Maria Toorpakai

Maria Toorpakai

Born in a Pashtun family in 1990 in South Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan, Maria is currently ranked 54th in the world, and is Pakistan No. 1. The only way Maria could play sport as a woman was to disguise herself as a boy. When her gender was revealed in order for her to train professionally in squash, Maria and her family received death and kidnap threats as her actions were perceived as 'un-Islamic.' The Pakistani national squash federation provided security for her home and training venue, however Maria decided it was a safer option to seek an opportunity to train internationally.Maria lives and trains in Toronto, Canada, under former professional squash player Jonathon Power.