An adrenaline junkie Army cadet has swapped her combat fatigues for the catwalk to be crowned Miss England’s first ever Finalist of the Year.
Alina Green, 22, has won the equivalent of the Miss England title after the prestigious beauty pageant was scuppered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organisers still decided to hold an online public vote to crown a winner after the contestants submitted their applications via Youtube from their homes and gardens.
And Alina was left overjoyed to be named Miss England Finalist of the Year 2020 last week – winning her an automatic top ten place in the 2021 final.
Alina wowed the judges after being dubbed a real-life G.I Jane due to her love of daredevil hobbies such as skydiving, mountain climbing and swimming with sharks.
She is also an cadet officer at the Southampton University Officer Training Corps and has applied to join the British Army Reserves once she finishes her training.
Alina was shortlisted as one of five finalists by voters on the Miss England app after raising an impressive £10,000 for charity.
Alina, a fashion design student in Bournemouth and the reigning Miss Dorset, said: “I was just in complete shock when they told me I had won.
“I never expected it at all. It has been a tough year, obviously it has for everybody, so it was lovely to have something to celebrate.
“I just want to thank everyone who voted for me on the Miss England app. I knew I had been shortlisted but never in a million years thought I’d win it.
“I’m thrilled with winning and I’d love to use my new title to promote We Do Ethical’s tree planting pledge.
“If one in four of us pledged to plant 240 trees today we would become carbon neutral by tomorrow. It’s something I am very passionate about.
“We had to submit a PowerPoint presentation of all the charity work we had done and how we had publicised ourselves and it must have impressed the judges.
“The competition’s organiser phoned me to discuss my presentation and just casually said ‘by the way, you’ve won it’ – I was absolutely speechless.
“I’ve worked really hard with the charity fundraisers, but it doesn’t feel like work to me – I would be doing it even without the Miss England competition.
“I just enjoy a bit of an adventure and that’s why I thought ‘why not give Miss England a go as well’. But I never dreamed I would get this far.”
Adventure-loving Alina has completed Tough Mudder, The Three Peaks Challenge and a shark dive at the Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham.
Alina, of Bracknell, Berks., is also a keen zip-liner, polo player and scuba diver and plans to complete a wing walk and bungee jump for her next charity fundraisers.
She added: “I’m looking to do a wing walk next as long as we’re out of lockdown – I enjoy doing quite extreme things and really like an adrenaline rush.
“I like doing things that will challenge myself as well and push my boundaries and I think being a cadet officer and beauty queen does that but in different ways.
“The training corps is really good for leadership qualities and you learn army skills as well. I personally love it and again it’s quite an ‘out there’ sort of thing to do.
“For the fundraising aspect of the competition, I just try to do things that are a bit different and out there.
“I wanted to give people a reason to give me money for the fundraising instead of doing something quite mundane.
“The shark dive was fun. Last year, I also did the Tough Mudder and Three Peaks Challenge and I’ve been on the world’s fastest zipline in Wales for charity as well.
“I’ve also done beach cleans, an online dog show and made recycled face masks – so it wasn’t all action packed. It’s been hard with the pandemic but I’ve done what I can.”
This year, Miss England contestants had to submit their introductions, catwalk and talent videos online after the competition was disrupted by coronavirus.
Regional winners were crowned in their kitchens and back gardens during lockdown to make it through to final, which was later cancelled.
Alina added: “It was a real blow but the organisers are hoping the final will be held in April now. You never know with the way things are going but fingers crossed.
“I really hope it goes ahead but I’ve just been delighted to get this far and be crowned finalist of the year – I feel very honoured.”
Alina was presented with a trophy and £500 worth of gifts – including designer shoes, make-up, skincare and hair products.