A Norwegian snooker story with Anita Rizzuti

16:39:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The dreamy Norway
Norway – a far, far away yet magnificent land. What it’s the first word that comes to your mind when you think of Norway? If you are a kid, then it’s probably Santa Claus, if you are mad about music it could be A-Ha or Jan Garbarek, if you are a geography lover then maybe the fiords will start flowing through your mind, if you are a geopolitician, maybe it’s oil or natural gas, but what if….we were to think about snooker and Norway? What would be the first world that should come to our mind? I’ll tell you: it’s Anita Rizzuti. ;-) And if you don’t know who she is, then please buckle up for I shall take you to a beautiful trip as I begin to tell you a “Norwegian snooker story” :-)

Although we have been used to connect snooker only with the UK, there is snooker going on all around the globe, even if the “flux” is maybe not as powerful and strong as in Britain. Norway is definitely one of those countries, where snooker is blooming as we speak. With 6-7 events per year, Norway is becoming more and more snookerich :-) There are 59 men in the Norwegian league, but in front of all those men is a wonder- woman. :-) Her name being - Anita Rizzuti.
Half Norwegian, half Italian she is that type of person who gets her strength from this country’s mighty ancestors, but we can’t overlook her kindness, modesty and that warm smile, that has written Latino all over it :-))
Anita was so gracious as to give me an interview that I would very much like to share with you guys.

Snooker Loopy: How did this passion for snooker start?

Anita Rizzuti: I started playing pool when I was about 11 or 12 years old, but I have been hooked on snooker since I was 19. I had a 47 break in my first frame and it took me two years to beat it. Then I was hooked for sure.

SL: You played in the qualifying rounds for the World Open tournament, back in August. How was it? Was it a good and interesting experience?

AR: Yes, yes, yes! It was unreal to play in a main tour event. Who would have thought? I was really nervous playing Alfie Burden but it was a really good experince for sure. Everyone I met there in Sheffield was so nice. I still can`t believe I`ve played in a main tour event. Hope I`ll get the chance to do it again, sometimes...

Anita Rizzuti in action
SL: How does a female snooker player feel in this world which is practically filled with male players? Have you ever felt like you are not taken seriously enough just because you are a woman?

AR: I must first say that I don’t really think about that a lot. I just love playing the game and I always try to win every frame I play. I have never felt like I wasn’t taken seriously because I’m a woman, not that I can remember anyway.

SL: I have a special rule for each interview and it is called “It’s bragging time!!!” :-)) I know you are a very modest person, but please feel free to share with our readers your achievements in snooker (titles, high breaks, anything you like).

AR: I have won the Nordic championships two times, but there were only a few women competing. I have been two-times a European Ladies Championship semi-finalist and two-times I have reached the quarter-finals in the World Ladies Championship.
My highest break in an official event is 68, as in practice is 104, so not much to brag about :-))

As you can see Anita is a very modest person, although she “graduated top of her class”. Why I’m saying this? Well, because she is number one in Norway as we speak. She is competing with female players as well as with male players, but in the end she kicks ass! ;-)

Along with her life partner, Kurt Maflin (you know the guy, for he is also a terrific snooker player, the first who hit a 147 break in this season’s PTC 1 event) she has a beautiful family. It seems though, that the snooker virus didn’t get the kids attention, for their beautiful young lady girl, Christiane has taken interest in football and the boy, Neon he’s only 2 years old so time will decide…although a little bird told me that Kurt hopes he’ll be into football too :-P

SL: Have you ever played against Kurt in an official match? If not, would you like that?

AR: I would like to but I don`t think I`ll have the chance I`m afraid. However, we did played in the same event in Norway a few years ago. There were two groups and I won all my matches in my group without losing a frame, Kurt did the same in his group and we had to play the pink from the spot (sudden death) to decide who was going to be top seed (she laughts).
Girls definitely rock!!!

It was so fun, I potted the first pink and Kurt missed his, so I got top seeded in a event that he was playing in...I`m still bugging him about that. I got beat in the event of course and Kurt won, but it is a good memory.

SL: I’m sure you have a favorite snooker player, can you tell us, who? Or maybe even more then one? If you want to nominate Kurt I’ll understand :-))

AR: (she laughs) Yes, I will nominate Kurt for sure, not because he is my boyfriend but because I think he is the best top 5 break builder in the world.
There are others: Stephen Hendry, Jimmy White, the Rocket, Mark Selby, Mark Williams and of course Reanne Evans, who I hope can get in there soon, with Kurt just in front.

Not a doubt that she is a joyful and a family person. And it’s nice to see that a top sport female can also take care of her family, although she confesses it gets lonely and hard sometimes when her partner is away playing, but she tends to forget when Kurt gets good results.
I really hope he can make it in snooker as he deserves it. As for me I try to get as much practice as possible, I play as many events as I can and I love it.”, she added.

As for the future, she is not the type of person to make “five-years ahead plans”. He says she will keep on playing in as many snooker events as possible in Norway and maybe, when her boy will be older she’ll take part in the European or the World Championship tournaments, as well.

SL: Do you have any advice for the boys and girls that want to make it in the snooker world?

AR: My advice is to get coaching very early. I think it’s important to know your strong and weak sides of the game, that way it’s easier to take the right decision for your shots in every frame. Also hard work, practice, practice and practice!

SL: And one more question to go: What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you think of snooker?

AR: Hard work…

Well, my dears I hope we all have learn an important and valuable lesson today. It’s important to know what you want in life, to fight for your dreams, to work for them, to never lose your faith and to always keep in mind that working is not everything.
Anita Rizzuti it’s an example of hard working person who made it into this sport, so “taken over” by men. I hope we will be hearing more of her in the following years, as she deserves to be mention in this beautiful and amazing world of snooker.

It’s been a privilege and an honor to make this interview because it’s nice to see that this world is not made up only of people who want to succeed no matter what, people who don’t give a damn about others or people too full of themselves, but also of sensitive yet strong people, who put their soul in everything they do. In the end, that’s the real deal! ;-)

I would like to wish Anita good luck with all her future projects and to thank her for agreeing to give me this interview.

Tusen takk! :-)