Interview with Eric Kindler, Deputy Chair of the IFA Athletes’ Commission

On the occasion of the election of the IFA Athletes’ Commission’s new chair and deputy, the IFA Communications Commission team spoke to deputy chair Eric Kindler regarding his goals as representative of the athletes. He also told us about his fascination for fistball, and how he got involved with the sport.

• Name: Eric Kindler
• Date of Birth : September 26, 1991
• Club: Wisconsin Fistball Association (Rampage FC)
• Former Clubs: TuS Raiffeisen Kremsmünster (AUT)
• National Team: USA
• International Games for the USA: 35
• Playing Position: Attacker
• Height: 1.83 m
• Successes:
o 2017 US Indoor Vice-Champion
o 2016 Outdoor Austrian Champion
o 2016 US Indoor Champion
o 2015 Team USA 8th place finish at the World Championships in Argentina

Eric Kinder - IFA Athletes' Commission
Picture: Rouven Schönwandt

What are your goals as representative of the athletes?

As a representative of the fistball players around the world, I would like to give them the best situation possible for fistball. This covers aspects such as transportation to and from events all the way to ball weight and field conditions, as well as advocating fistball as a school sport. The latter is an important avenue to further support spreading our sport, and projects are underway in a number of countries to establish fistball in schools.

How did you get involved with fistball?
My Oma and Opa were a part of the group that started playing fistball regularly in Wisconsin. I grew up around the Wisconsin Fistball Association club and started playing when I was 9 years old. In 2007, my Dad was the coach of the US National Team and I was selected for the team to play at the World Championships in Germany. After this experience, my involvement in the fistball community exponentially grew. We started to make a real push to be better players in the US and in 2011 in Austria we had a significant improvement of play. This only increased at the World Championships in Argentina in 2015 by taking 8th place. With my and other international connections, I played in the Austrian league in 2016 and have only made more friends the more I have gotten around.

Could you please describe what fascinates you about fistball?
It is amazing how a sport community can be so welcoming. All across the world, fistball is family. I have been fortunate to meet many players and supporters from around the world and all of them have been extremely passionate about the sport and the people involved. Fistball has a different advantage than many sports out there. Because we are not professionals, everyone is involved for the right reasons – competition and international friendship.