Local lifeguard Finn Bentley has been announced as a regional finalist in Specsavers’ annual Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.
The 22-year-old was presented with a bottle of champagne, a certificate and a £150 Specsavers voucher, by Courtney O’Hara from Specsavers in Halifax.
Halifax born and bred
Finn, who grew up in Halifax and lives in Northowram, has been chosen as a winner in the 16-24 age category in the North East. He is now in with a chance of progressing to a star-studded award ceremony, where the overall winner will take home a cash prize of £10,000.
Finn, who works at Brighouse Pool as a life guard and fitness class instructor, has been wearing glasses for a couple of years, and had not realised his eyesight was so bad until he wore glasses for the first time.
He says: ‘It’s important for me to be able to see clearly at work so I can always assess what’s happening in the pool and ensure everyone is safe, so I’m certainly glad I had my eyes tested when I did.
‘To be honest I was actually quite pleased when I found out I needed glasses. I love wearing them, they fit in with my look and my lifestyle and they’re definitely a fashion accessory for me as much as an aid for my eyesight.'
In need of a confidence boost
Having experienced bullying throughout his school years, Finn felt he needed a confidence boost. ‘I came out when I was at school and not everyone was accepting of that. It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin and proud of who I am. So when I saw the competition on Facebook I thought it would be a great confidence boost.
‘I feel very, very lucky to have got this far in the competition and can’t even imagine what it would be like to win – it would mean I could go back to college and get the education I missed out on earlier in life.’
Finn's got specs appeal
Sharron Manning, assistant manager at Specsavers in Halifax, says: ‘It was a pleasure to meet Finn and we’re so proud that someone from Halifax has made it this far in the competition. We really think he could go all the way and take the grand prize as a very deserving winner. We’ll be cheering him on over the next few weeks.’
Now in its 22nd year, the competition will give regional finalists from five age categories: 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59 and over 60s, plus a Facebook favourite voted by the public – the opportunity to attend a star-studded awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 10 October, which will be hosted by former Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle.