Table Tennis Wellington


TTW:Club Empire

Merv Allardyce

Sad news with Merv Allardyce passing away on Saturday (July 11) age 88.  As a Life Member of the Empire Table Tennis Club he was also well known within the Wellington and indeed the New Zealand table tennis community including as a dedicated administrator for TTNZ in the head office for 11 years.  He will be missed by so many, sympathies from us all to Merv’s family.

See John Kiley’s article on Merv in Saturday’s Dominion Post.


2015 NZ Vets O80s Doubles Silver Merv Allardyce and Eddie Moore
Here’s Merv on the left back in 2015 in Empire colours following silver at the NZ Vets Over 80 Men’s Doubles with Eddie Moore (on the right)
Merv (also in 2015) at the Empire Table Tennis Club prize giving

Val Muirhead (nee Phillips) 23/01/1933-8/04/2017

ValMuirhead1Val Muirhead died at Waikanae at the age of 84. She was a former Epuni Club/Empire Club member and Hutt Valley Table Tennis Representative. Val was a Empire Club/Hutt Valley Association Committee Member and a Hutt Valley Life Member.

Val had a open attacking style. She joined the Empire Club in 1955 from the Epuni Club. Val was in the following Empire winning interclub teams. 1955 B Grade Team (with Ron Menchi, Murray Sherlock, R Inglis) and the 1960 A Reserve Team (with Merv Burns, Ron Menchi, John Ogilvie). She played Hutt Valley A Grade for the Empire Number 2 Team (1959-72) with her best result 50% in 1965 (18/36) and 1967 (12/24). At the Empire Club Val won the Best Sportsperson Award jointly with Eddie Harris (1958) and the Most Outstanding Performance (1959). At the Empire Club Championships Val won six Women Singles (1963, 1964, 1966, 1968-1970), nine Women Doubles (1958-62, 1967-68 with Joan Brown, 1963 & 1970 with Merle Harding) and four Mixed Doubles (1959, 1963-64 with Keith Pointon and 1970 with Hone Ridley).

As a junior Val won the 1950 Wellington Open Under 18 Girls Doubles with N A King (W). She was a Hutt Valley Women Team Representative (1956-71) to the NZ Championships. In most of these teams was Joan Brown (1953-62, 1964-65, 1967-72). Val won the 1958 Bush Open Women Singles and the 1963 Hutt Valley Closed Women Singles. In Women’s Doubles she won: six Hutt Valley Closed tournaments (1962,1964-65,1967, 1969 with Joan Brown, 1963 with R Bush); five Hutt Valley Opens with Joan Brown (1961,1965,1969), with Gwen Schneider (1963), with Jeanette Wilson (1967); four Wellington Opens with Joan Brown (1965, 1967-69); the 1971 Kapiti Open with Gillian Kemp; the 1967 Manawatu Open with Joan Brown; the 1959 Wairarapa Open with Mary Anderson; the 1964 Wanganui Open with Joan Brown. In Mixed Doubles Val won the Hutt Valley Closed twice (1963 with Peter McLauchlan and 1964 with Albert Roberts); the 1963 Bush Open and the Wairarapa Open with Geoff Jennings; the 1966 Hutt Valley Open with Denis Thorner. In 1963 Val played in the Australian Open.

1959 was Val’s best year. She was ranked Number 8 on the New Zealand Women’s Ranking List. She represented the North Island (with Barbara Packwood (Captain), Joan Brown, Neti Davis) against the South Island ( Pat Purdon (Captain),June Shadbolt, Thelma May, Pam Crowe ). Won 7-5 by the North Island. In the NZ Championships Val and Joan Brown were runner up in the Women Doubles to Mary Anderson (HV)/Val White (W) 21-12 15-21 21-8 17-21 21-19. In the North Island Championships Women Singles Val beat the seeded Pat Purdon (3rd round) and Mary Broadbent (Semi Finals) and was runner up to Joan Brown 21-14 21-14 10-21 21-11. Val and Joan Brown were runner up in the Women Doubles to Pat Purdon (C)/Pam Deans (W) 11-21 21-16 22-20 21-19. In the Hawera Teams Tournament Empire Club (Joan Brown, Val Muirhead, Betty Gardner, Bev Christensen) beat Wanganui (Gwen Schneider, Cynthia Gifford-Moore, P Haywood, Joyce Williams) in the Women’s Final 6-4.

