Do it with passion or not at all – that is the motto which 26-year-old sports broadcaster Cato Louw lives by.
The Sea Point resident is proof that dynamite really does come in small packages.
Constantly overshadowed by the towering rugby players she interviews, Ms Louw is one of the youngest female rugby anchors on SuperSport, and the voice behind the Eyewitness News (EWN) sports bulletins on KFM’s Weekend Breakfast Show and CapeTalk’s John Maytham Show.
Ms Louw said she realised her passion for sports at a young age.
She was always an active child and took part in a number of sports including cycling, running and tennis.
Growing up in a small town called Hogsback in the Eastern Cape, the sports enthusiast would resort to listening to the cricket over the radio as they did not pick up a strong television signal.
Whether it was an ODI or a five-day test match, she would sit next to the radio and listen to every ball being bowled.
If there was no sports being broadcast over the radio on a Saturday, she could be found watching her father’s tennis tournaments.
Ms Louw admits that her father, Tobie, inspired and influenced her into joining the industry. “My dad always took me and my sisters cycling and coached us tennis for quite a while. He has quite hectic back problems, so he made a point of moving and getting outside for his own health and I was always all too happy to tag along,” said Ms Louw.
She has had her fair of challenges of working in a male-dominated industry. She said as a young female presenter, people did not always take her seriously and she sometimes needed to create opportunities for herself because there were not many.
However, she has not let that stand in her way. She has made a point of not just talking about and supporting sports, but also gaining knowledge of every aspect of it by obtaining a BSc in Sport Science at Stellenbosch University.
She later went to ETA sports college and earned a diploma in fitness and nutrition.
“When I walk into a male-dominated room while they are talking about sports it’s easy for me to fall into the conversation and have a valid opinion because I know what I’m talking about. I try not to feel the fact that I am a female in this industry or that people think that I should take a back seat,” she said.
She added that if something didn’t go her way or someone didn’t take her seriously, she would just take it as an opportunity to do her research and come back with more knowledge.
Sharing her highlights of the last six years of working in sports radio, Ms Louw said she is proud of a show they started at Stellenbosch University campus radio station MFM, called halftime.
It’s South Africa’s first lunch time sports show hosted by a female that runs five days a week. It started in 2017 and it went on to win multiple awards at MFM and was also nominated for a Liberty Radio Award.
On what she enjoys most about sports, Ms Louw said she loves the discipline of it, the fact that someone seemingly ordinary is actually extraordinary because of that extra bit of work they put in daily and the spectators witness their brilliance on the world stage and be part of history.
She said she loved how sport unites everyone, no matter their background.
“I hope that we remember to celebrate each and every aspect of the sporting community, from the guy who maintains the field to the glamorous flyhalf scoring all the points because sport is a team effort and no one gets to where they are on their own. The same with the ‘smaller’ sports, I hope we get to a space where the public and companies make a point of investing and supporting these sports, because that’s how they will grow,” she said.