On-yee Ng is just back in Hong Kong from the UK after playing at snooker’s Mecca, the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield – in the men’s Challenge Tour. The three-time women’s world champion has been playing snooker since she was 13 years old, and her passion for the sport is as fervent as ever.
In Hong Kong, snooker halls are often portrayed as shady places full of gangsters, but to Ng, it was like home. “My father is a veteran snooker player,” she says, “and was a manager at a snooker club, so I just followed him and hung out in the club when I was young. I didn’t do well at school, and I was so addicted to online games that my father just took me with him wherever he went, hoping one day I’d wake up. I didn’t really develop an interest in snooker until I followed my dad to a match. He looked so charming in his outfit – that’s why I started to play snooker.”
Since then, Ng has put herself through meticulous training and taken part in multiple local and international snooker events. In 2009, she won her first amateur women’s title at the IBSF World Snooker championships, and ultimately won the Women’s World Championship in 2015, 2017 and 2018. This year she has the opportunity to participate in the World Snooker Championship and the Men’s Challenge Tour.
A lot of people might think that her next step would be to defend her title, but Ng proved everyone wrong. “After winning the Women’s World Championship, I was fortunate enough to be invited to take part in the World Snooker Championship, and it was something else,” she says. “Playing against male snooker players made me realise how weak I was.” To her, it was not about winning or losing, but improving her skills and gaining experience. “I was terrible at dealing with pressure, but even though I recently lost 6:10 to Alan McManus, I feel that I’ve improved tremendously since the first game.”
What’s the daily routine like for her? “I usually train for four to six hours, and apart from that maybe another gym session, which focuses on my core, arm and back muscles,” she says. “Snooker might seem like a static activity, but it actually requires a lot of strength. Take the World Snooker Championship for example, I played for 15 hours straight with only a 45-minute break.”
As she looks towards a bright future, Ng harbours dreams of working in another industry. “I love animals, and I have a dog at home. If I’m not playing snooker, I want to get a degree in veterinary nursing and take care of sick and injured animals. I’m a sucker for animals!”
Shirt: The Outnet | Suit: Ralph Lauren | Watch: Richard Mille RM 07-01 Gem Set Ceramic | Location: Rosewood Hong Kong