Val was on the Empire Club Management Committee (1957-72) and was one of the fifteen signatures when the Club applied to be an Incorporated Society in 1961. The Certificate of Incorporation was registered on December 19, 1961. She was also on the Hutt Valley Table Tennis Association Executive Committee. The Empire Golden Jubilee Book said she served for 20 years on the Hutt Valley Committee. In 1965 history was made when the Hutt Valley Association appointed her as its sole selector. The first time a woman has held that position. Hutt Valley beat Wellington 21-7 to win the Jack Croudis Memorial Shield and Canterbury to win the Brightwell Trophy to win both matches for the first time in the same year. She was elected a Hutt Valley Association Life Member and became a Table Tennis Wellington Life Member when the Wellington Association and the Hutt Valley Association merged in 2002. She was also on the NZ Executive Committee (1971-72). Val also served on the 1980 NZ Championship Committee.

Information for the article was provide from the Alexander Turnbull Library, Val Darroch, Empire Table Tennis Club Annual Reports, Empire Club Golden Jubilee Book (1934-1984), Empire Club website, Table Tennis NZ website and Wellington Table Tennis Association Annual Reports.  Unfortunately I have been unable to locate Hutt Valley Table Tennis Association Reports for this period. Also some Empire Club Annual Reports were missing (1934-36, 1939-45, 1954,1955,1970). No information was founded from her time at the Epuni Club.

Victor Barna Cup, Hutt Valley Women's team (1956). L/R back: Fay Inglis, Val Muirhead (c), Pam Oben; front: Mary Garden, Joan Brown
Victor Barna Cup, Hutt Valley Women’s team (1956). L/R back: Fay Inglis, Val Muirhead (c), Pam Oben; front: Mary Garden, Joan Brown

Malcolm Wong

Ron Menchi

Ron Menchi

Sad news with Ron Menchi, a dedicated Empire Club and TTNZ member for as long as anyone can remember and a good friend to so many, passed away on Monday.


Requiem Mass will be celebrated in the Church of St Martin de Porres, Park Avenue, Lower Hutt on Wednesday 13 April 2016 at 1pm.  All communications to: Menchi family c/- P O Box 30067 Lower Hutt 5040.

Our condolences to Ron’s family and to those who knew him on behalf of all the Wellington table tennis family.

Here is an excerpt from Robin Radford’s 2014 Hall of Fame publication (ref TTNZ):

Continue reading “Ron Menchi”

Working bee @ Newtown Stadium from noon Sunday Jan 18

Hi folks, short notice but the weather is looking ok – we’re having a working bee Sunday at noon onwards at the Newtown TT stadium this Sunday (Jan 18). Please come along if you can, we’ll be doing some painting, gutter clearing, and any indoor work we can do depending on how many turn up!

Btw Titan is underway at the Newtown stadium (9:30am – 1pm) also Empire in Petone is underway from Monday Jan 19 (casual play) and organised games from Jan 26. Other clubs will be starting up for the season later on after summer.

Series I Winter Interclub Summaries

Here are the summary documents for the Series I Winter Interclub:

Premier Grade: 2014 Winter Interclub Series I Final Team Results – Premier
congratulations to winners Titan Terriers (Ben Collins, Lindsay Ward, Chun-Kiet Vong)

Divisions: 2014 Winter Interclub Series I Final Team Results – Divisions

Division 1: Congratulations to winners Waterloo Wolves (Gareth Telfer, Scott Higham, Craig Gear)
Division 2: Congratulations to winners Waterloo Whales (Martin Xiong, Ellen Xiong, Dean McNicholl)
Division 3: Congratulations to winners Waterloo Whippets (Chris Sutton, Ian Thomas, Bunchhy Chheng, Ralph Sutton)

The Division Grades also had a division grade champs last week with these winners:

Division 1: Gareth Telfer (Waterloo)
Runner Up: Craig Gear (Waterloo)

Division 2: Mo Whare (Belmont)
Runner Up: Terry Hooper (Empire)
also a Doubles was held for Divison 2 won by Maggie Dyer & Peter Lowe (Empire).

