Retiring Stampede Princess Nicole Roberts (left) will head to Merritt in August to compete for one of the three BC Ambassador positions for 2011/12. The reigning three ambassadors beside her are Sydney Sankey from Quesnel

Retiring Stampede Princess Nicole Roberts (left) will head to Merritt in August to compete for one of the three BC Ambassador positions for 2011/12. The reigning three ambassadors beside her are Sydney Sankey from Quesnel

Nicole Roberts runs for BC Ambassador title

Now that she is winding up her reign as Stampede Princess 2010/11 Nicole Roberts is concentrating on her bid to become one of three British Columbia Ambassadors.

Now that she is winding up her reign as Stampede Princess 2010/11 Nicole Roberts is concentrating on her bid to become one of three British Columbia Ambassadors.

Nicole says she became interested in the B.C. Ambassador program through her association with Anna Dell, one of the 2009/10 BC Ambassadors, and attending various pageants and events with her including the BC Ambassador crowning in Merritt last August when Dell passed her crown to her successor.

She says becoming a BC Ambassador is an opportunity to research and be creative about continuing to represent Williams Lake and area around the province for another year.

“I had tons of fun travelling and representing the Stampede and Williams Lake as Stampede Princess,” Nicole says. “This is another step in representing Williams Lake and our region and another challenge.”

Nicole is one of 13 contestants from around the province vying to become one of three BC youth ambassadors for the 2011/12 year.

As part of the contest Nicole is working on developing a portable display to cover a six-foot table that will tell the world about Williams Lake and area and all the things people can do here, as well as information about the region’s history. She is collecting pins, brochures and DVDs about the city and region to hand out to the public.

The display will be set up during the competition which takes place Aug. 8 to 13 in Merritt.

Nicole is hoping that all of the skills she learned as a Stampede Queen contestant and developed during the past year as Stampede Princess will serve her well in her new bid to become a B.C. Ambassador.

Over the past year attending rodeos and pageants and community events in the lakecity and around the province, Nicole says she has become comfortable introducing herself to people and talking to crowds of hundreds of people.

But she is taking nothing for granted. She continues to attend Toastmasters and receive coaching from Audrey Eckert to further develop her public speaking skills. 

Part of the competition will include a required speech and a speech of her choice.

“I have chosen the topic youth and the way they are stereotyped,” Nicole says. 

Contestants will also be tested extensively on their knowledge about B.C., and on a talent presentation. 

For her talent she has taken four photographs which she will have blown up and will talk about.

Each contestant receives a 30-page guide to help them prepare for the contest, Nicole says.

She says there is also a new award this year called the People’s Choice Award. People can go on line to the B.C. Ambassador site and view the candidate profiles and then vote once a day for their favourite candidate at bcambassador.com

Part of preparing for the contest includes finding sponsors to raise funds for her registration fee of $675 and scholarships that are provided to contestants.

She says her main sponsor is her employer, Grassland Equipment. Each candidate also has to find at least 15 sponsors each who will contribute $30 each for the scholarship portion of the program. Sponsors receive a T-shirt in recognition of their donation.  

Still just 18, Nicole graduated from Williams Lake secondary in 2010.

She lives at home with her parents and younger brother Allen, who is in Grade 9. 

Her dad, Owen, works at Grassland Equipment, and her mom, Sarah, works at Staples.

This year Nicole has also been working at Grassland Equipment, which is owned by members of her extended family.

She has a wide variety of interests which include goals to take a business management course through TRU in Williams Lake and to take a saddle-making course in Merritt at the Don Lowen Saddle School. 

Nicole says she became interested in saddle making while watching Mark Denny at Cariboo Saddlery make her leather-bound scrap book to record her work as Stampede Princess.

She says her family lives in the city but they have always had dogs and cats and rabbits and she has been able to ride horses with family and friends.

Three years ago, Nicole says she got her first horse, which she keeps at Eagle View Equestrian Centre, and enjoys attending gymkhanas and participating in other equestrian events with her horse.

Nicole’s advice to other young people is to be yourself and not be afraid to try new things. “If there is something you want to do then go for it.”