Josh Andrew is a multi-sport athlete

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JOSH Andrew, the son of Saipan Paddling Club’s head coach Justin Andrew, is a multi-sport athlete who has won countless sporting events thanks to his various sets of skills and tremendous athleticism.

Josh Andrew paddles his way to 2nd place in the 500 meters sprint  men’s division against Guam’s elite paddlers in the 2019 Micronesian Cup held in Palau.  Contributed photo

Paddling became his first sport when he was in the ninth grade. “I started as a water boy for my dad’s team,” he said. “And from there, it just took off. My dad was the one that really got me interested in the sport. At first, I hated the idea of paddling but after long convincing, I finally got into it and I realized that I really enjoyed it.”

At a young age, Josh Andrew did not have much to offer but hard work and efficiency. “Preparing for a race or any event is always the hardest part,” he said. “We did a lot of land-based training.”

His training included cardio, hitting the gym, and dieting. “It was usually six months before the event so we developed a plan and schedule to meet our target goal.” Hydrating, stretching, and active recovery were part of their training ritual. “Then there’s water time. We’re out 3-5 days of the week, working on sprints, distance training, technique and blending in as a crew.”

Josh Andrew joined the Saipan Paddling Club in Pohnpei for the Micronesian Games in 2014. “It was my first race off island,” he said. “Against Micronesia’s top paddlers and I was fresh out of high school. Thankfully our team was able to secure one gold medal. Then in PNG the following year, we went up against the world’s best teams and the powerhouse of Tahiti. I was able to witness the highest level of competition.”

This event gave him admiration for the sport. But besides paddling, Josh Andrew also plays basketball and volleyball. In addition, he is into running and stand-up paddling. “Anything that gets me moving and is fun — I’ll do it.”

But he said each sport requires different mental aspects, techniques and training. “I can’t do basketball, then train for outrigger,” he added. “And if I get injured in paddling or any other sport, then I can’t do anything until I’ve fully recovered. It definitely puts a lot of stress on my body.”

Despite the injuries and minor setbacks he has experienced, Josh Andrew acknowledges that he has learned so much throughout his 13 years as a paddler. “It’s a very demanding sport, both mentally and physically, but it taught me the value of patience, teamwork, and hard work.”

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