Lara Heini was elected to the IFF Athletes’ Commission in 2021. Heini is the goalkeeper of the Swiss national team and currently representing the Swedish Super League team Pixbo Wallenstam. In this interview, Heini talks about the season with Pixbo and how she became a goalkeeper, without really deciding to be one.
You finished your season with Pixbo reaching SSL silver, what are your thoughts about the past season?
— It was a special season in every aspect. Summarizing I would say it was an instructive season. We have seen extreme development within the team. Certainly also due to Corona, it was difficult to do something for the team spirit and add to that the fact that we didn’t start the season particularly well. I’m not talking so much about our position in the table, but more about how we performed and acted in and as a team. Within a very short time, however, we managed to achieve an enormous dynamic with a lot of effort and some changes. I have rarely experienced such a positive atmosphere and a “team first thought” as in the last year. Probably never before. That’s why I’m still disappointed that we didn’t make it all the way to the top. However, without spectators it was not the same to play the final and that’s why we will give everything to be there again next year.
What are your aims with Pixbo next season?
— Continue where we ended last year. I never experienced that a team is staying together as it is now. That’s amazing and the best foundation for a great season. The goal is clear, SM guld.
How often are you practicing during summer, what does your summer training include?
— At least 6 trainings a week where we have a mix between floorball, strength and endurance.
You have been playing in both Switzerland and Sweden, does the game differ between the countries?
— Yes, it does. The general level in the teams but also across the teams is much higher. I would say the game is technically better and less readable. Obviously the trip to the games is a huge difference. I still see every away game in Sweden as an adventure. We travel by ferry, airplane, night train or taxi and not just by bus.
When and how did you decide to become a goalie?
— To be honest it was not really my decision. It all started with a family tournament that I played with my coaches family when I was about 10. His son, a goalkeeper, was injured and there was a rule that always one girl needs to be on the field. So they made the smart decision to put the girl into the goal. I just started to play floorball so I guess I was also the worst player of them ;)
What expectations do you have for being an IFF ATC member, what would you like to impact on?
— I am looking forward to contributing to the future of my beloved sport. Many people say they want to make the world a better place. The question is always how. In my opinion the sport can have a bigger role than it might look at first sight. That’s why I think we can make a contribution to the future of our world. I like the authenticity of our sport and it is my concern that we can keep this and other values of our sport like familiarity and fairness, despite the increasing professionalization.