BONN, Germany – The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) has named Kari Räsänen (FIN) Chairman of IBSA Goalball effective January 1, 2015. He replaces Kari Marklund of Sweden who retired January 1 after many years of distinguished service to IBSA, including most recently as Chairman of IBSA Goalball.
Räsänen, who was previously the Sports Director for IBSA Goalball, has been a certified international referee for Goalball since 1991 and served as Goalball Technical Delegate for the 2012 London Paralympic Games. In his home country, he currently chairs the Finnish Goalball Committee and is a member of the Rules and Competition Committee of the Finnish Association for Disability Sports.
Originally trained as an engineer, Räsänen also holds a Diploma in International Marketing and an Executive MBA. He has operated his own two firms for nearly 25 years.
The International Blind Sports Federation governs the sport of Goalball, largely through the expertise and leadership of the IBSA Goalball Committee. IBSA determines the international calendar of competitions, establishes and enforces rules, and collaborates with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Goalball competition at the Paralympic Games. IBSA also governs the Paralympic sports of Judo and 5-a-side football, and conducts programs in 7 other sports.
Räsänen now takes the lead on implementing the IBSA Goalball Committee’s Strategic Plan to strengthen and expand Goalball around the world. The committee is also overseeing preparations for Goalball competition at the 2015 Seoul IBSA World Games this May and at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games next September.