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#511386 - 02/05/16 11:01 AM Kaya Cattouse Speaks Up For Lady Cyclists
Marty Offline
Kaya Cattouse is a well-known elite Belizean cyclist. But, tonight, she's up in arms with the Cycling Federation of Belize. That's because she is alleging sexual discrimination on the part of the federation and one of its biggest sponsors - BTL.

It all started with a stinging post on Facebook regarding the upcoming Digicell Valentine Tour. Kaya posted, and we quote, "The tours are coming back to our cycling calendar. Way to go CFB! Way to go Digicell! Or at least that's what I would say if I were a MALE ELITE cyclist. Female and Junior category aren't "tour worthy"….I'm starting to wonder now if DIGICELL is partnering with the federation and discriminating against riders based on their age and gender." End quote.

Kaya continued with her angry tirade by threatening to convince her fellow riders to switch to SMART.

But the federation is not taking it lightly. On Monday they sent her this letter explaining that her actions are in breach of the following code of conduct: respect for others, respect for self and respect for the cycling federation. We note that a section of the code of conduct says that the signatory shall refrain from any actions that might bring the federation into disrepute. The letter ended with a stern warning that said, quote, "Failure to cease and desist will result in a fine and suspension."

When we approached Kaya for a comment she was reluctant to speak with us, fearing victimization. Deon Leslie, the president of the Cycling Federation also declined to speak on camera but told us via a telephone conversation that quote, "She can be vocal all she wants, she has the right, but in that same breath you must remember that you are a registered member of this federation and you must respect our constitution and our code of conduct which you signed." They claim that the main reason why the female and junior riders have not been included in this tour is due to a lack of finances and has nothing to do with calculated attack on female and junior riders.

The Cycling Federation also noted that it had issued Kaya previous warnings about her angry posts. The situation has picked up quite a bit of traction on social media. Meanwhile the federation says that it will continue to do what it can to protect its sponsors.

Channel 7


Here is her letter on Facebook:

Kaya C. Cattouse made these comments on her personal fb page: she then received the letter below!! We are living in a country where we are discouraged to speak up!!

1. Digicell Valentine Tour. Sounds nice chu? The tours are coming back to our cycling calendar. Way to go CFB! Way to go Digicell! Or at least that's what I would say if I were a MALE ELITE cyclist. Female and Junior category aren't "tour worthy"...we have to be satisfied with a one day race.

I'm starting to wonder now if DIGICELL is partnering with the federation and discriminating agaisnt riders based on thier age and gender.

Seemingly only males above the age of 18 are recognized digicell customers. Maybe I need fu dash weh my btl phone!! And convince my fellow female and junior cyclists and all dey pickney weh ah teach fu go smart!

Between CFB and Digicell unno must could make the female and junior have tour to...last year we had a 2 days 3 stages tour....now wi di walk back way to one day. Both female and junior Cross Country are before elite...I can't see the rationale.

#2. Being a female athlete in this country is frustratingly ridiculous...ludicrous.

Everybady always have wah real schupid reason as to y dey do shit that negatively affects the females. And the sad part about it is that people will always SILENTLY stand in solidarity with you and their faces are never seen, voices are never heard but they reap the seeds that you independently sow and after the fact express their "support".

I'll forever be the loud mouth, regardless of who i have to tangle with...my daddy taught me to stand up...and stand up, I will. ‪#‎BackBone‬ #3. If funding is the problem...what more would it cost to have Females and Juniors do the 2 Saturday stages? Officials and all are already set for the time trial and criterium.


CFB Threatens to Suspend Kaya Cattouse

Well known cyclist and sports enthusiast Kaya Cattouse has been threatened by Cycling Federation of Belize President Dion Leslie. In a letter sent to Cattouse Tuesday, Leslie accuses her of breaching three areas of the Federation’s code of ethics, namely – respect for others, respect for self and respect for the Federation. Leslie goes on to write that if Cattouse does not cease and desist, she will be fined and suspended.

