15/06/2012. Sasha-Lee Gush a 17 year old local beauty queen will jet off to romania to particiate in the Miss european Tourism Programme. Picture: Masi Losi

The prospect of 12 days in the company of European beauties – known for their determination on the ramp, their beauty and being generously busty – only serves to strengthen local model Sasha-Lee Gush’s determination to bring back a prize, or two, when she returns from the Miss European Tourism Programme.

The local beauty has been invited to participate in the 12-day programme in Romania.

The competition will test her ability to conduct herself during trying events – at tourism sites in Bucharest, photo-shoots and functions with sponsors. So her resilience during the long hours will be put to test.

The 17-year-old Pretoria High School for Girls matric pupil burst on to the beauty scene when she won the Miss Bikini contest in March last year.

She went on to represent the country in an international Miss Bikini contest in Malta in October. She bagged the Miss Diamond Flight prize, awarded to her for her congeniality, catwalk moves, her ability to speak in public and being photogenic.

“When in Bucharest I will try harder than the last time, I want to bring back another title,” she said.

Sasha-Lee said she expected the competition to be tough, more especially because she would be competing with girls older than her. “But that’s not stopping me from going for what I want,” she said.

She is due to leave on Thursday after finishing off the last two papers of her preliminary exams.

The past five months have been spent concentrating hard on her studies.

“I declined an offer to attend a function earlier in the year because I wanted to concentrate on my school work,” said Sasha-Lee, whose ambition is to become a dermatologist.

She wants to enrol at the University of Pretoria for biological sciences after matric and then study dermatology.

“Not only will I help other women and children but I will also be able to advise and treat others in the (beauty) industry,” she said.

Her mother, Amanda, said Sasha-Lee had worked hard to maintain her body and had kept it perfect despite her gruelling study schedule.

She had cut down her swimming to once a day instead of twice and watched her diet carefully.

“She drinks a lot of water, eats carbs and protein and rarely buys from the school tuck shop.

“I worked hard to instill confidence in her since she was a little girl. I encouraged her to think for herself and in this tough world I encourage her to look after herself, to be wide awake all the time and to be very careful,” her mother said.

When Sasha-Lee arrives in Bucharest she and the others will be received by Romanian President Traian Basescu.

Scheduled into the 12-day stay are visits to Romanian landmarks and tourist attractions, including the Hall of Mirrors and the Black Church, among others.

Various prizes are up for grabs, including Miss Partner Airlines. The final event will be on July 1, a competition in which the beauties will showcase swimwear, evening wear and sponsored outfits. Sasha-Lee is due back the following day. - Pretoria News