Kaya Cattouse: This Amazing Athlete Has Speed, Courage and Great Genes!
They should have had a clue. After all, Karen Vernon and Ray Cattouse are sports legends in their own right, having represented Belize in myriad athletic events that run the gamut from football, basketball, track & field and cycling to triathlons. Perhaps it was destiny indeed that morphed their little girl into an amazing athlete.
“My life revolves around fitness,” Kaya admits, naming her 8-to-5 job as the only reason she doesn’t do more in a 24-hour day. “Mornings and weekends are dedicated to cycle training. I fit in some exercise in the evening to keep my weight in check. My biggest workout? Wrangling my kids and other people’s kids as a mom, host and coordinator of youth sporting events staged in Belize throughout the year.”
Role model. Athlete. Careerist. Kaya is a bit obsessive when it comes to helping kids discover the wonder of athletics and she talks about her long-term goal of introducing more females to sports. “In this day and age, one can’t be shy about encouraging others to develop a passion for the sport because the benefits never end. I have a vision for the future of sports in Belize and you might have noticed that I express my opinions openly,” she laughs.
Does this mean that Kaya is satisfied with the way professionals guide newcomers? Not always. “Sometimes, people in leadership positions are only in it for the benefits and attention that come with titles, while the athletes they represent are left to fend for themselves.” In her role as athlete advocate, she eschews attention and prefers to showcase young talent that she sees all around her.
What drives this spirited multi-tasker? As a professional athlete, she considers herself a patriot and shows her love of country every time she advocates on behalf of the nation’s athletes or accomplishes something herself. Role model? You bet. And everyone with whom she comes into contact respects her dedication.
“Every time I speak out about the critical role talented young athletes are destined to play in Belize’s future, I know that my words directly benefit every youth eager to find his or her place on the international stage. They represent the future of Belizean sport and every one of them is special.”
So is Kaya. View this YouTube footage to see why we are proud to declare this exceptional athlete Barefoot’s Belizean of the month. Our final words? You go girl!