Division 3: Ian Thomas (Waterloo)
Runner Up: Cayden Larson (Empire)

Thanks to everyone who played – regroup and prepare for Series II – tap the shoulders of those you know who missed out on Series I – Series II will be starting July 29/30 (entries due July 22) and is a great time to get more teams in or adjust teams from Series 1 as required. See you then!

As a reminder for the Premier folks, 2 September will still be off due to the National Secondary School’s Champs.

Blast from the Past: 1981 The Premier Grades begin


After a number of years of discussion for a stronger interclub competition, The Wellington and Hutt Valley Associations reached agreement to have a combined Premier Grade. The top 4 teams from each association were placed in the Premier 1 Grade and the next 4 teams into the Premier 2 Grade. Matches were played at the Newtown Stadium (Wellington) and the Empire Club (Petone).

The Premier 1 Grade was won by Empire, undefeated with 13 wins and one draw, who were 6 points clear off runner up Onslow. This was despite Onslow having the top 2 players in the singles averages, Peter Miller and Lloyd Richards. Lindsay Ward is the only player from Premier 1 still playing interclub today. Current Table Tennis Wellington Life Member and committee member Bruce Northover played for Waterloo B.

Premier 2 was won by Empire A. After the final Round Titan had 22 points and 110 Matches. Empire A had 20 points and 111 matches. Under the then rules, as Empire A had won the most matches, a playoff was necessary against Titan. Unfortunately for Titan their top player Murray Coppen was unavailable and Empire won easily. Tony Rutledge is the only player from Premier 2 still playing interclub today. Tony Radford (Johnsonville) was a future NZ Men’s Representative.

The result summary and singles averages are here: Premier 1 and Premier 2.

-Malcolm Wong

Thanks to the Empire club for these photos:

1981 Premier 1 winners Empire (Hone Ridley, Pat Low, Anthony Arraj)
1981 Premier 1 winners Empire (Hone Ridley, Pat Low, Anthony Arraj)

1981 Premier 2 Winners Empire A (John Lelliott, Chris Clegg, Tony Rutledge)
1981 Premier 2 Winners Empire A (John Lelliott, Chris Clegg, Tony Rutledge)

2013 Summer Interclub – Draw

Hi folks, the 2013 Table Tennis Wellington Summer Interclub draw for Round 1 (of 2) is here: TTW 2013 Summer Interclub Round 1 Draw as of Feb 18 2013.

Let me know of any name spelling corrections at interclub. The first night is this Wednesday, see you there!

Team Listings

Division 1

Belmont A: Callum Rusbridge & Martin Murdoch
Empire A: Depak Patel and Paul Brown
Empire B: Chris Talbot and Ian Talbot
Belmont B: Cath Zhou & Larn Sweeney
Empire C: Raewyn Young and Sabine Westenra
Empire D: John Gan and Jason Giles

Division 2

Empire E: Bryan McConnochie and Tony Rutledge
Belmont C: Frank Fu & Chun-Kiet Vong
Empire F: Martin Young, Paul Solt and Harry Chen
Waterloo A: Gareth Telfer & Sean Hanson
Waterloo B: Scott Higham & Adam Xiong
Empire G: Matthew Hobbs & Russell Buchanan

Division 3

Empire H: Isaac Noanoa and Graham Sole
Waterloo C: Martin Xiong & Ellen Xiong
Empire I: Vladmir Vysotskiy, Mo Whare and James Stewart
Empire J: Merv Allardyce, Arindom Choudhury and Darren O’Brien
Belmont D: Abram Goh & Hui-Ling Vong
Waterloo D: Jacob Gates & Reuben Reid

Division 4

Belmont E: Jason Zhao & Allan Carson
Belmont F: Charlie Waddy & Shikhar Parijat
Empire K: Reg Feuz & Ian Grace
Waterloo E: Chris Sutton & Ian Thomas
Belmont G: Jeremy Traub & Nicholas Baucke