It’s a very stern letter to one of Belize’s best premier cyclists. So what did Cattouse do to deserve such a sanction? Well, about the only thing we can come up with is that on her personal Facebook page Cattouse criticized B.T.L. and threatened to switch to Smart. In a nutshell, B.T.L. is the title sponsor of the Digicell Valentine Tour scheduled for next weekend. Last year that tour was a two day multi-stage event for all cyclists, but this year it’s different. Female and junior cyclists will have to make do with a one day race while Male Elite cyclists will participate in a four day five stage race.

On her Facebook page Cattouse wrote, “I’m starting to wonder now if DIGICELL is partnering with the federation and discriminating against riders based on their age and gender. Seemingly only males above the age of 18 are recognized digicell customers. Maybe I need fu dash weh my B.T.L. phone!! And convince my fellow female and junior cyclists and all dey pickney weh ah teach fu go smart.” And that, it seems, was that.

Cattouse declined an interview today.

Channel 5




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#511411 - 02/06/16 11:13 AM Re: Kaya Cattouse Speaks Up For Lady Cyclists [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Cyclist Kaya “Lawyers Up”

Yesterday we told you how the Cycling Federation had suspended elite female rider Kaya Cattouse. That's after she blasted the Federation on Facebook, when she found out that the Digicel tour would not have a female category. The Federation wrote a sharp letter warning her to cease and desist or else face a fine and suspension.

Well today she snapped a letter right back at them - and this one is from Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman. Shoman warns the Federation, that it quote, "issued this letter in complete and utter disregard of my client's right to Natural Justice". Shoman goes on to point out that the Federation did not say exactly what "behavior" the federation was complaining about. The letter ends by saying and we quote, "CFB failed to observe and honor the right of Ms. Cattouse to a fair hearing prior to coming to a determination…the Federation has acted in a manner that is unreasonable…and…in my opinion, the determination made against her by the CFB is therefore null and void." We now await the Federation's response.

Channel 7


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#511412 - 02/06/16 11:14 AM Re: Kaya Cattouse Speaks Up For Lady Cyclists [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Museum of Belize is 14

Today the museum celebrated its 14th anniversary. As usual, primary school kids were invited to celebrate with balloons and cupcakes but the Director of the Museum Sherilyne Jones told us that she hopes these kids will take away something meaningful from the tour.

Sherilyne Jones - Director, Museum of Belize & Houses of Culture
"As we celebrate our 14th anniversary it's important that we invite these kids because the museum has to remain relevant and engaging and also create unique visitor experiences. So while we are celebrating 14th and like you said we normally have an open day where we invite our kids. We give them activities tied into the exhibitions and displays that they see. And we will also be showing them images of our history throughout the 14 years where we were to where we've come. I hope that when leave here they remember something important, something historical, something cultural that really resonates with them even if it's the insects if they saw something cool and then they can take that to their families and say I went to the Museum of Belize today and I saw something cool. For museums to survive in our society we have to be engaging. We have to be innovative especially with the onslaught of social media. So how do we incorporate social media, innovative ways to get and engage our visitors?"

Courtney Weatherburne
"So this is the first time you are coming to the museum?"

Sheniya Barrow - Bethel Primary School
"Yes ma'am"

Courtney Weatherburne
"So what did you think so far?"

Sheniya Barrow - Bethel Primary School
"It's really awesome."

Courtney Weatherburne
"What's pretty awesome about it?"

Sheniya Barrow - Bethel Primary School
"Back in the old days."

Courtney Weatherburne
"Are you surprised how Belizeans lived in the old days? It's very different from now right?"

Sheniya Barrow - Bethel Primary School
"Yes ma'am"

Courtney Weatherburne
"What else are you looking forward on this tour? What else do you want to learn?"

Sheniya Barrow - Bethel Primary School
"More about how the prisoners used to stay in the cell."

Moises Gean Michel - Bethel Primary School
"I learned about how the people went to jail and they were beaten and sleep on the ground in the cell."

