Kaya Cattouse, Belize’s first professional cyclist

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BELIZE CITY, Thursday. December 9, 2021 – At a press conference Tuesday this week in the National Sports Council conference room at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City, Kaya Cattouse, aspiring Olympian and one of Belize’s most decorated cyclists in the modern era announced that she had fulfilled one of her two dreams of sporting life; she is now officially a professional cyclist, having signed a one-year professional contract with LA Sweat, now in her 8th consecutive season as the US professional cycling team. “They currently have a list of 8 women with cyclists from different states in the United States, Mexico, Canada and now Belize,” Kaya explained. His other goal is to represent his country at the Olympics.

When asked how this professional contract would impact her current positions as Belize City Councilor and Sports Coordinator at the National Sports Council, Kaya offered to add rather than subtract from her effectiveness in these positions, because his efforts are all in the field of sport. and young people, and his residency in Belize will not change through his pro cycling status. It was based on her performance and exposure over three years of racing in the United States (2018, 2019, and 2021) that convinced LA Sweat owners that she was already a good one. no one for their team. Kaya says she has the support of Mayor Bernard Wagner and the Belize City Council, as well as the National Sports Council, whose deputy director, Marvin Ottley was one of its presenters at the press conference, along with the cyclist. veteran and aspiring president of the Cycling Federation, Tariq Cano. She’ll only need a few days off when called in for races in the United States, where all of their professional races will be criterium-style with a maximum duration of 70 minutes. Her participation, Kaya revealed, would put her in an even better position to find scholarship and training opportunities abroad for young Belizean cyclists. And on the local scene, the annual youth cycling events that his C-Ray Cycling Club has run will continue, as “I’m just the face of the C-Ray club which has a number of family members and of friends who come together to make the events all possible.

In terms of the dollar value of his pro cycling status, Kaya explained that there are opportunities for greater pay, but his current contract is no bargain. However, this is a big step forward because, while previously she had to do barbecues and other fundraising activities to cover the cost of her travel expenses abroad to compete, this contract now covers all expenses, including travel and accommodation when called for a racing event. And their only cash winnings will be determined by their share (1/8) of the team’s winnings in the events they participate in.

Kaya Cattouse has been a pioneer in Belizean cycling for quite some time, having won all major races, Cross Country (3x), Krem New Year’s Classic (2x) and other smaller races; and she also won a silver medal at the 2021 Caribbean Cycling Championships last August in Santo Domingo. She even tried her hand at soccer, winning the national women’s soccer championships with the Belmopan Triple B’s. Fearless and outspoken, Kaya has been a shining light for sports fans in Belize; and her natural talent and thirst for excellence go wonderfully with an altruistic and inspired vision of hope and opportunities for success for young people and Belizean women in particular.

From this sports office and on behalf of the Kremandala and Belizeans around the world we say, congratulations on this great achievement, Kaya! May you continue to be successful in achieving your goals, and may your commitment and dedication continue to inspire young Belizeans to persevere in making their goals a reality as well.

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