Halmann Vella, Beneath the Surface:
“There is no magic formula, it’s all about hard work and commitment”
– Catherine Chetcuti, HR Manager, Halmann Vella
Catherine Chetcuti, 43, is the heart and soul of the Halmann Vella employees, managing our HR team for over five years. At home, Catherine is a wife and a mum to two boys.
When she’s not doing either of these, Catherine is an athlete.
Are you a born athlete? Can anyone become an Athlete?
No, I was not a born athlete, I only started running when my youngest was a year and a half, that makes it circa 9 years ago. Since then, I’ve taken part in many different races, with distances varying from 5kms to full marathons. With the full Marathon being my preferred distance. Therefore, I do believe that anyone can become an athlete if they put their mind to it.
What would you say is your biggest achievement, yet?
My biggest achievement by far would be taking part in the 5th edition, Half Marathon Des Sables (HMDS), Fuerteventura, in The Canary Islands. This is a self-sufficient race, spread on three days of adventure and tough challenges in the middle of the desert, where each participant has to carry their own travelling backpack throughout the race. I was overwhelmed with joy and great satisfaction when I learned that over the three stages I placed 8th from over 360 women, and 43rd from all the 900 participants from all over the world!
Amazing experience, and one which I will treasure for long and until the next one!
Why was this different from the rest?
This was the longest race I have ever done, where you not only have to be physically prepared but also mentally. Running 100kms over three days, carrying a 6kg bag is no easy feat. Preparing for this race took months of training and preparations. Before the race, I had to remain focused throughout and overcome many challenges. This included cutting down on my social lifestyle, swapping my evenings out with early nights, every day, so that I wake up early to train in the morning for months on end.
How do you juggle your training/races with your family, job, and lifestyle?
When there is a will there is always a way. There is no magic formula – it’s all about hard work and commitment. Waking up very early and getting my training over and done with before I start getting the boys ready for school and before I go to work works out the best for me, so that after work I can dedicate time to my family, before hitting the bed again.
What got you into sports?
My husband is a very good athlete, one of Malta’s finest I would say. Unlike me, he has been into sports forever. Back when we got married and had our boys, my husband was obsessed with triathlon, this involves three different disciplines, swimming, cycling, and running. One can only imagine how many daily hours of training this consumes! This has imposed a lot of pressure on our marriage. I did not want him to stop training and, well, he was not willing to do so either, so instead, he asked me to start training with him and that is what got me started 😊.
If it is, explain how your competitions/marathons’ satisfaction is different to your daily/weekly exercise.
When you compete in a race, and you achieve a good result it makes all your sacrifices worthwhile and the satisfaction you get is unexplainable. Regular training, on the other hand, is the daily dose to stay in shape for when the ‘big challenges’ come along, and you won’t have to start from scratch. Also, training may turn into a positive habit, a lifestyle, and a way to rid of the daily stress which may accumulate from the busy lives we lead.
Apart from your husband, who would you say inspired you and why?
I would say it’s Jack Schiavone, who was an avid cyclist and one of the best in Malta, he was also a very good friend of ours. We have shared so many memories with him and his family. Jack always believed in me, and he was the one who encouraged me to do this race. Unfortunately, Jack lost his battle against cancer last June.
This brings me to mention another friend we lost this year, Victor Calvagna who died tragically in a traffic accident. Victor, who was our teammate, was also planning to join us for the HMDS.
Since both were dear friends of ours, we decided to dedicate the HMDS race to them.
Do you ever feel like giving a training session a miss? What makes you carry on?
Haha yes, of course… many times – however, having a goal helps you remain committed.
What are your priorities in life?
My family is always my priority.
Apart from sports, do you have other hobbies/passions?
Yes, travelling! Nothing fulfils me more than spending time with my family abroad,
In relation to sports, which is your ONE dream that you want to see happening?
In a couple of years, I would like to run the Full Marathon Des Sables, that is double the distance I have done this year.
At Halmann Vella, we thank Catherine for her dedication and the sublime service she gives to all the employees. We also wish her remarkable success leading to greater satisfactions.
They say that inspiration is contagious; Catherine Chetcuti has inspired Halmann Vella to organise a charity day in aid of Cycling with Jack for L-Istrina. On Saturday, the 26th of November the Company will provide station bikes for all employees who wish to cycle against a donation in aid of L-Istrina 2022.
Donations can be made either via the BOV Mob app 79359565