Zurich-born Tina Aeberli, 26, is a mother of two who is finishing up her medical degree this summer. She’s also a footbag sensation with six world championship titles and eight European championship titles to her name. As part of a special exhibition on StreetFootballArt, held to mark International Museum Day on 22 May, Tina will be visiting the museum to showcase her skills and to help visitors pick up a few new tricks too.
You can see a selection of her footbag tricks in the video below, or scroll down for the Q&A.
Hi Tina, at just 26 you already have an incredible number of titles! What’s your secret?
I just really like the sport! I practiced a lot when I was 14, which is probably the best age to start because you pick it up very fast. You don’t need a lot of space or special equipment, you can do it during school breaks, waiting for the bus – I always had a footbag with me. I never focused on getting good but when I participated in tournaments I noticed that I was already in the top league!
Did you realise straight away that you had a natural talent for the sport?
No, I didn’t! I’m quite a sporty person, so I thought I would be faster than some people but I didn’t know it would go this way. I knew footbag existed and what it was but I had never really tried it. Then at a sports camp, there was a footbag workshop and basically I had to practice for a week. I liked it and, although it was very hard, after a week I had learned the basics.
From Paris to San Francisco - footbag has taken you all over the world. Do you have a favourite memory?
Maybe my first big tournament outside of Switzerland; the World Championship in Helsinki, 2005. I was new to the tournament scene and travelling alone but I have great memories. I competed in three disciplines, winning two and getting second in the other. It was competitive but very friendly among the players; they were welcoming and I like that it’s not just about the sport but also the circle of friends.
[STANDALONETEXT text="INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY: WHAT'S ON?
- GRAFFITI EXHIBITION by ONE TRUTH
- PHOTO EXHIBITION of urban football landscapes
- STREET DANCE SHOW & WORKSHOP with KELECHI ONYELE
- FOOTBAG SHOW & WORKSHOP with world champion TINA AEBERLI
- STREET FOOD in the museum’s Bistro"