Division 5

Waterloo\Empire: Marius Lukkonnen & Jimi Nelson
Belmont H: Angus Horan & Regan Craig
Belmont I: Alex Tam & William Tam
Empire L: Tyler Guthardt & Mason Tangatatai
Empire M: Chris Beeston & Jacob Rattray
Empire N: Adam Archibald-Mason & Hugh Pawson

2012 TTW Winter Interclub Final Team Results

The finals night of winter interclub was completed last night (Tuesday 11/9) so along with last Tuesday’s Premier 4 final we have the winning teams (with the players in each as listed at the start of the season):

Premier 1: Belmont Blasters (Thom Nguyen, Hayden Tapp, Heath Murdoch, Dzung Nguyen)
runners-up: Belmont Bang (Stephen Hirst, Callum Rusbridge, Larn Sweeney, Chun-Kiet Vong)

Premier 2: Empire Pine (Win Nguyen, Raman Tiwana, Brendyn Shaw, Richard Dalziel)
runners-up: Empire Oak (Tony Rutledge, Chris Williams, Bruce Connolly, Uy Tang)

Premier 3: Empire Rowan (James Stewart, Yang Sun, Mo Whare, Murray McLeod, Peter Douglas, T Metuariki)
runners-up: Belmont Barbarians (Matt Gill, Matt Hannah, Tony Pietras)

Premier 4: Belmont 38 (Desmond Goh, Abram Goh, Sri Galloway)
runners-up: Karori Thunder (Steve Montgomery, Russell Jackson, Peter Bloor)

Congratulations to all winners and all players during the winter season!

The final individual results are: here (results from Finals nights don’t get included in the winter season individual percentages). The season draws were here.

As mentioned earlier, NEXT WEEK are the Winter Interclub Grade Championships. This is a separate singles competition for each Premier grade with players eligible to play in the championship for the grade they played in during the 2012 winter interclub and/or for the championship for the next-higher grade. The format will be groups of round-robins followed by a knock-out round. Premier 1 and Premier 3 grade championships will be held on Tuesday September 18 with Premier 2 and Premier 4 grade championships on Wednesday September 19. The player fee is reduced to $6 for grade championship nights.

Following this there is a break followed by the spring competitions on Wednesdays starting from mid October. More details on this will be published soon.

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2012 Winter Interclub Draw and Rules

Hot off the press the draw and rules are now available below. Enjoy the competition!

Information & Rules: TTW 2012 Winter Interclub Rules

Premier 1: Premier 1 draw
Premier 2: Premier 2 draw
Premier 3: Premier 3 draw
Premier 4: Premier 4 draw


May 15 Premier 1 & 3 grades commence (Tuesdays)
May 16 Premier 2 & 4 grades commence (Wednesdays)
May 30/5 Junior Grade Commences
June 28 – July 16 School holidays (no interclub play, Junior Nationals)
July 17 Premier 1 & 3 grades continue
July 18 Premier 2 & 4 and Junior grades continue
Sept 4 Grade champs for Premier grades (1st vs. 2nd teams in each grade)

Remember Junior Interclub dates per above.


Also remember the Wellington Autumn Open – May 19/20 – entries close May 15!

Some Empire Club News

For your interest I’m including some recent Empire Table Tennis Club news mostly copied from the newsletter that was recently emailed out (the full newsletter is here). Check out all the photos of Depak coaching in there too!

Movie Fundraiser

When: Tuesday 24th April, Light House Cinema, Petone at 8.00 pm (nibbles from 7.30)

ALERT: Empire Club Fundraiser – fancy a night out to see a cool romantic comedy and help Empire raise some money for their special building projects? The movie is Salmon fishing in the Yemen which sure sounds like something different! Check out a review.

A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realise a sheik’s vision of bringing the
sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the
impossible possible.
    Starring Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Supper will be provided from 7.30 pm (movie @ 8pm) at the Light House, Petone. Tuesday 24th April.

Contact: Maggie 5899 140 (home) or 5704 820 (work) or maggie.dyer [at] to get your tickets ($20). Open to all.

Eddie Moore

Congratulations also to Eddie Moore, another long standing club member, for being selected to play for the NZ Veterans against the Australian Veterans at the NZ Open Veterans Championships in the Over 75s to be held in Palmerston North over Easter.

