Chloe Plowman with 2018 Miss Showgirl Steph Weaver and the Junior Champion Bull Ruby Ridge Marvellous at last year's Proston Show
Chloe Plowman with 2018 Miss Showgirl Steph Weaver and the Junior Champion Bull Ruby Ridge Marvellous at last year's Proston Show Michael Nolan

Lack of jobs a challenge for country show

ONLY one contestant has put their hand up for an essential role at this year's Proston Show.

Show secretary, Helen Young, said the Miss Showgirl competition had one person in the running.

Meanwhile, no one has nominated for the Rural Ambassador role.

While Mrs Young said it was unfortunate, it is not unusual for the small town.

"Being that age group, most of them have had to move away for employment,” she said.

She said Proston was a small community with limited opportunities for young people, so she understood why many left the town.

However, she hopes people will put their hands up to be part of the traditional country show.

"I'd just go for it. Put your best foot forward. Don't worry about whether you win or lose,” Mrs Young said.

"Basically what they're asked to do is be ambassadors for their show society.”

Mrs Young said the roles of Miss Showgirl and Rural Ambassador gave young people the chance to gain self confidence, interact with others and learn about the rural way of life.

She said the roles originated as a way to bring younger people into the show movement.

"It initially started out as a way to try to get younger people involved in the show circuit, to give the younger people more prominence and make the show more meaningful for them,” Mrs Young said.

"It brings a group of new people into the show movement to keep it vibrant and alive.”

In her experience, however, even the younger generation appreciates the good, old fashioned traditions country shows offer.

Mrs Young said she attended a Miss Showgirl judging at which contestants were asked what their favourite part of the show circuit was.

The overwhelming response was "tradition”.

As she said, however, tradition has to start somewhere.

"We can make new traditions,” Mrs Young said.

For this reason, she is calling on all interested young people to put their hands up for the roles of Miss Showgirl and Rural Ambassador.

"At the moment, they don't have to be residents of Proston district, but if they nominate for Proston they can't nominate for any other show,” Mrs Young said.

ENTRY CRITERIA (ALL AGES AS OF AUGUST 1, 2019):

  • Rural Ambassador: Open to ladies and gents aged 20 to under 30 years.
  • Miss Showgirl: Unmarried ladies aged 18 to under 28.
  • Junior Rural Ambassador: Young ladies and gents aged 15 to under 20.
  • Junior Miss Showgirl: Young ladies aged 12 to under 18.