Sporting Chance welcomes professional Squash stars Mary Fung-A-Fat and Lucas Serme as ambassadors for the charity.
The duo are the first professional sportspeople to represent Sporting Chance as part of a new Ambassadors Programme, which will see athletes and players from all stakeholder sports being recruited to the initiative, with a view to helping to increase awareness of mental health through the charity’s services and engagement with fellow athletes and organisations.
Squash is leading the way and, through Sporting Chance's partnership with the PSA Foundation, world number 120 Fung-A-Fat from Guyana & Serme of France, who is ranked 36th in the world have agreed to become Ambassadors.
Their role 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.
The PSA Foundation caught up with the pair to discuss the role:
We caught up with Lucas and Mary about their new 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 Counseling 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.“ Lucas Serme: “The role description and Sporting Chance really spoke to me. I was always open to finding a different role within the squash world, beside being “just” a pro player, and this feeling intensified with the recent situation in the world. The chance to help my fellow players regarding such an important issue that is mental health was one I did not want to miss.“
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.“ Lucas Serme: “I am convinced that many people on the Pro Tour do not know about mental health or do not have the courage to talk about it. Professional sport is such a competitive world, it can become difficult to open up about such a personal topic. It is going to be very interesting and helpful for everybody on the Tour to be able to benefit from Sporting Chance.“
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 counseling to be able to reach their full potential, and ultimately grow the sport.“ Lucas Serme: “I am really hoping that Mary and I will be able to make ourselves helpful in bringing the players and Sporting Chance closer, showing everything that this charity has to offer and how everyone will benefit from taking care of their mental health.“