Guyanese Squash player Mary Fung-A-Fat named Sporting Chance Ambassador
World number 120 Mary Fung-A-Fat and World number 36 Lucas Serme have been named Sporting Chance Ambassadors as squash leads the charge to help increase awareness of mental health through the charity’s services and engagement with fellow athletes and organisations.
If you’re unfamiliar with PSA Foundation partners, Sporting Chance, they are the largest provider of mental health services working exclusively with professional and elite sports participants in the UK, working with 14 stakeholders across 10 sports. It was founded by former Arsenal and England football captain Tony Adams, MBE in the year 2000.
Sporting Chance are recruiting ambassadors from each of the sports they work with, who can help spearhead their efforts within each respective sporting landscape. For squash, this will be Fung-A-Fat from Guyana and Serme of France.
Their roles will include:
- Advising and informing Sporting Chance about relevant issues in order to help shape the charity’s services and engagement with the people it serves. This may also include being part of an athlete engagement advisory group.
- Raising awareness of the charity and its services. This could include (but is not limited to) social media posts, media interviews and personal appearances.
- Assisting Sporting Chance’s education department in delivering workshops and seminars to athletes and sporting organisations.
- Both Lucas and Mary will soon be undergoing training with Sporting Chance to help prepare them for their role.
What made you want to be a Sporting Chance Ambassador?
Mary Fung-A-Fat: “I’ve been on both sides of the glass – as a player and coach – and from that, I learnt a lot about the dynamics behind the scenes that tend to bleed on court. This contributed to my decision of pursuing a Masters of Counselling Psychology for Mental Health. When the Sporting Chance Ambassador position arose, it felt like the perfect opportunity to marry my two passions; and I feel lucky to be part of this movement.“
What are your thoughts on the current landscape for mental health in squash on the Pro Tour?
Mary Fung-A-Fat: “As a fairly unrecognised individual sport, players on the Pro Tour have known isolation long before COVID existed. I think there’s a lot of scope for mental health support in our community and it’s time to normalise it.“
What are you looking forward to most in your role as an ambassador?
Mary Fung-A-Fat: “I’ve seen the need for this support so I most look forward to seeing players have access to mental health counselling to be able to reach their full potential, and ultimately grow the sport.” (PSA Foundation)