SEVENTEEN-year-old schoolgirl Leirea Kalsakau has won the Miss Ifira title only a week after discovering relatives had entered her in it.

“I was busy with my studies and playing netball for my school when I found out that my grandmother and an aunt had entered me in the competition,” she said.

“It is not something I would have done for myself.’’

The striking looking student beat five other finalists for the title and will now compete in the Miss Vanuatu competition later in the year.

“I have to do that as I am representing my island,” she said.

“And I’m pretty sure I will be the youngest contestant.’’

Leirea is studying in Year 12 at Central School and plans to continue in Year 13 next year. She is the eldest of four children in her family.

Despite her looks and personality, she has no interest in gracing the catwalks of the world as a model.

Describing herself as a serious 17-year-old, she said if she won the Miss Vanuatu title she would use the profile from it to raise serious issues affecting her world.

“There are too many children on Ifira not going to school and getting a proper education and I think education is a major issue facing us,” she said.

She is tall like her father Steve Abel, a VBTC technician and former national rugby player, and her looks come from her mother Leiciko.

The granddaughter of Opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau, Leirea has her future planned in detail.

“I want to study commerce at an Australian university, preferably in Melbourne where I have relatives, and then I would like to eventually have my own business,” she said.

She is a determined young lady who you can imagine achieving her goals, but for now it’s more study and netball, plus the chance of another title.