Like millions of people across the world, I always dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. I tried a lot of sports when I was growing up but never really found "the one" for me. I first discovered running whilst at university, when I signed up for the 2006 Bath Half Marathon. The challenge of running so far seemed incredible to me and I quickly became a huge running fanatic. Two years later on a work placement I stumbled across the world of triathlon when I read something about IronMan, and I thought... wow... that is ludicrous... how could someone EVER do that?! ... I couldn't shake it from my head so within 3 weeks I had signed up to the 2009 Wimbleball 70.3, bought myself some goggles, a basic road bike and I was off.
I quickly developed an obsession for triathlon and posted some pretty good results in a fairly short space of time, so I turned my focus to Age Group qualification. Like it is for so many people, this was a dream and something that I could see within my grasp.
With my new mission in place, (Bala Triathlon GB Qualifiers) I wrote to dozens of brands in the sport. Brands that I admired with products I loved. I simply asked what so many people ask of TrueStart now... "this is why I love your brand, here are my recent great results, here is my current objective and vision of what I want to achieve in the sport long term. Can you please support me in some way?"
I didn't get one response... not one. Not even a "sorry but good luck". I was left feeling a bit dejected. I knew deep down that I was just one guy out of thousands with the same dream but it didn't sit right with me that the sport that I put my heart and soul into and the brands I admired so much had simply ignored me when I reached out.
Fast forward a few years and I still wonder what I might have achieved if I just had a little more support? What could I do about it, to help the thousands of athletes out there, just like me, who just needed someone to believe in them...
What if I could sponsor everyone?
When I started TrueStart with Helena, it was really important to me that we use this incredible opportunity to build a brand that can make a difference to every single athlete out there and help them achieve what they set out to achieve.
I quickly found out that it is not realistic to sponsor everyone with free products or take on traditional sponsorship deals. It's also not very authentic to buy yourself ambassadors as so many other brands do.
So what do we have to give? We have a huge a passion for sport and massive belief in everyone who engages with us. We put a huge amount of energy and time into the community around TrueStart and expect nothing in return.
Since day one, Helena and I have been dedicated to every person who buys into and believes in what we are building. We know thousands of our customers by full name, sport, PB times, recent injuries, next challenge and more... and we love it! You are all the inspiration behind what we do and I want every one of you to feel like you are supported by us as a brand and as people.
We are not elitist, we believe in everyone. Whether you are breaking world records or walking your first ever mile, we support everyone just the same. With advice, belief, courage and friendship. Training, racing, recovering, learning and everything else that comes with sport, can be lonely. That is where #TEAMTRUESTART comes in - it's a virtual team that spans the globe, of people who are upping their game in sport and life. It's a place where ideas are shared, encouragement is given, success is celebrated and failures are accepted.
With #TEAMTRUESTART, we are building a sense of belonging and community that so many people crave. We are honoured that you have joined us and that we are able to share this journey with you.
Representing in the real world
Hundreds of you already represent #TEAMTRUESTART when you train or race, by wearing our kit. Nothing makes me happier than when I hear someone in a crowd cheering on another person wearing TrueStart kit. It's a real-world representation of the awesome online community we are building.
Now we are taking this to the next level. From today, anyone who purchases TrueStart kit to represent the team when they are training and racing, will get exclusive access to the #TEAMTRUESTART Portal for life. Completely free.
So what's inside? Exclusive deals from our awesome partner brands.
This is our way of saying thank you and giving you an extra layer of support to help you achieve your personal goals. You will also find occasional free race entries in there and will be the first to try new products as they launch!
And don't worry, those of you who have purchased TrueStart kit in the past, you are already eligible for free access!
Thank you for your support and for being part of #TEAMTRUESTART :)