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Rugby player Toni Burrows represents UK in international beauty pageant

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Rugby boots will be swapped for high heels when Toni Burrows bids for glory at an international beauty pageant.

The 28-year-old sports enthusiast will be representing England in the Face of the Globe contest at Disneyland Paris.

She is one of 45 adult finalists competing for titles such as Miss Charity, Fitness, Publicity, People’s Choice, Photogenic and the overall champion.

Toni Burrows, from Dartford
Toni Burrows, from Dartford

Toni, who lives in Darenth, is living proof that beauty queens can muck in when it matters. She is equally at home on the rugby field as she is on the catwalk.

“When I tell people I play rugby they say I bet all the girls look like men, when actually we are just normal girls in all shapes and sizes that love playing sport,” she said.

“When I tell people I am a pageant girl they assume I am an airhead with no real career aspirations.

“I would like to show that beauty queens can be tough, and strong women can be beautiful.”

Toni will be heading to the week-long grand final at the beginning of next month, having won the UK final heat in November.

Not only does the active woman scrum down for Blackheath Rugby Club, she is also an accomplished showjumper.

When not taking part in sport, Toni has managed to raise £1,400 for the pageant’s charity, the Rainbow Child Foundation which supports the building of orphanages, water play pumps and sanitation units worldwide.

In the hope she is crowned the overall Face of the Globe 2016, Toni has chosen The Brain Tumour Charity to which 10% of the total amount raised internationally by the pageant organisers will be donated. Winning the title at Disneyland Paris will have a special meaning for Toni, who grew up with a speech impediment and struggled with bullies.

Toni is representing England at the Face of The Globe beauty pageant
Toni is representing England at the Face of The Globe beauty pageant

“I couldn’t stand up in class and read a poem and now I am able to stand on stage and deliver a speech to a crowd,” she said.

“It would be the ultimate victory to compete in Paris, and to win would just be the glitter dusting on my own fairy-tale ending.”

Toni did not start competing in beauty contests until she was 18 but soon became ineligible due to age restrictions. However, a search for pageants for over-25s led to Face of The Globe.

Sleeping Beauty’s castle at the Disney theme park will provide a stunning backdrop if Toni is crowned champion. But what is her favourite Disney movie?

“My favourite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast,” she said. “This movie teaches children to love and be kind to people for who they are – not what they look like.”

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