Brave Wigan schoolboy wins pageant title

A brave Wigan schoolboy, who followed in his little sister’s footstep’s by entering the world of pageants, has won a prestigious title.
Leo WhitleyLeo Whitley
Leo Whitley

Seven-year-old Leo Whitley, from Aspull, was crowned Pure International Prince UK last week, at the Pure International Pageant, and his triumph was even more special given the many obstacles he has faced in his short life so far.

Leo suffers from albinism and nystagmus, a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. These movements often result in reduced vision and depth perception and can affect balance and coordination.

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But he hasn’t let his conditions get the better of him, and is determined to follow in his sister’s footsteps by becoming a pageant champion.

Leo Whitley pictured with sister Isabelle-ClaireLeo Whitley pictured with sister Isabelle-Claire
Leo Whitley pictured with sister Isabelle-Claire

Delighted mum Kellie said: “We were crying our eyes out, we were so proud of him. He was the youngest in his age category.

“They (Pure UK) were so supportive. With Leo’s special needs, it was difficult for him to go out on stage, with the bright lights, etc.

“But the whole team was fantastic in making sure he was safe, and made sure he was guided through everything. The weekend was amazing, beyond our wildest dreams. He absolutely loved every second.

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“He got to meet multiple queens from the US, that was out of this world for him, they’ve all been following his journey, and loved talking about what he’d been doing. They were amazed by what he was doing, and how young he was.

“Now he’s got a whole year to work in the community and get these projects going a little bit more. We’re planning projects with local councillor John Holmes, and working with One House a lot more this year. Fingers crossed, he’s just gonna go up and up.”

Leo will kick off his year of community projects with a litter picking event, tidying up his hometown of Aspull, starting from One House community centre.

Leo’s one-year-old sister, Isabelle-Clare, was recently crowned Mini Miss Natural Beauty England, and has since been the face of local campaigns to help those less fortunate, whether it be supporting Aspull’s One House - a multiservice community centre offering support to those with mental illness - or collecting ring pulls from soft drinks cans to send off to charities to be recycled.

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