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-The establishment of the Athletes Committee is a crucial development for our federation. I am confident that the committee will effectively represent the interests of Athletes and contribute to the future success of bandy. The words are FIB President Henrik Nilsson’s.

FIB has recently established that Athletes Committee in order to ensure Athlete’s representation at the Executive Committee.


Becky Draper Photo: Private

Who is she and what ambitions will govern her role in the committee?  I gave her some questions to give all that are involved in international bandy a picture of the new athletes Chairman.

Rebecca Draper in action. Photo: Gert Holmér.

Who is Becky Draper in your own description?
-I am a wife, mother, professional, coach, friend, and an athlete.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  I revel in coaching my daughter’s team in youth hockey and bandy.  I am devoted to the youth, coaching, and the essential life skills and fundamentals that sports and recreational activities provide. 

As an athlete, I always strive to be my best, believing that there is always room for improvement at any level.  I am highly competitive and thrive when playing for high-level teams with coaches and players who share the same grit, passion, camaraderie, support and commitment to each other.  I am passionate in all of my activities and growing the sport of bandy.

Your own bandy history?
-My bandy career started in 2006 when I first stepped onto the large sheet of ice and immediately fell in love with the sport.  Playing Division I hockey and Division II soccer in college easily facilitated the transition to bandy, thanks to its soccer-like rules and flow combined with the speed and fluidity of hockey. 

Photo: Gert Holmér

-In 2008, I played in my first World Championship with the USA Women’s National Team and participated in 2 more WCS, 2010 and 2012, before taking some time off to raise a family.  While I continued to play hockey and bandy throughout that time, I greatly missed competing at the highest level.  I rejoined the National Team in 2021 and played in the 2022 World Championships in Växjö, where I was honored to be named the Best Defender of the tournament.  I skated for the US in 2023 WC and the 2024 Four Nations Cup.  I am an original member of the Sisu Bandy Club which formed in 2022.  The Sisu Bandy Club is the winner of the first two US Women’s Championships.

What is included in your daily life?
-I hold a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Health Care and am an Application Analyst and Developer for a nonprofit health care provider and health insurance company.  My husband, Marc, is a Sr. Environmental Health and Safety Specialist for a biomedical/biotechnology engineering firm and medical device manufacturer and a retired volunteer firefighter.  We have been married for 14 years and have two children, Liv (11) and Henrik (8).

What is from your point of view the biggest task for the Athletes Committee?
-The biggest task for the Athletes Committee is to ensure that we represent the athletes we serve, making decisions with their best interests in mind while collaborating with the FIB Committees, IOC Athletes Commission, and WADA Athlete Council.

As involved in the bandy in USA, what has been the most important development for the US Bandy during recent years?
-The most important developments for US bandy have been strategic focus on aggressively recruiting and increasing player numbers, expanding bandy opportunities such as the formation of rink bandy leagues and tournaments, creating a high-level women’s league, and launching intensive initiatives to promote the sport.  

These accomplishments are thanks to the continued support, drive, and passion of the USA bandy community, including players and volunteers, the American Bandy Association past and current members, and the assembly of the USA Women’s Bandy Leadership Committee. 

What development for the international bandy would you like to see in the years to come?
-Key areas for the development of international bandy include increasing global participation in tournaments and World Championships, strengthening youth programs, boosting international financial sponsorship and marketing, and, of course, I think we all would like to see bandy in the Olympics. 

Expansion of men’s and women’s bandy into more countries is extremely important, however, it is especially significant to increase women’s participation as it is an essential element in getting bandy into the Winter Olympics.  The FIB is already making significant progress in these areas through its Education and Development Committee, Gender Equity Committee, Olympic Task Force, and the Athletes Committee.

Rebecca in action against Sweden in 4-nations tournament. Photo: Gert Holmér.

During the 4 nations tournament last spring in Sweden we saw a US team that have got stronger. In what way do you think yourself?
-I think this team was stronger on various levels: attitude, ability, passion, camaraderie, coaching, training, and development over time.  The team comprised of top athletes who believed not only in themselves, but truly believed in each other and played for each other. 

Additional ice time and practices improved performance and skills while reinforcing tactics.  Chris Middlebrook remains the coaching backbone for the Women’s National Team, adding Daren Richardson brought additional tactics and techniques.  These changes have allowed the USA WNT to medal in 2023 and shine during the 4 Nations Cup in 2024.

At last, what is your message to the bandy athletes?
-I would like to encourage athletes to reach out to the Athletes Committee with their ideas, needs, and concerns. We are here to represent and support you. As athletes, we experience a myriad of stressors, changes in mental health and wellness, physical and emotional obstacles, and more, we are in this together.

The other members of the FIB Athletes Committee
Gian Luca Beeler – Switzerland (Vice Chair)
Ville Aaltonen – Finland
Daniel Laszlo Bata – Hungary
Sanna Gustafsson – Sweden

Behind the questions – Kjell Anderstedt