Ng On-yee on bow ties, playing with Marco Fu and promoting snooker in Hong Kong

Ng On-yee and Marco Fu
Ng On-yee has been practising with Marco Fu

It began with a trip to her father's snooker club as a 13-year-old where she was wowed by the outfits on show, and now Ng On-yee cannot wait to make the most of being awarded a two-year professional tour card.

Hong Kong's Ng, along with Reanne Evans, received the news they can turn professional from the start of the 2021-22 season last month.

"This is absolutely a dream come true, I didn't expect it coming," the 30-year-old told BBC Sport.

Ng will miss the World Championship qualifiers this year because of current restrictions in Hong Kong but hopes the situation will change after the summer.

It has led to one positive outcome, however - the chance to practise with her idol Marco Fu.

"He already texted me to say congratulations," said Ng. "His positive image is probably the first that changed the overall image in Hong Kong."

Ng is also looking forward to competing against the male players on tour and has already received messages of support.

"Marco told me John Higgins said congratulations as well," she said. "I think they are looking forward to two girls playing on the main tour, it is a new experience for them as well, I can't wait to have a game with them."

Ng, a three-time winner of the women's World Championship and former world number one, first got hooked on snooker as a teenager when visiting the club her father managed.

"When I was young it was because of the outfit and the bow ties!" she added.

"I didn't like studying so would always stay home, play online games and then my father took me out with him.

"One day I saw him at a local snooker competition with the snooker suit, I thought 'Oh, if I can wear this I'll look good!' So I asked my father to teach me how to play snooker.

"At that time I was one of the only girls or ladies playing at a club."

Since being at the top of the game, Ng has seen a massive rise in participation in Hong Kong among female players and hopes to continue promoting the sport.

"I hope after people have watched me on the news or playing in tournaments I can change their impression of the sport," she said.

"Hopefully I can attract more young girls or boys. I have chances to go to schools and share with the students ideas about snooker. Hopefully I can promote the sport more."