Powerade Brand Ambassador: “It’s hard to get things done with nothing”
By Avenash Ramzan
“Being very honest, I don’t think words can describe how hard is it not having the financial support that you require to compete at the highest level.”
The words of Arinze Chance, familiar as they might sound, aptly portray the predicament most Guyanese athletes endure in the execution of their craft.
Which such a situation has curtailed many a careers, the national 400m Indoor record-holder is determined to rise above those challenges; only a few weeks ago he was given a stark reminder of how unforgiving life as an athlete can be without the requisite backing.
“I was at a track meet two weeks ago in Miami, Florida, and in that race was multi Olympic medallist LaShawn Merritt, who is sponsored by Nike and of course other brands as well. Being in that position made me realise that I’m good enough to compete with the best in the world,” Chance reflected.
“But when he (Merritt) completed his race, he went straight to his massage therapist; I went straight to nobody. It’s hard to get things done with nothing,” an emotional Chance related as he held back tears.
On Thursday, the career of the student/athlete received a massive boost with Banks DIH Limited signing him as a Brand Ambassador for the Powerade sport drink.
The alliance will initially last for a year.
Several years after he was introduced to the sport by his father Philip Chance, Arinze is now excited about the future, with his immediate focus being a spot at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in July-August.
“I just want to say thanks to all the parties involved and it’s definitely going to be a relationship that will be beneficial to both myself and Banks DIH, and by extension Powerade and the Coca-Cola company,” the 25-year-old said.
“My athletics hopes would definitely be to go further than any athlete in Track and Field has gone in Guyana’s history, but to do that I need support and Banks DIH realised what I’ve done thus far, which is breaking the national Indoor 400m record, and they decided to partner with me.”
“I’m very appreciative of that because all this time the support really has been coming from my family and close friends. Now having corporate sponsorship makes it a lot easier to get through daily activities- your training, your therapy, your massage, your weight room sessions, your nutrition.”
Arinze’s father, who sat quietly through the contract signing, was understandably elated to witness the momentous occasion.
“It means a lot. This will go a far way,” the elder Chance commented.
There were times, the father related, when the temptation was there to let his son step away from the track, and focus solely on academics.
“But I understand dreams. It’s a strong desire, it’s everything, it’s passion. So I did not want to get in the way of him pursuing his dreams,” Philip reckoned.
Communications Manager of Banks DIH Limited Troy Peters and Coca-Cola Brand Executive Jennifer Khan were both delighted to finalise the agreement between the company and the athlete.
They both praised Chance’s work ethic and his commitment to academic and sporting excellence, noting that those qualities were a natural fit for the Powerade brand.
Chance, a standout at the National School Championship, is the country’s national Indoor 400m record-holder, with a time of 46.15 seconds.
The young Guyanese has also excelled in academics, having attended Bishops’ High, Queen’s College, the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of South Carolina.
Chance is the reigning 400m champion at the Aliann Pompey Invitational, having won the event the last time the Invitational was held in 2019.