Bruce Connolly

Congratulations to Bruce Connolly, a long standing club member, for being selected to play for the NZ Veterans against the Australian Veterans at the NZ Open Veterans Championships in the Over 60s to be held in Palmerston North over Easter.

Empire Veterans Tournament

Saturday 24th of March saw 29 keen players at Empire for the annual tournament. The day was
enjoyed by all, some more than others as they took home a bit of wine! Thanks to Chris for all the
organising – you can see he did get some reward for his efforts….

Singles winner Singles runner up Doubles winners Doubles runner ups
Over 60s Chris Williams Jim Jarmin Chris Williams /
Nha Nguyen
Jim Jarmin / Richard Ammundsen
Over 50s Lindsay Ward Depak Patel Depak Patel /
Lindsay Ward
Chris Talbot / Ian Talbot
Over 40s Lindsay Ward Depak Patel Depak Patel / Raewyn Young Chris Talbot / Ian Talbot
Women’s Maggie Dyer Nancy Chan N/a N/a

Empire Visit to Wanganui Table Tennis Club

There is a visit in the planning stages for Empire to visit Wanganui some time in late May. The
Feilding Club will be joining in so there will be the three clubs involved in the matches.

************** Update ******************

The Wanganui visit will be Sunday 27th May. The Feilding Club will also be joining the Empire TTC, so the three clubs will be involved in an afternoon of fun table tennis. Carpooling will be available from the ETTC clubrooms. Departing Empire 9 am to arrive Wanganui 12 noon (approx).

ETTC will reimburse petrol costs for vehicles used for carpooling. Lunch will be provided by the Wanganui Club with organised games starting after lunch.

If you are interested let Rose Douglas know (rose.douglas [at] or fill in the clipboard left at the clubrooms before 17th May.

It will be good to have as many there as possible, all grades and standards welcome.

2012 Summer Interclub – Finals Results

The full result spreadsheet is here: 2012 Summer Interclub 0404 Final. Refer to the spreadsheet for the details but the winning and runner-up teams in each grade were:

Grade A:
Winner: Belmont Blast (Heath Murdoch & Callum Rusbridge) 3-2 over Empire Amber (John Gan & Depak Patel).
(All the X position vs. X position section vs. section playoffs in grade A on the Finals night were 3-2 results!)

Grade B:
Winner: Empire Palladium (Chris Williams & Richard Dalziel/Bruce Connolly) 3-2 over Belmont Bumble Bees (Frank Fu & Hui-Ling Vong).

Grade C:
Winner: Belmont Bandits (Matt Gill & Ramnick Tiwana) 4-1 over Empire Silver (Vladimir Vysotskiy & Alex Safronov).

Looks like it was Belmont and Empire fighting it out in the top of every grade on finals night with Belmont taking 2 out of 3 grades.

Congratulations all winners and thanks to all for playing in the summer interclub competition. There is a break before winter interclub which typically starts later in May.

Photos by Gareth Telfer:

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Eddie Moore – Life begins at 60

Here is the latest player profile from Malcolm Wong:

Eddie was born in Christchurch (1932). There was no organised sport during his time at primary school. In his secondary school days, at Christchurch Technical College, he excelled in football and cricket as well as playing table tennis for the Avonside Table Tennis Club from the age of 15 to 25. Eddie was in the first XI for both football and cricket. In football, as a centre forward, his outstanding performance in the South Island Schools Tournament (1949) resulted in him becoming selected as a South Island Schools representative. In cricket his rapid improvement lead him to be selected for the Canterbury Under 16 Boys team (1947) as a spin bowler, a team which included future NZ representative Murray Chapple (1953-66).

After Eddie left school, work and family took precedence over sport. In 1972 he moved to Wellington on a job transfer. When he retired at 60, Eddie was looking for a sport to play. He wanted to play tennis but there was no men at the local Midweek Club. A chance meeting with Ron Menchi lead to him joining the Empire Midweek Table Tennis Club (1992-93) where he became the Secretary. Eddie moved back down to Christchurch in 1993 and rejoined the Avonside Table Tennis Club. He immediately became the Secretary/Treasurer (1993-2003). He started up the Canterbury Midweek Table Tennis Club based on what he had seen at the Empire Midweek Club.

