Raylene Mackey is Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador and she’s a member of the provincial golf team competing at the Canada Games. — Photo by Barb Sweet/The Telegram
The list of Raylene Mackey’s accomplishments seem to go on and on, like the resume of the perfect teenager.
Besides that, she has a sense of genuine niceness about her.
Among the accomplishments of her young life, Mackey, 16, is Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador for 2013 and is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador golf team competing at the Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que.
She was named student of the year at St. Kevin’s High School in Goulds, as well as a star music student, has released a CD “Newfoundland Favourites” and performs at festivals.
Mackey also volunteers, including giving golf lessons to Special Olympics athletes.
She also attended the Skills Canada competition in trades and technology in Vancouver this year, part of a team competing in TV and video production.
She began competitive golf at around age 10 after taking lessons with Katie Williams at the GlenDenning golf course and has played in the Tely tours.
But Mackey remembers first swinging her pink golf clubs on a family holiday to The Wilds when she was six or seven.
“It was really intriguing for me, completely different than any other sport I had tried and just the fact of getting outdoors for five hours,” Mackey said.
“I’m really glad I stuck with golf. Now I have the sport for the rest of my life. Another part of life I enjoy.”
The players, said Mackey, aren’t allowed to use golf carts in competition, and she prefers slinging her clubs over her shoulder to pulling a handcart.
She said she’s also learned etiquette from golf and had the chance to meet a range of people by signing up for tee times.
Mackey had dreamed of winning the Miss Teen pageant since she was five and notes the competition includes an exam, an interview, public speaking and fitness component besides the stage aspect.
She has her hopes set on a career in law.
What is your full name?
Raylene Glenna Kay Mackey.
Where and when were you born?
September 1996 St. John’s.
Where is home today?
What is one act of teenage rebellion
you have committed so far, though you still have a few years to go?
Not to sound like I am an angel, but I don’t really do anything rebellious. I am too busy.
Who inspires you?
The two main people in my life, my mom, Helen Mackey, and my grandmother, Lillian Carey. They have always been there for me. Also among the people who have supported me over the years, Bob Walsh of Atlantic Home Furnishings and lawyer Thomas Fraize stand out.
What is your favourite food?
I am not a picky eater. I am thankful of that. My favourite restaurant to go to is New Moon. As a little girl, I always used to go there with my family. And I really like grilled cheese (sandwiches). I eat those almost every day with my best friend Vanessa Howlett.
What is the biggest thing that’s misunderstood about teenagers?
I think a big misunderstanding about teens these days is that we don’t do much. There are a lot of stereotypes and things that say teens aren’t getting out there enough and they are not taking advantage of everything out there. But in reality most of us, the majority of us, are taking advantage of the job opportunities, the leadership opportunities. There are so many groups and activities that are out there for us to get involved in — school and extracurricular activities and sports. For people like myself, I am taking full advantage of them.
What music do you listen to?
I listen to Adele a lot. I’m a bit of a fan girl for Justin Bieber. I like Hedley and Taylor Swift. I also like some Newfoundland bands like Great Big Sea. The Mummer’s Song — that is my all time favourite song. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always danced to that at Christmas time with my mom.
What do you think life will be like in 20 years?
You never know what can happen. I am hoping by then I will have my education, possibly have a family, be settled down and have a house and another puppy dog. The world will change a lot because we have such fast-paced technology — we could be in floating cars by then.
What’s something that could be done to help youth get involved in sports or other activities?
The main key would be to be there for them and open it up and say ‘Here is the opportunity’ and show them the different kinds of sports and give them the opportunity to just try it for a day. People believe that us as young teens should be the ones to go out and get involved. There are so many aspects that are affecting it (such as cost or apprehension) that we can’t maybe. They should make the effort to get us involved by more awareness and opportunities to try.
What’s a typical teenage thing you like to do when you are not busy at other pursuits?
Go hang out with my friends. I have good friends. I go golfing with them too, but for typical teenage things we go swimming. It is really busy being able to juggle whether it’s fundraising, Miss Teen events, volunteering, golf, but hanging with my friends or playing golf with my friends is my relax time.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you so far?
I was over in Europe at The Vatican, on a Grade 9 trip. Towards the end of the tour in the Vatican itself is the holy water at the fountain blessed by the Pope. Everyone didn’t know that you could actually buy the bottles to put the holy water in. So nobody had anything with them to put it in. Everyone was really upset because it was a once in a lifetime to get this holy water. I had with me an EpiPen case. I took my EpiPen out and filled the case up with holy water. I was really excited. When I was out on the step after just exiting the Vatican, my whole bookbag was soaked with holy water because there are these little airholes in the EpiPen case and I didn’t know. It spilled all though my bag and everyone made jokes about me — how I had a holy book bag. But I was really upset, so I said ‘I am not leaving. I need holy water. I am never going to get here again.’ I went through — the bodyguards were looking at me, they didn’t know what I was doing. I ran up through the Vatican and I took a water bottle my teacher gave me and got holy water. No one knew what I was doing, but everybody stared at me.
What are your best and worst qualities?
Everyone has a lot of good qualities and bad qualities. A flaw in mine would have to be overanalyzing things. My best quality I would have to say is the ability to be confident in myself.
If you could visit or live in another time when would it be and why?
To the ’80s or ’70s. Just the idea — everything that happened back then, the style the music. That would be cool to go back and see what my mother was like when she was younger.
Who would play you in a movie?
Jennifer Lawrence from The Hunger Games
What is the biggest change you have seen in your life so far?
There has been a lot changing in the world and our province as well. Thankfully our culture is still there. I think just the change from younger to adult for everyone around me and the kids who I go to school with — just the change of growing up.
What is your favourite place to go on holidays?
My trip two-three years ago now to Florida with my mother. My first time ever, my first time on a plane actually. We got to do the Christmas thing, a Very Merry Mickey Christmas. I have gone to Europe with my school and done the whole Venice and Rome thing, but still I say the biggest had to be that trip to Florida.
What’s your favourite place in the province?
That’s a tricky question because I don’t think I’d be able to decide. Each and every one are different beautiful scenery and beautiful people. But up the shore — Cape Broyle. I also grew up most of my life going up on the weekends to my grandmother’s there.
Do you have a favourite keepsake?
I have a box in my room with something from all the different events, whether it be a souvenir or card.
Name one person living or dead you would love to play golf with?
I would like to play a game of golf with Danny Williams. I would like to see who would win, him or me.