Table Tennis demo a hit

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Henley School students were treated to a rare performance on Friday – their own principal taking on a Chinese table tennis legend.

Although John Armstrong spends his days running the school, he used to be a former Nelson, West Coast and Canterbury table tennis representative, and when he was asked to play against Mr Zeng Sang, a former player of Hubei Provincial Table Tennis Team in China, he thought he’d dust off his bat.

Zeng Sang has been in Nelson for China Week, and was part of a demonstration on Wednesday evening at Saxton Stadium.

The pair also put on demonstrations at Waimea Intermediate, Nelson Intermediate and Hampden Street School, with a total of 1000 students being performed to over two days.

John says that although he is “very much retired” from the sport, he enjoyed the experience.

He is a really nice guy and just played to my level,” he says. “We put on some great rallies that entertained the children.”

“It’s such a fast sport so the kids liked watching it. At Nelson Intermediate a lot of kids came up and gave him a hit – he definitely made an impression, and I think it will encourage some of the kids to pick up the sport.”

Those who are interested in giving table tennis a go can find out more by contacting Table Tennis Nelson at Saxton Stadium on 547 9479 or going to www. sportsground.co.nz/ttnelson.