(Photo taken pre-COVID-19, featuring the UM Futsal Executive Team - Mr Kurt Rizzo is pictured, in the middle)
The UM Futsal Team league might have been cancelled, but spirits still run high among the team members, as they are busy planning for their future. President Kurt Rizzo, who just last year, finished his M.SC. in Strategic Management & Marketing, spoke to Newspoint about the upcoming Annual General Meeting to take place on 5 June, and how him and his colleagues are using these extraordinary times to reflect on their weak and strong points, learn from them and move onwards and upwards.
Established in 2014 as a joint collaboration between KSU and MUSC, the organisation never looked back in terms of improving itself and push for higher objectives. In 2016, the organisation became autonomous and was recognised by the Senate, and from then on began an ambitious project to push this organisation to the top.
When he is asked about his involvement in the UM Futsal Team, Kurt’s mind goes back to 2017, when former President of the organisation, Dr Stefan Cutajar, had approached him to fill in the role of Sales & Marketing Manager.
“The overwhelming feeling that year, was of having a bag of mixed emotions. On the one hand, I managed to help the team gain a trophy within the first few months of my involvement, but on the other hand, I knew we had a lot of room of improvement when it came to the finances and administration side of things”, he told Newspoint. This success was a result of the sheer hard work put up by previous administration, whereby in a timeline of four years, we managed to win one of the major two trophies in the Futsal sport.
The year after that, right after putting in his nomination for Deputy Secretary General at the last minute, was the moment he realised he was fully committed to the restructuring of the organisation. He was adamant to make it as successful as it can be. A lot of turmoil ensued, with many of the players being snapped up by other clubs.
But the team successfully managed to turn their limitations to opportunities, as the members of the club managed to improve their financial situation by a tenfold by conducting various innovative events that attracted interest. For this, “I want to thank Nicholas Martinelli who was Acting President that year. It surely wasn’t easy facing all those obstacles and he took this challenge and fought it out. He is really an unsung hero.”
Taking on the challenge of being the President of the organisation was not easy, but Kurt’s motivation was largely fuelled by his priority to see the organisation grow, both as a student organisation and as a Futsal team on a national level.
According to Kurt, the biggest milestones achieved, was introducing more women to the sport.“Having gender balance on the executive was something I always wanted to push, as I always believed women have a lot to contribute to this sport.” Dr Stephanie Dalli is a true example of this. She joined the ranks of the UM Futsal Team two years ago, and brought her abundant experience with KSU to the club, helping them create innovative events that introduced even more people to the club.