Making it to the Miss World Canada final in Vancouver, British Columbia has been quite an achievement for Monique Redhead.
Her name was announced last at the Ontario region final last March to select the 10 winners from this province who will join 23 other contestants from across Canada in the national event tomorrow night.
“I am definitely surprised that I have made it this far because when the names were being called out and I realized that just one more contestant was left to be unveiled, I certainly thought I was out. But to have made it this far is quite an honour.
“The journey has been very exciting, time consuming and at times crazy but, at the same time, I have met a lot of great and interesting people along the way.”
Redhead, who graduates on May 22 with a Sports Management Master of Professional Studies degree from Georgetown University, travelled 17 hours by bus from the American capital last Friday for a Miss World Ontario International costume event in Toronto later that day.
“I arrived in the city just in time to collect my costume,” she said. “We then headed out to Vancouver to prepare for tomorrow’s big day.”
The winner will represent Canada at this year’s 60th Miss World pageant in Vietnam in November.
The Toronto-born Washington Wizards intern sensed that the road to Southeast Asia would be just as long and winding as the path she has travelled since leaving Canada in 2004 to pursue post-secondary studies in the United States.
The Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School graduate, who averaged 22 points, five steals and four assists in her senior year, accepted a basketball scholarship to attend Eastern Arizona junior college. She transferred to Division One Norfolk State University in Virginia where she was the first runner-up in the university’s Miss Caribbean pageant two years ago.
“That was a good experience and it gave me the opportunity to represent Grenada which was fantastic,” said Redhead, whose parents, Godfrey and Teresa, were born in the Caribbean country. “I like reaching out to people and I feel that the Miss World event will help me to do that on a larger scale. It also allows me to move outside my comfort zone, which is sport.”
Redhead, who also played club basketball and was a program assistant with the South Etobicoke Youth Assembly prior to going to the U.S., has been a Wizards Sports & Entertainment intern since last September, assisting with corporate marketing and sponsorship.
“That has been quite and exciting opportunity and challenge,” said Redhead who aspires to work in the professional sports and entertainment industry in Canada. “Canada is more culturally diverse than the U.S. and you feel a closeness to your culture when you are there. I am definitely returning home after I graduate from Georgetown.”
She hopes to land a job with either the National Basketball Association (NBA) Canada operations or the Toronto Raptors franchise.