This week’s feature is on a young Belizean athlete who has made us proud countless times, and is currently in Scotland to represent Belize once again in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Kaina Martinez, known to many as Kaina Arzu, is a well-known accomplished Belizean athlete, both locally and internationally. She was born in Independence Village, Stann Creek District, and was raised in Seine Bight by her single mother, who never failed to teach her the importance of building character and being a good citizen.
Kaina’s love for sports dates back as far as 1999 when she attended the St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Primary School and participated in the 4th National Primary School Sport Championships. She was a part of the 1999-2000 National Primary School Volleyball, Basketball, Softball and Football champions. Here, history was made, as St. Alphonsus was the first primary school to win all four national championships in one year. That year, Kaina was awarded MVP (Most Valuable Player) for both basketball and softball. She went on to Independence High School where she continued in her love for sport, and represented her school on numerous occasions.
While she excels in various sporting disciplines, Kaina focuses primarily on track and field. Belize’s own local track star is presently the Central American 100 meter and 200 meter record holder, and was also 2010 champion in the Central American Games. Kaina has represented Belize in many countries, including India, Korea, Brazil, London and all of Central America, just to mention a few. In the past ten years, she has competed in the Central American and Caribbean Games, World Championships, Central American Championship and the Olympics, which is one of the world’s highly anticipated games. Kaina is now in Glasgow, Scotland to represent Belize in the Commonwealth Games 2014, which started on Wednesday, July 23.
Kaina has received several awards, among them are some prestigious honors, including “Outstanding Young Belizean” by the Ministry of Education and Sports 2004; she received the “Youth in Sports” award twice; a certificate for community service from NOPCAN; and the “Sports Star Award,” among others.
Kaina has seen sports as a key driver on life’s road to success. She believes it builds character, determination, self-discipline, self-motivation and has made her a courageous achiever who is willing to go beyond limitations. Having learned these and many other attributes, Kaina is now using sports as a catalyst to help as many young people in her community, and hopes to reach out to many other young Belizeans through her Summer Break Track and Field Camp Games (KMTCG).
Kaina is a member of the Belize Coast Guard and was appointed an Officer Cadet in 2012. She holds an Associate Degree from the University of Belize. In January of 2013, Kaina was granted a full scholarship to attend Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Texas, where she is presently working on a Bachelor’s in Speech Communication. She is an honour student and a track star as record holder for her school, as well as the winner of the Cactus Cup. She is also the All Star Conference Champion in the 100m and 200m. She is Belize’s 100m record holder and looks forward to take the 200m record.