her degree and working with children.
“I think the freedom that a country town portrays really represents who I am as a person,” she said.
“I am very proud to be an Aboriginal Australian.
“My mother is Aboriginal and Australian and from the Nyoongar tribe and my father is English.
“I am half way through my degree and I’m also a nanny part-time, which I love.
“I absolutely adore children and think it is important to better understand and to build on our knowledge of our youth, after all they are the canvas to our futures.
“Having an impact on how they learn and what they learn I think is a great thing.”
Kittow will compete for a position as a national finalist in the Miss West Coast WA State Finals next month.
If she makes the top six, she will go on to represent WA as National Finalists at the Miss Universe Australia Finals in June.
Sharni-Leigh Kittow. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie