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Women’s Month is Being Highlighted in the Teams of La Ruta Maya

It has been two years since the last La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. The event kicks off tomorrow, and in light of the celebration of Women’s Month, Love News is highlighting the female participants who will be paddling through the rapids of the Belize River over the course of the next four days. Reporter Giovanna Moguel has the story.

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News: Starting at 7 o’clock tomorrow morning, the paddlers will embark on their quest through the rapids of the river as well as battling against the winds of the Caribbean Sea. Love News spoke with 10 year old Arabella Lee and her father Robert Lee who will both be participating in the family category of the event. Robert Lee explained that it will be a way for them to spend time as a family while also building confidence and encouraging his children to test their limits. 

Arabella Lee, The Lee Boat: “I have paddled before and I play tennis very often.”

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News:  What motivated you to want to participate in the competition with your dad?

Arabella Lee, The Lee Boat: “I love the water and I love the nature of Belize and I would love to be on the river.”

Robert Lee, The Lee Boat: “She is a child but she’s quite disciplined. Like she said, she plays upwards of four hours of intense tennis every week. She’s competed for Belize prior to this in tennis and what we hope to get out of this is the bonding time. Even my son, he’s the other member of the team. He’s 16. So it’s going to be my son, my daughter and I and yeah, I want to show them that as difficult as it might be, with perseverance, you get rewards. So they know going forward that when things are difficult, if they persevere they will be successful.” 

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News: Arabella Lee hopes that she can be a symbol of encouragement in the lives of her peers, especially young girls, that they can do anything they put their minds to. 

Arabella Lee, The Lee Boat: “I hope from this experience many girls will see me and that they will also take a step to many other competitions and sports to get out and go in this beautiful country we have. All the young girls out there, I hope you can do this experience and just feel reassured that even though you’re young and you’re a girl, you can also do anything anyone else does.”

Robert Lee, The Lee Boat: That’s what we try to impress on Arabella is the equality of opportunity and that she can try and go after anything she likes. Anything she thinks she wants to do she should be able to attempt to do it and with hard work, she will be successful for sure.”

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News: Also participating in the race, in the women’s category, are a set of young girls from Galen University under the name: Lady Eagles. Their slogan is “Paddling to Break the Bias” to harmonise with the message of Women’s Month. Two of the participants have shared what their experience has been like while training for the competition. 

Jayda Brown, Lady Eagles, Galen University: “What I think that I’m going to be getting out of this challenge is that I’m being able to realise that once I set my mind to something, that I am capable of accomplishing it and I know during the period of accomplishing what I want, it’s going to be painful but at the end of the day, the result is rewarding. So I’m also, during this race, I’m training my mind not to quit. I’m training myself to know that when my body says that I’m tired that I still have 40% more to go.”

Tina Herrera, Lady Eagles, Galen University: “I am not only doing it for me but I’m doing it for every other girl or woman that is watching so it’s great to see I can be an inspiration to other people and to prove to myself that I am capable of going to the extra level of my success.”

Giovanna Moguel, Love FM News:  Reporting for Love News, I am Giovanna Moguel.