If you ask around on society’s opinion of today’s younger generation, adjectives such as “spoilt”, “immature” and “downbeat” often follow. Fgura United FC has challenged this idea by becoming a club of opportunity for youths, not only in terms of football, which remains our primary aim but also in terms of holistic development. As a club we are well aware that not all our members will manage to become the next Cristiano Ronaldo, and much of them will resort to traditional employment as their main source of income. We are therefore equipping ourselves with the responsibility of contributing to the process of nurturing society with employable and well-skilled youth for the future. Whether we like it or not, the youths of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. They will be our neighbours of tomorrow. They will care for our children and elders. As a football club, we have the moral obligation to use football as a driving force for youth empowerment. These actions complement our football sessions as an extra-added service to our members. These include:
1. Leadership and assertiveness workshops
Frequent interactive non-formal sessions related to effective leadership, team-cohesion and assertiveness techniques. Also implemented with strategic local and international partners for maximum impact.
2. Get-involved programme/coaching opportunities
Our 14-year-olds and older youngsters are encouraged to volunteer in our football school through the roles of technical staff helpers. With their contribution, they help the club in offering a better coaching experience to young kids whilst also getting a taste of what coaching, discipline and commitment entails.
3. Erasmus + opportunities
Administrators and coaches participated in various international courses organised in Austria, UK, Iceland and Cyprus amongst others. The themes discussed focused on leading ethically, diversified learning and youth empowerment. During such courses, we were expected to conduct workshops, provide recommendations and also network with other youth organisations. We are transforming ourselves on offering education rather than mere coaching.
4. Internship prospects
We have actively encouraged our members to use our club in their school/college/university studies and assignments and offered internships in this sense too. We are now inserting clauses in sponsorship contracts that allow our youth to enjoy internships with our corporate sponsors/partners.
5. After-school programmes
A successful pre-covid programme during which our kids head to our complex, have lunch together, study/do homework together (under the supervision of a qualified educator) and then move on with their routine football session.
6. Bridging the gap between our senior squad and football school
We are developing a mentoring system by putting our senior players on the forefront, particularly by conducting themselves workshops with our youngsters. Senior players are encouraged to recount their experiences in becoming full-time/part-time football players, the challenges they encountered and tips for the future.
7. Fgura United FC Book bank
On-site accessible book library. Can be used by parents and kids alike, for free.
Not only have these activities significantly impacted our growth rate as a club, which has doubled its number in just six years, but they are also contributing to an improvement in our actual pitch performance. Six years ago our social and educational approach was seen as a utopia, as totally non-related to football and without a particular technical logic. Whilst we have still much work to implement, nowadays we are pleased that our social investment approach made us one of the most reputable football schools in Malta. We are far from perfect, but our approach has provided significant football and non-football opportunities for our youngsters, to the point that we are the only Maltese club to have a dedicated Head of Social Responsibility and Educational Initiatives position (A. Zammit) within our senior management.
This is our legacy.