Entrepreneur teams up with squash champion
UKFast’s Lawrence Jones extends sponsorship of world number one Massaro
Manchester-based cloud computing firm UKFast is to extend its sponsorship deal with recently crowned world number one squash player Laura Massaro.
The deal sees UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE commit to mentoring personal friend and current Macau, Qatar and US Open champion Massaro, in addition to hosting her website and providing other support.
Massaro said: “My relationship with Lawrence has developed over the last few years, having gone from him hosting and helping with my website, which is running brilliantly, to him becoming a mentor to me and talking to me before matches. It gives me so much extra belief going into the crucial moments. It’s great to formalise it with this new sponsorship deal.
“His involvement in the mental side of my game has allowed me to play the best level of squash of my career so far and has supported me towards the number one spot. I’m really motivated to keep pushing and keep improving.”
A keen squash player and follower, Lawrence Jones has watched Massaro’s journey with interest and puts the stars recent impressive form down to incremental changes in mindset.
Jones said: “A few years ago Laura told me she would never be able to overtake Nicol David [former world number one]. I told her I could show her how to be the best in the world. She had all the desire and all the physical attributes to be a champion but she just needed that something extra to get the mental side right.
“It’s the same in sport as it is in business; you have to get all the parts of your game working in tandem. She is an amazing athlete and a great friend. Whilst I can’t help with her technique, many of the skills I have learnt are definitely transferrable to sport. I have a huge amount of respect for her taking on the challenge to become the best in the world in her field.”
32-year-old Massaro, who won the British Open in 2013 and became world champion in 2014, became world number one for the first time on 1 January.
Massaro continued: “This has been the best season of my whole career. I put in some pretty tough work, both mentally and physically, over the summer so it’s great to see that work paying off. Hard work gets you places, as Lawrence always tells me.
“Lawrence has always said to me that the mental side of the game is absolutely massive. I’ve started to realise how important it is over the last year or so and I’ve noticed how well it works in partnership with training on the court. You get that extra belief from speaking to such a successful businessman and I’m finally realising that when you’re up near the top it’s the mental aspect which can take you the extra distance and make you unstoppable.”
Massaro plays next in Manchester at the National Squash Championships, taking place in SportCity from 8-14 February.