Jamaica's rising swim sensation Zaneta Alvaranga is well aware of the demands of competing at the highest level.
At 17 years old, Alvaranga has already represented the island at numerous regional and international events, to include World Short-Course Championship and the Commonwealth Games, among others, and on each occasion was given a stark reminder of the requisite backing that athletes need to execute their craft.
It is with that in mind that she welcomed inking a partnership deal with Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) Limited to serve as brand ambassador and the first face of the 29-year-old distributor.
While her immense potential is already evident, Alvaranga says the role and support are a huge source of motivation for her to continue making a splash in a nascent career, especially at a time when many young athletes are gradually losing interest in the sport.
"This is a big opportunity for me as swimming is one of the more expensive sports, so this deal will be very beneficial to my continued progression in the sport and I am very grateful to CPJ for believing in my potential to make me their brand ambassador," Alvaranga told the Jamaica Observer during the signing at CRU on Lady Musgrave Road on Thursday.
"I believe that the right support makes a significant difference in an athlete's performance and I look forward to using the brand's innovative products to further improve my fitness and perform better," she added.
Alvaranga, who has been touted as one of those expected to take over the mantle from the now-retired, five-time Olympian Alia Atkinson, is intent on using CPJ's push to fuel her ambitions and possibly bring her dream of representing Jamaica at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris to fruition.
"I think this belief and trust of CPJ shows how far I have come because at one point I thought only high-level professionals are given brand ambassador roles. So this is a motivating factor for me to continue working hard to improve my craft," she said.
"I want to improve all around, not just with the usual events I do, but I want to step out of my comfort zone, broaden my horizon and strengthen every aspect of my swimming to continue representing Jamaica at a high level," the soft-spoken swimmer, who was joined by her father/coach Rory and mother Grace, said.
Though shy in nature, whenever Alvaranga touches the pool deck or gets close to water, her true potential emerges.
Rojah Thomas, CPJ director of retail sales, has witnessed that first-hand and believes Alvaranga defines grit, resilience, and determination, components of his company â€” which is recognised nationally as a leading food, non-food, wines and spirits distributor for major internationally renowned brands.
"She represented us at Swim for the Sanctuary last year and when the team met Zaneta and Rory it was just an immediate match. We felt that they represented everything that CPJ represents... family, determination and just being at the top of your game and she was that even though she is pretty young to the sport," Thomas said.
"So it was seeing her grace and her poise at the event that we decided that we need to make this more of a long-term partnership. Through our philanthropic arm, Care Protect Jamaica, which focuses on the preservation of the marine eco system, we also thought that was a great tie into the sport of swimming and who better to partner with than Zaneta?" he reasoned.
While reluctant to reveal figures and the terms of the deal, Thomas pointed out that the partnership forms part of the company's strategy to empower and inspire athletes to become better, stronger and more focused.