Beata Cseke is an extraordinary athlete and human being. Besides being one of the top ocean surfski paddlers in the U.S., she is an incredibly kind person who genuinely wants to help women and girls at any level get into surfski paddling and enjoy the fun and fitness it offers in the great outdoors.
With a new sponsorship from Team Stellar USA, she has started 2014 off undefeated against women and has earned top finishes against men. She has her sights set on a Top 3 finish at the 2014 U.S. Surfski Championships, August 16-17, in San Francisco. After that is the Lighthouse to Lighthouse (L2L) race September 6, in Norwalk, CT, which is also the East Coast Surfski Championships. WomenCAN International is a proud L2L sponsor, and, working with Race Director Gary Williams, is helping to ensure equal prize money for men and women! And an added bonus: Beata will be conducting a short surfski paddling clinic after the L2L just for women!
What does Beata think is most appealing for women in paddling? Here’s her answer in this short beach interview.
WHO IS BEATA?
She was born and raised in the suburban of Budapest, Hungary. She started paddling when she was 10 years old at a local sprint kayak club and fell in love with the sport right away, spending more time on the water than at her house! After 10 years of racing and earning many titles in Hungary, at age 20 she received an opportunity and decided to move to the United States. After so many years of sacrifice and training, she wanted to experience life in the USA. After she arrived in the U.S. and for over a year, she did not do any sports – not even running, a favorite activity. Then in 2003 she traveled to Gainesville, GA to watch the Sprint Canoe/Kayak World Championship.. As she observed the racing, which included the Hungarian National Team, some of whom she knew and trained with, she quickly realized how much she missed kayaking and being a part of a kayak team.
Finally in 2008, she decided to move to New York and joined Rockaway Olympic Kayak and Canoe Club and started kayaking the next day. Soon thereafter she was introduced to surfski paddling by fellow teammates. She always loved the ocean, sandy beaches, adventures and she really enjoys the challenges that open water can offer. In 2012, she started racing in the New England Surfski Series and ended up winning the overall women’s series title. A new period of her life had begun.
Beata reiterates that it is not just surfski paddling and a high level of fitness that keeps her motivated: she really just enjoys being a part of the surfski community, and feeling connected to other paddlers.
That’s what this is all about. Thank you, Beata, for inspiring us to do better and be better, and for encouraging women and girls to get out and paddle!
Recent paddling accomplishments (both sprint kayaking and surfski):
• 2010 Lake Placid International 3rd place in K4-500m.
• 2012 Lake Placid International 1st place in K1-10000m
• 2012 and 2013 winner of the New England Surfski point series
• 2012 Winner of the US Surf Ski Championship short course
• 2013 Surf Ski World Championship 10th place, and 8th place in SS2mix (with Borys Markin)
• 2013 US Surf Ski Championship 5th place