Daniela Sevillano (Oviedo, 2005) arrives at Salinas beach and does not stop greeting surfers. Her spontaneity and friendliness is surprising for a person her age, who normally are not so open when they see a camera in front of her. She, next to her longboard table, does not stop receiving congratulations from her beach companions. Regardless of age, everyone comes to have a few words of affection with this young woman from Oviedo. She, always with a smile on her face, attends to everyone without problems. On Saturday the 23rd she was proclaimed European champion with the Spanish team and now she is at home savoring her success. “It is impossible for her success to go to her head. She has always been like this and she knows perfectly well what is happening, ”says Araceli, her mother. Sevillano has just succeeded at a European level thanks to surfing, but it is not the only sport that she dominates. Right now she also practices judo and handball, and throughout her career she has tried others such as tennis or soccer. A true all-terrain vehicle that touches gold wherever she goes.
“I couldn’t choose between one sport or another, it’s like choosing between mom or dad,” confesses Sevillano. In judo, a sport she entered when she was just 3 years old, she is already a black belt and has managed to become Spanish champion in 2019, Spanish kata champion in 2022 and runner-up in combat also in 2022. “My parents wanted me to do a sport that served me for life, and judo helps me to defend myself. When I was 6 years old I went to live in France and I began to like it more, which led me to compete. When I returned to Asturias I signed up for a club in Oviedo”, says Daniela.
“I entered the world of surfing when I was 5 or 6 years old, taking a summer course in San Juan de la Arena,” says the athlete. At the time that she went to live in France together with her parents, she had a surf school next to her house, which favored her hobby. “On Wednesdays and weekends he had no class, so he took the opportunity to go to the sea to train, he went every week, and they even took us to other beaches.” The problem came when she returned to Asturias. “When I came back I put surfing aside. I trained very little, I went more in the summer. I wanted to focus on other sports and I didn’t have time for everything”, says the surfer. The quarantine, although it sounds strange, was the key to her return. “Since the pandemic, if you federated, you could leave home to train. My father decided that he wanted to buy a longboard and I used to take it from him. This helped me get back on track. I loved. In September 2020, some friends of my parents left me a better one to train and in December I already bought one for myself, ”she points out.
Despite her successes, Daniela Castellano does not have a coach to help her prepare for a competition. “I don’t know how I learned. There is a lot of longboard culture here, so when you see the people and the atmosphere, the style sticks with you. I don’t have a coach because in Asturias there is no one to give classes”, indicates the athlete. Despite this, she was able to win the Spanish Championship that was held in Salinas in 2021. That title helped her receive the call from Román Díez and Ricardo Palomeque, Spanish coaches. “They called me to do two or three training sessions a year in Colunga. This year they gave me and my training partner Alaitz Castro the opportunity to go with the Spanish Longboard team to Senegal. We went 10 days to train with older people, from the Open category. It was crazy. It is a super good experience and an impressive cultural change. That he was able to do it with the surf team is very great, ”she explains.
After doing more training with the national team, Daniela Sevillano was called up for the European Championship, which was held in Portugal. “We had to go 4 days before to test the hours and train. During that period I trained 3 hours in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. It was a very good experience, but also hard and intense”. All this was rewarded with gold, although she herself did not expect that result. “The first moto was the most complicated because I was afraid of making a mistake. I did better than I expected, and I felt very supported by the group,” she notes. But despite getting off to a good start, in the second round bad luck made an appearance. “I fell and was third, which made me fall to the playoffs. This was a handicap, because I had to do twice as many heats as the girls who were going for the main draw, but it also helped me to have rivals of lesser level, ”says Sevillano. After overcoming this phase, and with great physical exhaustion, she stood up in the final. “In the final I was between third and fourth place. The conditions were very hard, it was a beach with many currents and very long waves, something that made my work on the plank difficult. I knew that I had to improve that fourth place, both for myself and for the team, so I decided to wait to catch the decisive wave. While I was surfing the horn sounded, and although I left happy, I didn’t expect it to be so bad. It took them a while to give the scores and when they told me, that I was already reunited with the team, it was an accumulation of emotions and a very gratifying feeling”, narrates the young woman proudly. “My experience can serve people. I never gave up and in the end I managed to win the gold. The effort, although late, always has its reward”, she affirms.
To the difficulty of not having a Sevillian coach, he adds that he does not have sponsors either, so all the economic effort goes through his peers. “Loading Xixón, some guys from Gijón, support me a lot by making videos, reports and giving clothes, but nothing more,” acknowledges the woman from Oviedo. Despite not having someone who forces her to train, Daniela tells her that she is a very constant person and that she always tries to give her best in training. “Thanks to judo I think I am like that. I always have to give my best to be happy. Even though I don’t have a coach, I always want to be 100% so I don’t feel bad,” she confesses. This course begins the Second year of Bachiller, which includes the famous EBAU, but that does not prevent him from continuing to think about sports. “I am a girl who, thanks to sports, is super organized. Now I still have to put my studies before surfing, although whenever I can I will try to find time to practice”, predicts Sevillano, who dreams of enrolling in Industrial Design Engineering. Because of effort and sacrifice, she sure won’t be, as she demonstrates every time she gets on a surfboard.