I have just realised that I have not yet devoted a suffiecient amount of text here to explain the concept of innebandy. I am to correct for this blunder.

You could say that Tuesday evening is my favourite time of the week. Starting off by playing table tennis at 8 (actually at 8:30-9 as people, myself included, are always late). Most of the 8-10 time is devoted to playing table tennis merry-go-round: a chilled laid back version in which everyone is having fun. The rest of the time I spend in a competitive game against a worthy opponent. However, all is a warm-up compared to what comes next.

At 10 we go upstairs to the sports hall and stare at the basketball players until they realise their time is up and slowly wend their way as we are putting up the goal doors. The rules of innebandy (aka floorball) are simple: get the ball to the other team’s goal without hurting anyone, and without kicking or handling the ball to pass or score (although you can stop it with your foot). The ball is hit with an innebandy stick, resembling a hokey stick, yet much lighter.

The Kalmar innebandy sessions last for an hour and we take a 5 minute break in the middle. Lately we have got fit enough to stay some minutes longer and brave enough to overstay our booking this way (as Kalmar nation is paying for renting the hall). Innebandy is so exhausting, refreshing and satisfying. You run a lot and there is a lot of contact with the opponent team (fighting to get to the ball, trying to sneak it out of them…)

It is possible that I am so impressed because I have never been keen on sports: apart from table tennis (which I have never taken for a serious sport) I have never engaged myself willingly in a game of, say, volleyball or basketball, which I associate with some compulsary school sessions. But the joy of running! After my first innebandy game I felt like a little girl again, chasing other kids and having competitions of who can last longer jumping a rope (with specific sequences to perform). It is competitive as well, and I am quite competitive. Not that I get mad or don’t enjoy myself if I lose, it’s rather that I always appreciate a challenge. You could say my Risk strategies are on the aggressive side. I am eager to make bets and take on a thumb war.

However, I can feel that there is something more to innebandy than just it being a sport. After all, the people who regularly show up for the sessions appear just as excited as myself for it to begin. There is some magic in it, and when I come back to Edinburgh, I will definitely look for an option to keep playing it.

Categories: Uppsala

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