Home' The Eye : November 15th 2012 Contents 15.11.12 The Eye
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Table tennis ace wins award
Table talent: Michael Zhang's table
tennis career has been given a boost
after winning the New Zealand junior
player of the year. Photo: ROBYN EDIE
He hasn't got a coach and can't
train regularly but Southland's
Michael Zhang has still been
named New Zealand junior table
tennis player of the year.
The annual award is one of New
Zealand Table Tennis' most
prestigious and getting it stunned
the 15-year-old James Hargest
College student, who is ranked
seventh in his age group nation-
He certainly wasn't expecting the
award but was pleased with it, he
The award criteria is based on a
player's enthusiasm, results,
potential, sportsmanship and
Michael received the award
because, according to the judges,
his nomination demonstrated an
''amazing willingness'' to help at
school, club and association level
and he often helped when
coaching resources were
It's another boost to a highly-
promising career for the attacking
right-hander, who is one of the
best players to come out of
Southland in years.
Michael first learned to play table
tennis in China when he was six
but, after moving to New Zealand,
he didn't take up the sport again
until he was 10.
He does not practise much, but
plays more often when compe-
titions are coming up, he said.
Despite being one of the country's
top junior players, Michael is very
modest about his ability and
believes he probably received the
award because of the results he
achieves while living outside
Auckland, which is a powerbase
for the sport in New Zealand.
Next season, the goal is to
improve his national ranking but
he said that would be hard to do in
Invercargill because there were
not many players he could
Still, anything is possible for
Michael Zhang. His New Zealand
junior of the year award has
already proved that.
Men encouraged to
explore health too
What and where: Te Anau Health
and Wellbeing Expo
Start time: 10am till 4pm.
Key sponsor: The Eye.
When: Saturday, November 17
Exhibitors: Almost 70 exhibitors,
including some from Auckland
Expo cost: $5
Fundraiser: Money from the door
sales and raffles will go towards
the Fiordland Volunteer Area
Months of organising and hun-
dreds of hours of hard work will
hopefully pay off for Donna Cudby
Ms Cudby has spent the past five
months organising the Te Anau
Health and Wellbeing Expo as a
fundraiser for the Fiordland
Volunteer Area Ambulance Com-
She has been completing the final
preparations this week but, with
everything ''on track'', she is
looking forward to seeing the expo
come together this weekend.
The expo has exceeded Ms
Cudby's expectations with nearly
70 exhibitors attending from
throughout the country and guest
speaker Jason Shon Bennett, who
is sponsored by The Eye.
There would be a wide variety of
stalls and products with every-
thing from massage therapists to
organic food, Ms Cudby said.
It will be a great day out, she said.
The expo was for a good cause and
she hopes the public will take the
opportunity to learn about their
health and wellbeing while sup-
porting the Fiordland ambulance
The event was not just for women
and she encouraged men to head
along to the event to be ''more
involved'' with their health.
''It's going to be really great.''
Central Southland College is
looking for people to help
coach some of their sports
teams to increase student
The college advertised for
members of the community
to assist in the coaching of
the sports teams on behalf of
their sports council.
College sports co-ordinator
Andrea Beggs said the coun-
cil had been set up to support
her job, but to also increase
student participation in
Mrs Beggs said there had
been a pleasing number of
expressions of interest,
especially for rugby league.
''We have had lots of interest
with the rugby league
because of the boys' success
up in Auckland.''
The college's rugby league
team competed in the New
Zealand secondary schools
championships in Sept-
Mrs Beggs said rugby, net-
ball and hockey had also
drawn a lot of interest.
The interest in the sports
council had come from all
around Southland, not just
from central Southland, she
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