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Dec 7, 2021

Belizean Cyclist Signs with LA Sweat

She is the most decorated Belizean female cyclist, having won races in all female categories in Belize as well as placing well if not winning in her races internationally. Now, Kaya Cattouse has again made the country proud by landing a one-year contract with a professional U.S-based cycling team. Cattouse made the official announcement today at the National Sports Council’s office at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. News Five’s Marion Ali was on hand for the announcement and filed this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Belize’s female cycling sensation, Kaya Cattouse has landed a significant achievement in her cycling career. Tariq Cano, who is himself aspiring to become the next cycling president, made the announcement.


Tariq Cano

Tariq Cano, Aspiring President, Cycling Federation of Belize

“Kaya becomes the first female and the first Belizean born to get signed to American Pro cycling team, L.A. Sweat. I just want everybody to know about this big accomplishment – what it means not only to her but to the country as well and the cycling community.”


Cattouse explained what it took for her to get here.


Kaya Cattouse

Kaya Cattouse, Signs Contract with L.A. Sweat

“It took a couple years going back and forth every summer in hopes that something like this would come through. Finally, amidst the COVID pandemic, myself and a couple other Belizeans had the privilege of racing this summer in Chicago at the Intelligentsia Cup and this was where the opportunity stemmed from, noh.”


At her side in support of the contract today was Deputy Director of the National Sports Council, Marvin Ottley.


Marvin Ottley

Marvin Ottley, Deputy Director, National Sports Council

“When something like this does happen, definitely as a country we have to celebrate it and embrace it as much as possible. Sometimes in sports there’s just a small window and different sport have different backgrounds in terms of age. Her window appears now and its best that she tries to get in.”


Before now, Cattouse had been raising funds to sponsor younger female cyclists ride their own races. Now she hopes this new arrangement will complement her office as Councilor for Youth and Sports.


Kaya Cattouse

“I wouldn’t say it impacts my work as a Councilor; I would say it enhances it because of the new opportunities that I will be able to bring to more youths of the city and not only the city, by extension, the entire country, in particular, youths who are interested in cycling – my biggest portfolio at the Council is Youth and Sports and I will definitely be making sure that that is fulfilled to my utmost best.”


And if you’re thinking that you’ll be seeing less of Kaya in Belize, she says it’s just the opposite. She’ll be right here carrying out her Council duties.


Kaya Cattouse

 “These races are sixty to seventy minutes long. They race by time; they race on a set course. It’s not (like) here in Belize where you ride all the way out to Cayo and come back. It’s not a five, six-hour race. So training for races of shorter distance will definitely fit right within my schedule.”


As she pedals on to her professional cycling career, Cattouse hopes this accomplishment encourages younger athletes to pursue their goals.

Kaya Cattouse

“For years as athletes we have been told that sports is just a hobby and it’s just something that you should do in your spare time. Get a real job. Today I am grateful to say that sports may no longer be a hobby of mine.”


Kudos to Kaya Cattouse for having made Belize proud once again for being the first Belizean-born cyclist to ride professionally. Marion Ali for New Five.


L.A. Sweat’s website reads in part, quote: We are still more than ever dedicated to growing the sport of cycling and getting more women on bikes!” unquote. Kaya’s contract is for one year, effective January 2022.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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