Pictured is model Alisa Savina who will represent Ireland in the global Miss Swimsuit USA International competition in Mexico next year.

Local woman will represent Ireland in Miss Swimsuit USA

Alisa Savina (21) will represent Ireland in the global Miss Swimsuit USA International competition in Cancun, Mexico, next year after winning Miss Bikini Ireland recently.

Alisa moved to Ballymahon from Ukraine ten years ago with her mother Nataliia who owns Nataliia's Barber Shop on Mardyke Street, Athlone. Alisa also previously worked for the now closed salon, Sophia's Beauty Art in Athlone.

She started modelling when she was just 15 years old for a store called Rosie's Closet in Newry. Alisa's friend saw an advertisement that said the dress shop were looking for models and they decided to apply. “A photographer did a shoot with me and told me I stood out. I just love being in front of the camera. When the cameras are on I feel like a different person,” Alisa explained.

Alisa added: “For me, modelling was always up there (as a career). Your parents want you to have a back up plan.” The young model studied Business and Travel Airline Studies and Cabin Crew Training at Portobello Institute in Dublin for a year as she also previously had ambitions to work for Emirates but is more focused on her modelling career at the moment.

Alisa and said entering Miss Bikini Ireland was totally out of her comfort zone. "Because of my previous experience it definitely made me feel more confident in what I do and I just felt like the competition would take me to another level," she said.

According to Alisa, training regularly with her personal trainer made her feel confident enough to apply for Miss Bikini Ireland.

“My personal trainer was actually the one that inspired me to take part in because I wasn't feeling like I would be prepared for it bodywise.

Speaking about representing Ireland in the global Miss Swimsuit USA International competition Alisa stated: “I'm so excited. I will just give myself time to prepare myself and then I'll be ready to go next year. You get to meet lots of different photographers and girls from all over the world. It's a good opportunity to show yourself off. I'm just meeting people and getting more opportunities out of it.”

Alisa was meant to take part in the competition this year but felt that she was not prepared enough and wanted to work on her social media presence in advance of the competition.

The international competition sees models from across the globe do catwalk modelling, photoshoots and answer questions on stage. “It improves my portfolio and it's really good to represent myself in front of a huge audience. You have to pretend you're confident.”

Speaking about the current war in Ukraine Alisa said that Ukraine is a very calm country and the war was a very big shock that people weren't expecting. “People couldn't go to the shops because of bombs and things exploding.”

Alisa still has family in Ukraine and helped her grandparents make their way to Ireland once they travelled to Poland. “My grandparents didn't want to leave until the last minute. It started to get very bad in my city (Severodonetsk) and I convinced them to leave for a few months. I flew over to Poland to meet them.”

Alisa said that her grandmother had only been on a plane once before this. Her grandparents are now living with her mother outside Ballymahon.

Alisa is originally from the city of Zhytomir, in the north of the western half of Ukraine but lived in the city of Severodonetsk for six years before moving to Ireland.

To keep up to date with Alisa's journey in the global Miss Swimsuit USA International competition in Mexico see her Instagram @alisssa_savina