Thanks again to Malcolm for his latest player profile, this time on local celeb Lindsay Ward!

Lindsay Ward in the early 70s

Lindsay Ward in 2011
Lindsay first played Wellington A Grade interclub in 1972. Almost 40 years ago! He was also a former Wellington Regional 1 tennis interclub player for more than a decade. Lindsay is the only person to win both NZ Veterans Tennis and Table Tennis Titles. In his school days he was a fast sprinter and represented his primary and secondary school in athletics. His speed helped him in his rugby and he was a winger in the Wellington Intermediate Schools Team that won the Southern North Island Tournament (1968) where he scored 2 tries in the final. Today Lindsay is also a keen cyclist.

Lindsay first played tennis at age 10 and was a Wellington Primary Schools Representative. He won the Wellington Boys Under 15 Singles (1969). Lindsay was the Club Singles Champion at Vogelmorn (4) Miramar (2) and Wellington (5). He played Regional 1 tennis for Miramar and Wellington. In a Dominion Post story he was nick-named The Surgeon for the way he dissected his opponents. In 2000 Lindsay won the NZ Veterans Tennis Over 45 Men’s Singles, the Over 45 Men’s Doubles with Terry Poynter, and Over 40 Mixed Doubles with Robyn Flynn.

Lindsay first played interclub table tennis in 1969 for Kilbirnie RSA. By 1972 he was playing in their A Grade team with Brian Kennedy, Adrian Lust and Boris Halama. He won the Wellington Secondary Schools Table Tennis Boys Singles and Doubles title and was a Wellington Junior Representative that year. In 1973 his Kilbirnie RSA team won the A Grade title (Gerald Bell Memorial Cup). Lindsay was ranked number 1 (Wellington Junior Boys) and Number 10 (Wellington Men’s) and won the Under 18 Boy’s Singles and U21 Men’s Singles at both the Wellington Regionals and Wellington Open Tournaments. When the Kilbirnie RSA folded up, the players formed Kilbirnie United. Kilbirnie United (Lindsay with Brian Kennedy, Adrian Lust and Warren Mak) won the Wellington A Grade Competition in 1974.

In 1976 Lindsay joined the Titan Club and has represents them in interclub ever since. In 1978 the Titan team (Lindsay Ward, Adrian Lust and Warren Mak) reached the final of the Rothmans National Club Competition in Auckland where they lost 4-7 to Manurewa. The Titan Team (Lindsay with Warren Mak, Adrian Lust and Nha Nguyen) won the A Grade in 1980. Lindsay was a member of the Titan team that won the Wellington Premier 1 competition for 5 consecutive years 2002-2006. Robert Chung was the only other player in the team for all 5 years. Other players included Jie Zhang, Harry Singh, Nha Nguyen and Catherine Zhou. Lindsay has also won the Titan Club Singles 7 times ( 2001-2002, 2004-2006, 2009-2010).

In the top grade Lindsay has won more than 1,000 matches. He has been the top Wellington player in the averages 18 times. Since the Premiers Grades began in 1981 Lindsay has maintained an overall average of over 83%. His best year was 2008 where he won 36 out of 37 matches played (97.30%) but was surprisingly only ranked 7th on the Wellington Men’s list. He is the only person playing Premier 1 in the first year of the competition (1981) still playing in the grade today.

In 1982, L/R: Lindsay Ward, Peter Miller, Ann Gyongyos, Kay Kelly,
Adrian Lust, Dianne Ord, Lloyd Richards, Robert Kerr
Lindsay was first selected in the Wellington Men’s Team (with Lloyd Richards and Ron Foster) for the NZ Teams Tournament in 1976. He last played for the top Wellington Men’s Team at this tournament in 2005 and would still be a contender for this team if available. Lindsay was a member of the Wellington Over 45 Men’s Team that won the NZ O45 Teams in 2004 (with Bryan McConnochie and Chris Talbot) and 2008 (with Chris Talbot and Depak Patel).

Lindsay was the Wellington number one ranked Man 17 times during the period 1978-2005. He has won the Men’s Singles at the Wellington Open 7 times over 28 years (1978, 1983, 1984, 1986, 2002, 2003, 2006) and was a losing semi finalist this year. He has also won the Men’s Singles at the Hutt Valley Open, Kapiti Open, Wairarapa Open and the Manawatu Open. In 1978 he reached the semi finals of the NZ Men’s Singles and was ranked number 9 in NZ that year. At the NZ Open Lindsay won the Over 45 Men’s Singles twice (2001 and 2008) and the Over 45 Men’s Doubles with Ian Talbot (2003). He was selected in the Over 50 NZ Men’s team in the test against Australia (2008).

This year Lindsay won the Over 50 Men’s Singles at the North Island Tournament for the third year in a row. He won the Over 30 and Over 50 Singles at the Wellington Open. Lindsay lost a close match with Craig Dye in the NZ Men’s Over 30 Singles final. He still has many years of table tennis ahead of him!

Lindsay made it to the semi-final of this year’s Wellington Open:

Lindsay is currently 51st on the TTNZ Men’s open Ratings list (the 3rd placed Wellingtonian there).
(Thanks to the TTNZ Archives for the older photos and Win for the video.)