My Mr.World experience was something l never ever imagined it to be. I find it all still very funny to this day that l am the official Mr.Scotland 2016!
Who would have thought? Definitely not me!
My initial thoughts were the competition was going to be men taking part in a national beauty pageant showing off, filled with egotistical materialistic minded men who only cared about themselves. But l was completely proven wrong in that retrospect feeling terribly guilty for even having those thoughts.
Considering l do modelling, which does involve looking pretty shall we say, l am quite the outdoorsman who likes to get his hands dirty up in the mountains exploring being a proper lads lad from time to time while hitting the gym, meditating, yoga, aspiring mountaineer, being a professional ice hockey player for seven years & overall being as active as possible. I was putting myself into something where l was expected to be a clean cut, well trimmed - while trying to constantly look good maintaining an appearance of a respectable gentlemen while being a good soul (which is something l practice everyday especially the good soul bit).
For anyone that reads this l'm sure they can probably relate in someway as l know there is many men who have thought of beauty pageants but think its just more so a girly thing to do. But l can assure you from what l experienced during my time at Mr.World being around all of these other men representing there country l was blown away. I not only learned more about myself but how genuine & honest the people around me were. It was a breath of fresh air especially coming from a professional sports background where the atmosphere can be amazing but also extremely toxic in many ways.
I had recently gotten back from hiking base camp Everest & had been laying low for about two weeks until l got the call from my modelling agency asking if l would be interested in being Mr.Scotland, of course l wasn’t going to put this opportunity down, it was another adventure into an unknown world which l am forever chasing.
I went through a series of meetings, which involved Miss.Scotland 2015 Mhairi Ferguson & Janis Sue Smith Managing director for Miss.Scotland/Mr.Scotland asking me questions, getting to know more about me, my future ambitions, what to expect if l am to become the next Mr.Scotland.
It had been a process over a few weeks chatting with Mhairi & Janis, then about 2 weeks later l got the call confirming l was the next Mr.Scotland. I was overwhelmed, really cool feeling to get that call & finding out that a week later l would be leaving for South Port, England where the Mr.World contest would take place competing along side 48 other contestants representing there country for the chance in becoming Mr.World 2016, getting to travel the world, helping out charities, sharing good vibes & making an impact. I was pretty gutted it was in South Port as l was really hoping it was going to be in a more exotic country but hey ho it didn’t make the experience any less awesome, especially being blessed with beautiful hot weather during the whole two weeks.
It was all quite surreal thinking that l was Mr.Scotland 2016, heading to South Port with no idea what to expect. It all started in Manchester, where we stayed for two days while we waited for everyone to arrive from their countries. After the two days when everyone had arrived we then got a bus from Manchester to South Port, then the competition would be full steam ahead.
At the end of the two weeks we would record the Mr.World show in front of a live audience that would be shown worldwide. In the show it would show the five challenges we all went through during the two weeks while the judges watched & scored us. The challenge events were Extreme challenge, testing us on our strength, endurance & determination. Sport challenge testing us on skill, discipline & athleticism. Talent & creativity challenge testing us on finesse, technique & dedication. Fashion & style challenge. Multimedia challenge testing us on charisma, presentation & interactivity & last challenge was the Cooking challenge.
Bare this in mind this was only half of the competition, we had to keep our moral up, working in 4 groups of colored teams blue, yellow, red & green showing how we interact together given certain tasks. One of the tasks was to create a fitness video while using nothing but our own phones, which would show some sort of fitness routine, we decided to go for dancing while having a good time, check the link for my teams video HERE!
Everyday we would be up at 7am, breakfast, then onto the next challenge, if it wasnt a challenge we would be doing, it would be dance rehearsals for at least 5hrs a day. If you can imagine or even know me, l am not exactly the best dancer so it was super difficult trying to learn a routine but with the help of the other guys & dance teachers we nailed it, but most importantly had a blast doing it with many shared laughs.
The overall experience for me during Mr. World was remarkable, finishing 6th place overall was a great achievement but for me just being there was what really mattered. All of these men l had only known for 2 weeks, the bond, the connection, the way they would encourage you when your energy levels were low was inspiring which really touched part of my soul. I can proudly & happily say l have made brothers throughout the world that l will never ever forget.
I encourage any man or young boy who has a goal of competing in Mr.World to go for it. The chance of getting to be in a very open encouraging environment around nothing but positive people who are forever trying to make you better than what you think you are capable of is something that we should all have an ambition for. It’s a rarity, we need these groups of people in order for us to realise how special human beings are and what difference we can make in each others lives.
Check out the whole Mr.World show so you can see who won which competitions, HERE!