Ms. Kaarina Salomaa is the newest IFF Central Board (CB) member as he was elected to the IFF CB on June 10th 2019. Ms. Salomaa was nominated to the IFF CB by the Finnish Floorball Federation to replace Mr. Kimmo Nurminen, who had resigned.

Ms. Salomaa has been involved with floorball for basically all her life. She is a former international level player, national team manager (U19 and Women) and former IFF Competition Coordinator. Ms. Salomaa is presently the chairperson of the Finnish Floorball Federation competition committee and the Development Director of Arena Center in Helsinki. She has also been coaching youth women’s teams for several years in Finland.

What makes floorball special?

– Floorball is special in so many ways. I value the character of the game – it is more of a skill game than only about some specified physical quality. The important abilities are technical and tactical skills together with agility, all of these you can improve with consistent training and therefore in principle everyone has a chance to be successful with the game.

 – Another special quality of floorball is that you can play the game on so many levels. On one hand you can take a random group of people and play entertaining recreational games even though persons have different skill levels. The sport is easy to pick up and when you start to play, you just want to learn more. On the other hand floorball at the top level is a very demanding sport and you have to work hard with technique, tactic and physical abilities in order to make it there.

– I also feel that the floorball community is very special. The rapid growth of the sport has been possible only because there are so many enthusiastic and committed people involved with the sport. In floorball, money is not usually the driving factor, instead people work countless hours for the love of the sport. This creates a strong spirit and connects people on a deeper level.

You are the first Finnish woman to be nominated to the IFF CB. How important are the gender equality questions in floorball to you?

– I think that it is important to have both genders involved in the decision making in order to get different perspectives to the topics. However, more important than the gender, is the competence and the contribution one is willing to make. Regardless of the gender, the most important thing is that everyone has equal opportunities to participate and enjoy floorball.

–  The IFF has worked well with gender equality by investing the same way to men’s and women’s competitions and I feel that equality has always been one of the core values for the IFF. In the future I would like to see more women in different roles at the IFF and also in the member associations. I am sure that there are women who have the abilities to make an impact, but somehow the participation should be made easier. Sweden just recently showed a good example in getting women involved with their new Central Board with six female members. 

What other topics do you wish to bring forward to the IFF CB?

– The CB has the responsibility to make sure floorball develops continuously. The starting strategy work for next decade will define the direction that floorball will take in the near future. There is always a lot that could be done, but now it’s important to decide what the key points are for the sport and concentrate resources there. I am ready to give my knowledge and contribution to the process and then work with the issues chosen.

– I see a huge potential in floorball as a game and I would like to make it accessible worldwide for more people, especially kids and youth. I have worked on the grass root level of the sport while coaching youth teams and also when I was leading the Finnish Federation’s female floorball development project and therefore I am familiar with the most common problems. As the sport is still quite new in many countries, the local floorball organisations need strengthening and we should find ways to get more people involved as coaches, team leaders, volunteers, etc., in order to divide the workload and increase the possibilities to play. 

– I would also like to increase and strengthen the co-operation between member associations and between clubs from different countries by sharing the best practices. I feel that there is a lot that we can learn from each other which helps us to develop floorball further together. 

Kaarina Salomaa will participate in the next IFF CB meeting organised in Eerikkilä Sports Institute, Finland from the 6th to 8th of September 2019.

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