When Mary Fung-A-Fat approached Emerge BPO in support of her bid to become the first Guyanese squash player to be ranked # 1 in the world, it was an instant and definite decision for the company. She had already achieved a great feat by becoming the former U-13, U-15, U-17 and U-19 Junior Caribbean Squash Champion, earning an invitation to the World Open in the Cayman Islands in 2012, ranking #3 in the Caribbean and sealing her fate with a full four-year scholarship at Drexel University, host of the US Open Squash Championships.
Mary started her journey under the legendary Guyanese coach, Carl Ince, who pushed her junior career to claim all four (4) junior Caribbean Squash Championships. Her achievements were recognized by Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA, who then offered her a full four-year sports scholarship, where she was exposed to college squash and played opponents across the US. While there, she became the first Drexel female to win at least 10 matches in each of her four seasons, leaving with the watershed of the most career wins (46) in the women’s program history. Mary graduated in June 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science. She turned professional earlier that year, in January, under the coaching of former world #1, John White. Since her professional career started, she has jumped 48 places, ranking 155 currently by the Professional Squash Association. From this, we can see that Mary’s best years are ahead of her, as she keeps getting better as the months go by.
While home during her Christmas vacation, Mary and her mom took some time out to sit and chat with us at the local squash court at the Georgetown Club. Mary’s personality was bubbly, energetic and infectious. When she spoke, she made you want to run with what she is saying and at a fast pace. Her mom, on the other hand, brought a calming tone when she shared her experiences as a squash mom.
“From meetings with my sports psychologist, I have developed a mantra that has proven to be effective in my journey as a professional athlete; it is ‘Trust the process.’ I understand that the oak tree must start from a seed, and only through consistent nurturing and care can it flourish.” That is what Mary hopes to do – to nurture her passion and trust in the process that everything she is doing now – the sacrifices, the hard work and determination will pay off in the end, and she will be one of those inspirations that she herself used to admire.
On January 18, 2018, Mary will participate in the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York’s Grand Central Terminal, January 18th-25th.Virtually all of the world’s top-ranking squash players will compete for the coveted J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) title.