On the topic of visitors, the kids are getting the most out these tours but what about the adults? Are Belizeans actually taking time out to go to the museum? Museum Director Sherilyne Jones reflected on the last 5 years and told us there is an imbalance between the number of Belizeans and the number of tourists who visit the museum. Jones told us what they are doing to address this.

Sherilyne Jones - Director, Museum of Belize & Houses of Culture
"A number of people don't realize the vast of information that's included in this building. The fact that we are in a historical prison that was once a prison for the country. That itself tells a story and so the idea is just to get people aware that we exist, aware of the educational programs and displays that we have here and just really to increase our membership and our visitation throughout the year with Belizeans. In terms of visitation within the past 5 yrs. we have increased. In 2010 our average visitation was about 9,000 we are about 14 -15,000 now. There is a discrepancy between the foreign and the local that is why we have free Saturdays for Belizeans. That was something that was important for us here at NICH to give Belizeans that opportunity to come in the museum. It's a Saturday, it's free, take your time bring your kids, bring your grandparents and reminisce - walkthrough old Belize."

Over 300 primary school students visited the museum today.

Channel 7


Museum of Belize


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#511488 - 02/09/16 10:55 AM Re: Kaya Cattouse Speaks Up For Lady Cyclists [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Kim + Kaya Kumbaya

The last we heard about female cyclist Kaya Cattouse is that she had "lawyered up" and her attorney Lisa Shoman had fired off a letter to Cycling Federation of Belize - who had threaten to fine and suspend her for a series of facebook postings. Cattouse was complaining about the Digicell Valentine's Tour only including elite male cyclists. Now the issue has gotten the attention of the special envoy for women and children, Kim Simplis Barrow. Today, she issued a release saying, quote, she "stands in solidarity with Belize's female cyclists in light of the recent decision to cancel their participation in the upcoming Digicell Valentine's Cycling Tour…allowing only the male elite cyclists to participate in this annual event, which previously included female riders, highlights the gender inequality that continues to be rampant in sports in Belize." End quote. The release further stated that Miss Barrow, quote, "calls on the Belize Cycling Association as well as all other sporting associations to take deliberate actions to develop women's sport in Belize." The release ends by saluting Kaya Cattouse and the other female cyclists who are quote, "breaking down barriers" in a male dominated sport. We contacted the Vice President of the association who told us via a telephone conversation that the matter has been blown way out of proportion. He said that it has nothing to do with gender based discrimination; It was simply a matter of logistics.

Channel 7


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#511512 - 02/10/16 10:49 AM Re: Kaya Cattouse Speaks Up For Lady Cyclists [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Cycling Association Responds To Kaya Controversy

For the past week we have been following the case of elite female cyclist Kaya Cattouse who made a facebook stink about the cycling federation. Kaya alleged that the federation was discriminating against her and other female cyclists by excluding them from the upcoming Digicell Valentine's Tour. The vice president of the cycling federation told us yesterday that the entire matter was blown way out of proportion. Today he visited our offices where he hoped to set the record straight once and for all. He says it all started with the annual cycling calendar that was released to all cyclists in January 4th.

Orson Butler, VP, Belize Cycling Federation
"She went back to the same point again and explained why is it that they don't have for the female when the female cross country is before and I explained the same thing that I explained a little while to you just now, that the female competition doesn't have international competition. So the federation sees it best to have a tour for the elite, but at that same moment I explained to her they have an event later on the year for the female which is a tour. Because the federation is seeking a race to go internationally. So we believe it's going to be best to have the tour for female and juniors around that time. So that they are in better condition to face that type of competition. Well Kaya's response at that time was "well you know I have to write my thing on facebook." I told her be very careful of what you write and that was it."

A few likes and a couple of facebook shares, was all it took for the complaint to go viral. And, pretty soon, the Prime Minister's wife Kim Barrow - was taking a stand with Kaya.

