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Josh and his wife Louise are TRUE STORY’s newest brand ambassadors. We are really excited about them joining our team. Here is a short interview with Josh.

First of all – welcome on board – we are really happy and proud you both being a great part of the TRUE STORY community. What’s your first impression about the brand and people involved in TRUE STORY? And how did this chapter start – you becoming a TRUE STORY ambassador?

Josh: My first impression is really positive!!
I have known Edgars as a friend of friends for years but never really got a chance to work with him on a project. We got chatting one day, it sounded like the True Story team and Edgars was working hard to develop what they believed in. My family at home have all been involved in their own businesses so I understood where and how True Story was at the time when we spoke. I tried to offer as much help as I could, just to be helpful because it is not always easy when you have your own business. I also believe this is a good product, alongside that I think it will be great for the Orienteering community as well.

From there, the ball got rolling! I could feel myself getting more and more excited about where this adventure was going. The more I learned and the more I met/heard from other people involved in True Story, the more positive I felt and was getting drawn into the excitement.

You are now living and working in Sweden, could you tell us more about your connection to Sweden? How long are you there and why Scandinavia?

Josh: Yes, I live in Huskvarna, Sweden.
Like many orienteers from non-Scandinavian countries, the draw of the “Orienteering Mecca” was calling 😉
Actually, my wife Louise is Swedish. We met when she was working in England. We lived together in my home town of York but she wanted to move back to Stockholm to study, the conversation did not last very long before we realized this was something we both wanted to do together.

This is the question that we always want to hear from our ambassadors: what’s your personal sports-related “true story”?

Josh: My “True Story” is a long one. I would say my true story is best told in a good pub warmed by a fire with a nice beer in hand 😉 … But I will try to write a short version for you especially.

I always loved and tried most sports available to me while growing up in York, in the North of England. I have always had too much energy, this often led me to get into trouble at school. I needed to do sports to give me somewhere to release my energy and frustration as a teenager. One particular period at school where I had been getting into a lot of trouble, I was sent to the headteacher’s office. While stood outside waiting to go in for my “telling off” another teacher walk past, he knew I was close to getting into serious trouble for lots of little things piling up. He told me to follow him, and of course, I did as I hoped this would mean I would avoid the headteacher. We went to his office and he asked: “why can’t you just behave?” (not the first time I heard that question 😅). At the end of our chat, I asked him “What are you doing over the weekend?” (now I think about it, this is a strange question for a pupil to ask the teacher) and he replied he was going orienteering. “I will pick you up at 9:00 Saturday morning and you can come with me” and I loved it! From there we had a rule, if I could behave at school he would take me with him orienteering at the weekend. I am pretty sure I can’t have gone very often the first few months but over time he helped me calm down at school, my grades improved and I

was able to finish school a lot happier.
Pretty much from then on orienteering became a huge part of my life and what I wanted to do. Without Mike Ridealgh, everything would have been different. So I suppose this is Chapter 1 of Josh Beech’s Sporting True Story! 😁

Could you tell more about yourself – like the essence of you in one paragraph?

Josh: I would say I’m a pretty normal lad from Yorkshire who enjoys orienteering, traditional bitter, taking the dog for a run and spending time with my family. I try to be happy and smile a lot, I try to have a laugh, joke and not take myself too seriously (someone once said “when you realize Josh is always taking the piss he is easier to understand”).
I like to do well at things but hate to do badly.

As you are a great running and orienteering coach, have you counted how many athletes have benefited from Josh Beech coaching?

Josh: Definitely not counted!!
I don’t have time to count them, and what would happen if the number was a lot lower than I hoped? It would be very disappointing 🤣🤣
When I first started I worked as a freelance running coach. I had classes for big groups pretty much every day and saw around 100-150 people per week for two years…
I have worked with 4 different orienteering clubs – 150-200 members in each club…
2x orienteering academies 30-50 athletes each year…
Internet coaching + personal coaching, not sure how many athletes…
And I just like to help, if someone asks me a question, I will always try my best to give the best advice I can…
So yes, I would be very disappointed if I counted who has actually benefited from my coaching and the answer was low 🤣

Are there some special athletes or their achievements you would like to tell us about?

Josh: No, I think it’s best not to.
I remember when I was young and just started working with a coach and he was asked this same question in an interview for a magazine. I didn’t get a mention and It made me feel I wasn’t doing enough.
I enjoy seeing everyone improve, whether they are already at the top of their sport, learning to overcome something they have struggled with for years or trying orienteering/running for the first time.

We know that you still have some personal dreams in sports – could you tell us a bit more?

Josh: I still dream and want to develop myself as an athlete and orienteer. But I always feel the goal post move and change. Of course, I would love to become the best I ever could be, but I feel that my goal in sport is to be as good as I can while still being happy and making my loved ones happy at the same time.
I really want to do well in the relay orienteering races for my clubs Espoon Suunta and Ebor. I enjoy being in these teams as I have a lot of friends in both teams and I like to run well for them while trying to help them run well too.
And I would also love to run for Great Britain again.

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