Kate Doughty is an Australian elite athlete, motivational speaker, mentor and registered psychologist. Kate represented Australia at several international equestrian events, including the World Equestrian Games. She has recently been collaborating with La Trobe Business School students to support several charity events benefiting organisations like Cancer Council Victoria.
Less than 12 months ago, Kate made the dramatic change to Triathlon. Kate is now positioned 3rd in the ITU World Para-Triathlon rankings. In the following interview, Kate reflects on her outstanding career and also has some words of advice for Business Students.
When did you get involved in professional horse riding?
I always loved horses. My mother used to ride horses as a young child and retired from the sport when she moved up to the city to pursue her career in the stock market in her early 20’s. My father is also been involved in the industry, but from a horse racing perspective so it was in my blood. I always had a dream of representing my country at the Paralympics, so for me (being born with out a right hand) if I wanted to attempt this in the equestrian sport of dressage, it meant I had to figure out how to hold the reins. To ride at the highest level and to compete for my country, I had to learn how to ride with 4 reins. This was years of trial and error as a child, however I was selected to represent Aus at an International level in 2006, and successfully competed at this level up to and including the World Equestrian Games, in the USA in 2010, before I retired.
You recently made a dramatic change to triathlon. What inspired you to switch directions professionally?
Less than 12 months ago, I made the dramatic change to triathlon. This was an ambition born from personal loss, with the death of my mother spurring me to make a fresh start within a new sport. Unexpectedly, the results of this transition have been astonishing as I am now positioned 3rd in the ITU World Para-Triathlon rankings. I never lost sight of one day representing my country at the Paralympics, however it just happens to be in a sport I would have never believed possible… I now firmly have my eyes set on winning Gold at RIO, 2016.
What are your Triathlon plans for the coming year?
After winning Bronze at my first World Championships in October this year, all training is focused on selection for RIO Paralympics. I am almost there, however I need to win or podium at the following races early 2016 (no pressure!): Nationals (QLD) in January, Oceania Championships (Tas) in February, and two international races to be held in Aus in April. This will solidify my spot on the team and ultimately allow me to live my dream of competing at the Paralympics.
One of your current projects is your new skincare line, Nx2, focussing on a natural line of products and ingredients. What inspired to you start this project?
Nx2 is born from a very special and memorable part of my life. My mother, who was my mentor and best friend, taught my many interesting things about wholefoods and super-foods, which we are now seeing everywhere… my mother became one of the first accredited ‘raw’ food chefs in Australia, however sadly was unable to live her dream of opening a café and wholefoods store after loosing her battle with breast cancer in 2010. Sharing my mother’s passion for health, organic food, and awareness of protecting the body from the harsh realities of everyday living, I soon became aware that it is not only what we put IN our body, but also what we put ON our body that matters. Our largest organ in our body is our skin. By acting as an interface between the outside world and our internal bodies, the skin plays a very active part in protecting our internal world. Nx2 utilises the benefits of natural ingredients by supplying nurturing skin products. Nx2 products assist with the optimal functioning of your skin against external influences, as well as penetrating the skin to nurture your body internally. From Nature, to nurture, made with love.
How did you get involved with the La Trobe Business School Students and what compelled you to help them?
I have been a university student for many years, and I know what it is like when it comes to needing support and assistance. I was more than happy to help out after a friend who is associated with La Trobe approached me.
How do you think management students, and managers in general, can integrate the values you advocate in the nx2 line (an emphasis on natural ingredients and personal health) in their daily lives? Do you think this is something they should keep in mind when organising events and finding suppliers etc?
Just to keep in mind what your ‘take home message’ is. Make sure that you get involved with events and suppliers that inspire you, that you are passionate about, and that you are keen to become an advocate for. I also believe inspiration; passion and advocacy should fuel our activities and choices we make daily.
Have you got any advice for Business School students, to overcome academic and personal challenges?
Do what makes you happy. Always set goals. Life will bring challenges, but if you do what you love, and have goals to strive for, you will get there. Don’t hurry life, and be open to opportunities, especially when you least expect them.