The then Canterbury Table Tennis Hall needed substantial repairs and planning permission for this would not be approved as it was in a residential area. Eddie with Keith Armstrong and Ron Fleming became involved in the purchase of the former Yates Seed Store(1999) for table tennis. They with Denver Glass, Neville Duggan and Brian Wilson were the driving force behind the conversion of the building into the current Table Tennis Canterbury Stadium (294 Blenheim Road), opening in early 2000. The six were presented with an appreciation medal by Table Tennis Canterbury. Eddie was further recognised for his endeavours by being made a Life Member of Table Tennis Canterbury and receiving a Summer Sports Award from Sport Canterbury in 2000. He was Table Tennis Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year (2002). Eddie returned to Wellington in 2003 and was responsible for running the Empire Midweek club, with Lois McStay, until 2009. He was awarded the Dick Gray Cup for Best Empire Club Member (2008) and the Empire Table Tennis Cup for Most Outstanding Performance(2009). There is a volunteer profile on Eddie in the Empire Spin Newsletter (August 2008).

Eddie soon made an impact in veterans table tennis. He was in the NZ Over 50 Men’s team to the Australian Veterans in Perth (1994). There he caused a hugh upset in a teams match by beating Ken Cole, who had just won the NZ Open Over 45 Men’s Singles. In 1999 Eddie was number 85 on the NZ Open Men’s rating list at the age of 67! In 2008 he won the NZ Open Over 70 Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles (with Lois McStay). Eddie has represented New Zealand four times in the Over 70 Men’s team in the test against Australia. He has won 12 individual NZ Veterans titles including the Over 70 Men’s Singles (2002) and the Over 75 Men’s Singles (2007 & 2009).

Eddie had an outstanding performance in the NZ Veterans Over 75 Men’s singles (2009). Eddie defeated the second seed, Geoff Nisbett, in the semi finals and then the top seed, Tony Herbert, in the final. Tony was then the current Australian Veterans Over 70 and 75 Men’s Singles Champion. Eddie continues to play table tennis at the Empire Midweek Club and hopes to play at the World Veteran’s Championships (2014) in Auckland.

Above: NZ Veterans Test Team (2008) for the match against Australia
Back Row (L/R): Christine Little, Sabine Westenra, Jim Jarmin, Eddie Moore, Fleming Alison, Lyndon White, Bill Stewart, Dave Scott, Bryan McConnochie.
Front Row (L/R): Pauline Bennyworth, Chip Eade, Lynnette Bellamy, Gerry Doyle, Alison Williamson, Lesley Gardner, Lindsay Ward, Raewyn Young.

Photo: TTNZ Archives

Empire 2012 Veterans Tournament – March 24 (Sat)

Great practice for the Easter Vets.

SATURDAY 24 March, 2012

9:30am – 5:00pm

Empire Stadium, Marine Parade, Petone, Lower Hutt

Over 40, 50 and 60 events

Singles and Doubles



9:00 – 9:30am

Registrations, practice time

9:30 – 12:30pm

Round robins for all singles events; doubles events

1:00 – 3.00pm

Post section singles events; doubles continue

3:00 – 4:30pm

Semi finals and finals for all events



1. Players may enter in up to two age groups but they must be consecutive, ie Over 40 and Over 50 or Over 50 and Over 60.
2. Ages are as at 31 December 2011.
3. Entry fee is $10 per player and can be paid on the day.
4. The organisers reserve the right to merge events, change the format or run consolation events, depending on the number of entries.
5. Entries close on Wednesday 21 March 2012 with Chris Williams on 04 527 8629 or williamsck [at]

The entry form is here: 2012 Empire Veterans Entry Form.

Light refreshments will be available for purchase.

Player Profile: Depak Patel the Backhand Wizard

Thanks to Malcolm Wong for another player profile!
Depak PatelDepak Patel is a Empire Premier 1 player and a ITTF level 1 coach. He was born in the town of Pardi in the state of Gujarat (India). When he was 3 months old the family immigrated to England. After a 3 month journey by ship they settled in Leicester, the largest city in the East Midlands.