But Butler insists that contrary to perception, the Federation does strive to develop women in cycling:

Orson Butler, VP - Belize Cycling Federation
"I'll be frank with you, I've been around cycling for 25 years and from ever since 1990 I believe when it was Solis rode the first cross country, we only had one female participation in one race and that's the Holy Saturday Cross Country. At this stage 2015, every race on the cycling federation calendar has a female event. So it cannot be female equality. It's just to me, I believe it's just rudeness - outright rudeness."

Emanuel Pech
"So where would the perception of gender base discrimination come from?"

Orson Butler, VP - Belize Cycling Federation
"Well to be honest, that's all make up. It can't be a gender base. If you check all the resources and all the sporting event in Belize, cycling is the only sport in Belize that has a female race every time there is a male or junior event on our calendar, being it's a classic or criterium. Once its run under the federation of Belize we have an event for the females."

According to the Federation's calendar of events, a country tour for the female and junior cyclists is set to take place from the 13th to the 15th of May. As for the warning letter issued to Kaya where she was threatened of a possible fine and suspension, we understand that the federation never followed up on that.

Channel 7


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#511545 - 02/11/16 11:35 AM Re: Kaya Cattouse Speaks Up For Lady Cyclists [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Ray Cattouse Weighs in on Cycling Controversy

Ray Cattouse

The firestorm caused by the threat to fine and suspend Kaya Cattouse to compete in races organized by the Belize Cycling Federation, has not subsided. The well known cyclist has not spoken publicly, but has received support from various sectors for lamenting on her Facebook that female and junior cyclists were being marginalized from the races. With the clock ticking and races quickly approaching, this afternoon, Kaya’s father Ray Cattouse, a cyclist and team owner had his say on the controversy.

Ray Cattouse, Owner, C-Ray Cycling Club

“Coming up the Digicell Classic C-Ray Cycling Club, will not field a masters team, we noh wah field a junior’s team and we noh wah field a female team. We will only field an elite team because Brandon is not being affected, but Kaya is being affected, and my junior guys are being affected. I as a master is not being affected, but I will support them. We are fed up and tired of the federation trying to muzzle you; di jump behind a code of conduct that you sign and because you sign that that means you must not have a point of view. That’s my take on that; because I sign a code of conduct, I must not have a point of view. The President of the Federation lied to us for the Digicell Classic. He said to us that there will be no female and junior tour this year because that is the wish of the sponsor and that to me is out of order. With those words from the president, we said what we said about Digicell because anybody ina fi we position would have said so. At this point in time, one week after this thing is going on, I am starting to want to believe that maybe the president wasn’t lying because until now Digicell can’t come up and say yet that we never say so. Either that or Digicell is trying to protect the president. Either way, Mister President of the Federation is to simply to see that the different federations around the country are having races for all the members—juniors, females, elite and masters. That is a part of his job; his job is not to try to do what he is doing right now to micromanage Belize Central and wants to run the day-to-day affairs and race-to-race affairs of Belize Central. That is not his job. His job is to see that cycling is happening in the country, is happening under the rules, is running the way it is supposed to run, the different federations around the country is doing what they are supposed to do. That is his job.”

C-Ray Cycling Club Owner Threatens Legal Action

Cattouse is not taking lightly the threat made to Kaya by the Cycling Federation. He says he wants it removed from her record and if not, he is heading up the steps of the court.

Ray Cattouse, Owner, C-Ray Cycling Club

“I want to say that this threat that they have on Kaya record, I want it removed. They got on one of the news media and said that it was only a threat and they did nothing about it. We got the letter, we have the letter so it was done. We want it back in writing that that threat is going to be removed from Kaya’s record otherwise, we ending up in the Supreme Court…yo hear that Mister Leslie? Dah deh we gwen if you think that unu wah stuck to fi unu think like weh unu say.”

Duane Moody

“The cross country is going to come up—there’s both female and male. If this situation continues unabated, what will be the next step? Will you guys boycott that as well?”

Ray Cattouse

“We are planning on it. And we are thinking about it in a grand fashion, the C-Ray Cycling Club. And we are planning to do something in grand fashion because we want a sit down with the federation and the federation refuses to sit down with Ray Cattouse.”

Channel 5


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