Defender Tanya Ecker finished second in the German Championships / In addition to standing rowing, many other interests.
Tanya Ecker is still on her way to success. This summer, the two-time 28-year-old German champion added two more successes to her sporting career in the major competitions in Duisburg and Lake Neusiedl in the reserve rowing sport (SUP). Their ambitious and diverse commitment also shows that professional careers are also possible outside of well-established and financially strong sports.
. As part of the “Finals – Berlin / Rhein Ruhr 2021”, which was held in Duisburg in June, Tanya Ecker only had to admit defeat to multi-champion German Noelani Sachs of Darmstadt in the final of the German SUP Cross. “The beginning plays a major role,” Tanya Ecker explains in an interview with BZ. Ironically, the 28-year-old got a little bit wrong. However, the sporty look and performance are very satisfying. The required start-up permission was granted in Duisburg at the exclusive invitation of the German Canoe Association. This arrived just three weeks before the competition. She can also feel certain that special preparation for cross competition that is technically demanding and rare is not possible. She is more than pleased with her success. “My focus is really on the long-term,” says Tanya Ecker. She is no less happy than her recent success at Lake Neusiedl on the Austro-Hungarian border. In the competition with a first-class field, she took 4th place.
Reach an audience of millions
“It has always been my dream to combine everything that is a hobby in my job,” she says. The 28-year-old sports student has no doubt that successful sports careers are also possible other than financially strong and media-efficient sports. She says conditions are getting better and better. The broadcast of the “2021 Final” from June 3 to 6 by public broadcasters reached an audience of millions. This also gives a boost to efforts to make SUP an Olympic discipline by the Games in Paris in 2024. Iker wants to create “after” perspectives on his own initiative in the first place. The many contacts, acquaintances and friendships she has made around the world are very useful. “I have friends in Australia, the United States and Peru,” she says. In addition to personal networks of like-minded people, it also depends on academic qualifications. She dedicated her master’s thesis, which she is currently working on, to “SUP 11 City Tour”.
This sporting event, launched in 2009, spans 220 kilometers across eleven cities in the Dutch part of Friesland and combines sporting competition with elements of culture, tourism and coexistence. In her work, Tanya Ecker examines the possibilities of a more environmentally sustainable design for the SUP 11 City Tour. Your ambitions go further. Together with her corporate partner Martin Tishmann, she is setting up a branch of the event in Berlin and Brandenburg called “SUP 11 X”. Similar efforts by rowers can be observed in other regions of the world, for example on the Croatian island of Brac, in Ibiza or in Thailand. Iker hopes that the first shot of the SUP 11 X Tour will be presented on July 28 in Fürstenwalde, Brandenburg.
Small prize money only
In addition to her scientific and organizational talents, Tanya Ecker also appears to be enjoying a business career. Your Crazy Socks website acts as a sales platform for equipment and accessories such as carbon plates, paddles, and clothing. The site also includes offers for Tanja Ecker’s training camps on Lake Thun in Switzerland or in Potsdam, for example. The offer also includes one-on-one coaching, SUP instructor courses, and online courses for kids and adults.
Tanya Ecker sees herself on a very good track: as a student-athlete, she is gaining qualifications with a focus on sports and event management. “And I can combine that with the sport I love,” Tanya Ecker enthused.
However, one small problem remains: living for a sport does not mean that you can make a living from it. Tanya Ecker admits that the prize money for the podium of 200 euros was not enough to make a living. It is, of course, a great help that sponsors pay for high-quality and expensive equipment. She says her sales and training programs are “taking off slowly.” It is hoped that the removal of hygiene and safety restrictions related to the Coronavirus will increase the demand for training hours and training camps. In the lesser known sports sectors in particular, it is important to have a “wide range of options”. Tanya Ecker reveals: “Something will come together.”
It is the basic condition
Despite the many irons in the fire, Tanya Ecker doesn’t seem to lose sight of the actual mathematical essence of her calling. She attributes her athletic success in particular to her disciplined approach to training. “SUP is a pervasive sport and cannot rely on comprehensive club structures,” she points out. So self-motivation is the big challenge. “Train regularly wherever you are on your own,” says Tanya Ecker. Once the weekly training plan is established, it is “implemented regardless of the weather.”
Longer bike, jogging and yoga tours can be found in their training plan. Whole-body training, which is based on the “correct balance of strength and movement”, is completed by technical training. In practice, you often meet recreational athletes who do not row properly. Even supposed professionals do not always meet their requirements, like many, so that they are not recommended for videos on the Internet. “The right technique is very important,” says Tanya Ecker.