Depak played football (left winger) at school from age 10. Among his team mates was Winston White (right winger), who was to play professionally for Leicester and several other clubs (1976-93) making 529 appearances and scoring 61 goals. Playing for a rival school team was Gary Lineker (striker), who went on to played 80 times for England (48 goals). Depak was in the football team that were the Midlands Asian Students 5 a side Champions. He is a supporter of both Leicester City and Chelsea Football Teams.

Depak started playing table tennis at the local youth club at age 13. A teacher at his high school encouraged him to go to a Saturday coaching group. He joined Abbey Table Tennis Club and started off in Division 15 which his team won in his first season (1976). Depak progressed through to Division 4 before he moved to London. There he joined Ashford Table Tennis Club where he played Division 1 in 1988/89 and 1989/90. The Club won the British League (1988/89) with a team full of internationals including the Belgian, Jean-Michael Saive (The future European Men’s Singles Champion in1994 and World Number 1) and New Zealander Peter Jackson. Depak won the National Asian Students Table Tennis Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles in 1981 and 1984.

Depak also played cricket. He played for the Universal Cricket Club at 14 in the same team was his older brother. Depak was in the team that won the Leicester Liger Festival of Cricket Tournament (1976). His team included 4 Indian test players including Dilip Doshi who was a friend of his older brother in India. The other Indian test players were Ashok Mankad, Brijesh Patel and Madan Lal. The trophy was presented by Mushtaq Mohammad, the former Pakistan Cricket Captain. Depak’s best season was in 1990 for the Sunbury Village Cricket Club where he took the most wickets (75), had the most 5 wicket bags and had the most ‘Man of the Match’ awards during the season. Depak scored his only century (107 n.o.) when he carried the bat through out the innings for the Papatoetoe Cricket Club Presidents team (2000)

Depak moved to New Zealand in 1991 and has lived in Wellington and Auckland. Currently Depak plays and coaches at the Empire Club. He has won the Titan Club Singles twice (2007 & 2008) and the Empire Club Singles on 3 occasions (2004, 2009 & 2010). Depak was in the Wellington O45 Team that won the NZ Teams twice (2006 with Bryan McConnochie) and (2008 with Chris Talbot & Lindsay Ward). Depak was selected for the NZ Veterans team in the test against Australia (2007). He was the Captain of the NZ Over 50 Men’s Team at the Australian Veterans Tournament (2010). He has won 78 tournament titles including the North Island Over 40 Men’s Singles (2009). Depak said his best tournament wins were against Craig Dye and Thomas Samuelson. He is still very keen about playing table tennis and practises up to 4 times a week.

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Summer Interclub Draw

Hi folks, after the usual late rush of entries and fiddling to get seedings near-enough, here are the actual draws for Summer Interclub from Wednesday February 29 through April 4. Thanks to Bruce for getting it all together.

Grades A and B are split into two sections with a playoff between them on the last night. Grade C has a 1v2, 3v4, 5v6 playoff on that last night.

2012 TTW Summer Interclub draw A Grade
2012 TTW Summer Interclub draw B Grade
2012 TTW Summer Interclub draw C Grade

Refer to the earlier 2012 Summer Team Interclub blog entry for more details.

See you all Wednesday at the Empire Table Tennis Club stadium.

Opening night at Empire? (This could be Petone...)

Summer Table Tennis – where to get it?

As an overview on what table tennis is on and when during the summer period here is some information. (If you have any info to add please comment or let me know.)

Summer Interclub

Summer interclub (team competition, a bit more casual than the main winter interclub season) is broken into two distinct (unrelated) phases, first the Composite Interclub (see here and here). Second the ‘pre-season’ (late summer) summer interclub round with a format to be determined. For more details watch this blog or keep in contact through your club.

Your club

Some clubs remain open with a small break, others close for a summer break. Consider visiting a different club every now and again – chances are you’ll play people you’ve never played before.

