Yesterday, the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) announced that IBSA Goalball Committee Chairman Kari Marklund will be retiring at the end of the year. Marklund appeared on the international goalball scene in late 2011 following major drama within the IBSA Goalball program that pissed off a lot of players and saw the original committee leave to form their own independent goalball organization.
IBSA President Jannie Hammershoi asked Marklund to come out of his recent retirement at the age of 73 to take over the leadership helm for the sport, and he did. He was success in this role, and was renominated for the position in October of last year.
From 2003 to 2011, he was involved with the Svenska Handikappidrottsförbundet and Sveriges Paralympiska Kommitté (SPK) as the organizations’s chairperson. Before starting his work with those organization, he was familiar with table tennis, hockey, football, basketball and equestrian. Inside both organizations, he worked to improve communications with members, and to assist people in developing the best individually. He tried to insure that athletes with disabilities were considered alongside their able-bodied peers in terms of access, media attention and sponsorship opportunities. He also tried to improve relationships with the government, and increase Nordic Paralympic sporting ties.
Outside of sport, he has been a business person, an editor and an educator. He served as the editor in chief of the Nationalencyklopedin in his native Sweden. He was a guest lecturer at the Helsinki University of Technology, as well as working at the University of Lund, University of Linköping and the University of Lulea.