Charlotte Jarvis - the all-action beauty queen in Penrith
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 April 2020
Penrith’s Charlotte Jarvis has gone from bullied schoolgirl to boxing champ, beauty queen and firefighter
As a girl growing up in East Yorkshire, Charlotte Jarvis’s youth was made miserable by bullies; and at under five feet tall she was seriously hard pressed to do anything about constantly being harassed by her contemporaries. But all that changed when her dad convinced the coaches at Bridlington Boys Boxing Club to give the eight-year-old a chance.
‘I was turned down flat when I first applied, they said girls were not allowed because they didn’t commit and generally messed about, so my dad Richard went in and asked them to give me just one chance to prove myself,’ says Charlotte.
‘My dad told them if I was late even once, missed a session, fooled around or didn’t train properly, they could throw me out on my ear.
‘I grabbed that opportunity with both hands, never missing a single session in four years, I never went late, and I was nearly always the last to leave, and I made sure I trained as hard as any of the boys.
‘But because there were no other girls there, I wasn’t allowed to compete in an actual boxing match, I trained and sparred with boys for four years; but then I got my first fight against a girl when I was 12.’
All her efforts paid off as the pint sized pugilist went on to become a three time National Championship winner at her weight in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Then, leaving her native Bridlington, Charlotte enrolled at Leeds Beckett University where she studied PE.
‘At university I was so focussed on boxing and my fitness training that both my studies and social life suffered because when I was training, I was fanatical, I wasn’t going out or drinking with the other students and so my social life pretty soon bottomed out, I literally had no friends.’
Charlotte made the decision to leave university early and moved to Penrith, taking up a job as a teaching assistant at a special needs school and as a supply teacher.
‘I spotted an ad for the Miss Cumbria pageant but initially I dismissed it as not being “my thing”. But, encouraged by a friend, I began to do some research and discovered that beauty pageants are nothing like I imagined, there is nothing narcissistic about them; in fact, quite the reverse.
They are more about helping others in the community and making friends than beating the opposition.
‘It was a huge surprise when they announced that I was voted a runner up and even won the “Miss Publicity” crown. But the best thing of all, I made some friends that, I’m sure, will last a lifetime. being a runner up also entitled me to a place as a Miss England Semi finalist where I made even more good pals.’
Charlotte also plays rugby for the Carlisle Cougars and thr training there will stand her in good stead for her biggest challenge to date, she has just passed out at the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Penrith after turning down a teaching job.
‘The tests, both physical and mental were quite daunting and I’m positive that boxing and playing rugby played a huge part in getting me through,’ she says. ‘I really loved my time teaching but I felt I needed a bigger challenge. Joining Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will l really test me in all sorts of ways.’