2018 Miss Washington USA Candidate Asia Tatum's Challenge Of Growing Participation In Sport

Regular physical activity benefits health in many ways, including helping build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; helping control weight and reduce fat; and preventing or delaying the development of high blood pressure. Unfortunately, the number of kids and teenagers participating in sports is decreasing. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the number of kids that played a team sport on a regular basis decreased from 44.5 percent in 2008 to 38 percent in 2016.

 Asia Tatum, who'll be competing for the crown of Miss Washington USA, choose to advocate youth participation in sports - "Sports have always been an important factor in my life, and I want kids to experience the same benefits and opportunities I did growing up. There are many kids whose parents can’t afford for them to participate in sports.  I want to show awareness of this, and raise scholarship funds for kids to be able to participate in sports" - she explained.

On the Olympic College Track team, Asia has received four medals at the NWAC Track and Field Championships. And she has participated in sports since the age of four!

I had the opportunity to interview her one week before the Miss Washington USA Contest. If she wins the crown she'll have the opportunity to represent her state in Miss USA 2018. Lets know a little more about her through this interview!

You will compete at the Miss Washington USA Pageant, how will you prepare the contest? What unique characteristics would you say you bring to the competition?

I am preparing for the pageant by practicing my walk on a daily basis; I make sure I walk in my shoes for at least thirty minutes a day. I am on a healthy diet and exercising daily to look the best I can for my swim suit competition.  Unique characteristics I will bring to the competition are I am very energetic and have a smile that will brighten others day. 

What do you expect to gain by competing in pageantry?

Competing in pageantry, I expect to gain many sisters and friendships during the experience. The ladies in the pageantry world are very close and helpful to one another, and that is the main reason I love being a part of pageants. 

Tell me something about yourself and your work. What do you actually do, and have done in the past?

I am currently a sophomore at Olympic College; I will be graduating with my associates in the spring. While attending Olympic college, I have been a part of the track and field team the past two seasons as a sprinter. I attended the NWACC championships both seasons and left with medals. I have three jobs! I am a server at Red Lobster; I have worked there for three years. I started out hosting my senior year of high school and I have now been serving for two and a half years. My coworkers are the best; they are truly like family to me. My second job is a sales associate at DSW, I started working there this past summer, but I have LOVED every second of it. My third job I work with my mom as a dental office receptionist; I only work when my mom needs my help. For example I am currently filling in until January while the regular receptionist is on maternity leave.

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Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it? 

Yes I have faced a couple of disappointments. Walking in heels was the main one, growing up I wasn’t very girlie and didn’t have an interest in wearing heels. When I did my first pageant I was forced to and I hated it. I am pigeon toed so walking in heels was harder for me to learn compared to most girls I was competing with. When I decided to continue doing pageants, walking in heels was still a major struggle for me. I decided I wanted to compete for Miss Washington USA in August, and I had my mind set that I was going to practice walking in heels daily before the pageant. I wanted to perform the best I could, and be confident for the pageant in November. 

We’ve all seen the stereotypical portrayals of pageant contestants, a la Miss Congeniality, spreading peace, love and beauty throughout the world. How do you think you'll make a difference ?

I will make a difference by having diversity. From the time I started doing pageants in high school until this very day, I have people tell me I won’t win the title because I’m not blonde, skinny enough, or tall enough. I want to change these stereotypes by having more diverse. I want to show the world that different shapes, shades and sizes can bring home the title as well. 

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What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day?

There isn’t another you in the world. Don’t try to be like anyone else. You are unique in your own way, just be confident, and walk out there like you own it! 

Thanks to the beautiful Asia for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss Washington USA pageant.