A Richmond student was crowned runner-up at the Miss Fiji Canada Pageant in the pre-teen category last week – at her first ever pageant.
Riya KC, 12, a James Whiteside elementary student, was competing at the event in Surrey on July 4.
A private interview with the judges kick-started the competition, followed by a Fiji wear and evening gown contest.
Riya finished the night performing the Bharatanatyam (a dance) for her talent component.
However, talking with the judges, according to the 12-year-old, was the toughest part of the pageant, adding that she was “nervous.”
“But the judges were very nice at the pageant,” she said. “It really helped me build my confidence, like way more than before.”
When Riya won first runner up, her aunt, Sandra Kadatare, said “that was a shock, because she’d never done it or anything like this before.”
“There were other girls that had more pageant experience in the competition.”
According to Kadatare, the pageant allows past winners or contestants to coach new pageant contestants for free.
“Riya was lucky that one of our cousins’ daughters participated before and was able to coach her,” added Kadatare.
KC trained two hours every Friday for one month solid with her coach. She learned how to walk in heels and on stage as well as how to present herself.
On top of her coaching, the pageant provided three more two-hour long workshops.
“We are just happy as long as her self-confidence grows bigger and higher. She’s a very good child. She loves to volunteers, she loves animals,” said Kadatare. “She’s a good kid, but she is shy.”