NATIONAL PETROLEUM has fuelled powerlifter Rondel Hunte's motivation to achieve international success by signing him as its brand ambassador for one year. The partnership is worth just under $200,000.
The announcement was made at the National Academy of Performing Arts in Port of Spain, yesterday.
Among those who attended the function were Hunte's parents, Dawn Rodney-Hunte and Ronald Hunte, his coach Sanjeev Teelucksingh, NP CEO Bernard Mitchell and NP chairman Sahid Hosein and a number of Hunte's friends.
"Today is a really special day for me...Four years ago when I started my powerlifting journey, I would have never thought I would have been here today," Hunte said.
Hunte, who grew up in Cunupia, reflected on his childhood, saying his life is one he hopes will encourage others.
"The message that I want to leave with you all today is simply a message of perseverance – a message of believing in yourself. Not many people may know that before I even started powerlifting I was an overweight child. I was about 275 pounds and this tall (showing a height of about five feet five inches), so to be here today is really something special. I am proud to accept this endorsement and I look forward to doing big things with NP and Ultra in the year coming," Hunte said.
Hunte, 23, is targeting the senior level after dominating at the junior level.
Discussing his plans, Hunte said, "I recently turned 23 so this is my last year as a junior athlete. Although it is my last year as a junior athlete, the plan is to take it into the open division...This year, the goal is to go to the open division where the competition is definitely going to be more stiff, and this year the goal is also to do more international competitions."
Hunte, who won the 2018 Junior 105kg World Championships title, plans to compete at the World Championships, Pan American Championships and the Commonwealth Championships in the near future.
Hosein said NP is happy it can support Hunte on his goal of advancing in the sport. "On behalf of NP and the Ultra Lubricants Brand, we are very proud to be able to assist and join Rondel in his pursuits and we are certainly sure, God willing, that he will continue to put TT on the global map," Hosein said.
Mitchell reiterated, "I just want to indicate our total support for Rondel. We have your back Rondel and we look forward to bigger and better things going forward."