Snap-happy Lily Rushton named Sentinel Baby of the Year (videos)
LITTLE Lily Rushton has been crowned The Sentinel's Baby and Toddler of the Year.
The happy tot has been named as this year's overall winner, six years after big brother Nathan was a runner-up in the contest.
Lily was presented with her prize at home in Grovebank Road, Trent Vale, yesterday and was keen to test out her engraved silver plate with her teeth.
Mum Kirsty Lovatt said: "I'm really proud that she was picked as the winner.
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"She's really good in front of the camera because we're always taking pictures of her at home.
"Lily is always smiling and is such a happy little girl."
Kirsty first entered her son Nathan into the contest in 2005 when she and her brothers' girlfriends all had children in the same year.
Full-time mum Kirsty, aged 27, said: "Coincidentally, we all had our babies at the same time so we thought it would be fun to enter them into the competition together.
"Nathan actually went on to win his category, which was really exciting."
Kirsty put Nathan forward again in 2006 and was subsequently awarded the runner-up prize.
When she gave birth to Lily in January 2012, she had already planned for her to follow in her brother's footsteps.
She said: "When I had Lily, I knew I was going to enter her into the competition.
"I entered her into other baby competitions before but this is the first time she's won. She's very special to me."
Now Kirsty, who is pregnant with her third child, said she is planning on entering her little girl into this year's competition when she's born.
She said: "I've got a little girl on the way who is due in seven weeks.
"Hopefully, she will follow in her brother and sister's footsteps."
Lily's prize includes £1,000 for lifting the grand title, £500 for winning the category of birth–nine months, a framed photo, and two engraved salvers.
Kirsty said: "I'm going to put the money in a bank account for her so she can decide what she wants to do with it when she's older."
Scott Smallwood, promotions manager at The Sentinel, said: "The competition has proved to be very successful once again with hundreds of entrants.
"We would like to thank The Roebuck Centre, Freeport in Talke and Stoke-on-Trent City Council for their support in providing venues for the competition.
"As usual, the people of Stoke-on-Trent have voted in their thousands and I would like to congratulate all the winners."
The other Sentinel Baby and Toddler of the Year category winners
MUM Carly Barker is 'ecstatic' that her son Connor has won The Sentinel's Baby and Toddler of the Year competition in the 3-5 years category.
Three-year-old Connor has entered the competition for the past three years but this is the first time he's scooped a £500 prize.
Carly, aged 24, of Talke Road, Chesterton, said: "I'm so proud that Connor has won. The funny thing is, I wasn't actually going to put him forward this year but we were shopping at The Roebuck Centre after school when we saw the competition taking place.
"He was still in his school uniform so I had to dash into Next and buy an outfit for him to get changed into. Nobody knew he had entered until they saw his picture in the paper.
"All my friends and family have been great and they've all voted for him to win. We've asked Connor what he wants to buy with the prize money but he doesn't know yet so we'll put it in the bank for him for now."
MUM Darshini Thanoyan is celebrating after seeing her son, Sachin, come first in his category and win £500.
The youngster has been named as the winner of the 10 – 18 months category in this year’s Sentinel Baby and Toddler of the Year competition.
Darshini, 29-year-old of Larch Place, Newcastle, who works at the family’s petrol station business, said: “I was really happy when I found out and I want to thank all the members of staff at the garage who have been campaigning for people to vote for him.
“Sachin loves singing and performing and the staff at the nursery he goes to, says he’s a superstar.
“I think the competition is a great opportunity for parents to show how great their children are. I’m definitely going to save the pictures and newspaper articles to show him when he’s older.”
IT WAS a case of good things coming in threes for Jay Oosthuizen.
Having just got married and received the keys for her new house, her two-year-old daughter Skyla has now come top in her category of The Sentinel's Baby and Toddler of the Year competition.
The youngster of Villa Close, Biddulph, has won £500 for winning the 19 – 36 months category.
Mum Jay, aged 20, said: "My husband Jason and I have just come back from our honeymoon in Skegness so we were really shocked when we found out Skyla had won.
"I put her forward by chance when I was out shopping at the Roebuck Centre and I had actually forgotten about it so it was a lovely surprise. I didn't think we would win when I saw in the paper how many people had entered.
"She loves to show off and be in front of the camera so we're thinking of signing her up with a modelling agency. Hopefully, this will be the start of her career."