  • Waterloo: starts again early March (probably the first week).
  • Onslow: starts again late March.
  • Tawa: Porirua East School, 8 Martin Street, Porirua East (turn right to hall prior to parking area). Operates from 7pm each Wednesday night April to October.
  • Titan: open through the summer except for 4 weeks off from mid December. Key hire for the Newtown stadium is available too, contact Table Tennis Wellington.
  • Belmont: running until the 25th of November and is starting up again in the middle of March.
  • Karori: finishes November 21, starting again late February or early March, to be determined.
  • Empire: The the last Monday night is Dec 12, the last midweek – Tuesday Dec 20 then opening casually from Jan 17 (officially Feb 2), and the last Junior club is Friday Nov 11. Opening dates for Mondays & Fridays to be determined.
  • Moonshine & Victoria University: – refer to club contact information here.

For more details or for other clubs refer to the club contact information here.


Summer is a good time to start and get into a regular fitness pattern, if you find one that fits your schedule and you can enjoy it, then you’ll be more likely to keep it up through the whole year (um, this is do as I say, not as I do). I remember talking to a veteran player who noted that he would tend to win more often as the winter wore on, as other people got less fit! A fair-weather runner like myself will be one of his easy victims come Composite Interclub…

Elite squad coach Stephen Hirst recommends:
“… it is always good in the off season to build your base fitness, i.e. lots and lots of cardio, skipping, running running and more running. As you get about 2 months out before the season starts I liked to taper off the running and start to replace that with more speed work like shuttle runs between two cones 20 metres apart. Start introducing more strength stuff with weights like squats for your quads. My favourite was jumping over a wooden bench traditionally found in schools 3 x 1 minute, it really kills you but gets you very explosive for the start of the season. Also continue this exercise throughout the season… This is all I used to do and can highly recommend it.”

The Karate KidMy tip: paint the fence – if it worked for The Karate Kid it will work for you.
At least get out there and mow the lawn…


There are probably a hundred unpaid volunteers of some kind that help run and facilitate table tennis in the Wellington region. If you’re not already one of this bunch, think of something you enjoy doing that could contribute in any way. Put your name forward!

Web watching

Need a quick table tennis fix? Trawl the web looking for table tennis news, blogs and videos, but start with Win Ngyuen’s youtube channel and Matt Heatherington’s TT blog.

Your mate’s house

There is probably a table tennis table at one of your friend’s houses – go there and play and give them a lesson. Nothing will give you more pleasure. Just don’t forget to bring your own bat otherwise you’ll be battling to a 15-all deuce in the 3rd set against their 11 year old son because trying to topspin using their pimple-out no-sponge half-torn up left-in-the-sun fly-swatter only leaves you looping directly into the carpet at your feet.

The ulterior motive is that you could have some more people to bring along to your club. Lend them your real bat or a spare and open their eyes to what it is all about.

Summer project?

You might not have space for a table-tennis table in your own house but…

make a mini table tennis table… then become the best in the world.


Other ideas? Just comment below!

Empire News (October Newsletter)

The latest Empire newsletter is here:
Empire Table Tennis Club October 2011 Newsletter

Hungry Empire members read this for details of the annual dinner (Saturday, Nov 19) and the midweek annual Xmas lunch (Thurs Nov 24).

Also I copied this news for wider interest:

Midweek Doubles Tournament: 15 September

The annual Midweek Doubles Tournament was held on 15th September and was organised by Arthur Lee and Melanie Armstrong. Arthur has submitted a full report to the Board. Here are the highlights:

• There were 96 participants, of whom 52 were Empire members.
• Teams came from Kapiti, Levin, Wairarapa, Wainuiomata, Tawa and Miramar. Miramar was a newcomer to the tournament.
• Empire winners were Alfred Chin & Stan Joe and Ken Moy & Karl Johnston.
• Empire teams finished runners up on seven of the eight tables.
• There was a cash raffle and a grocery raffle. The grocery items were donated by Empire club members.
• The tournament prizes were again sponsored by Wellington Star, Mercedes Benz dealer, and we than them for their continuing support. The Empire Board also donated prizes.

Many thanks to Arthur and Melanie and to all the other helpers who contributed to such a successful day. Thanks too to Norman Chan for securing the Wellington Star sponsorship.

Winter Interclub Series 2 – Senior Final Result

Congratulations to the winning teams, some close results on the Finals night:

Senior grades:

Premier 1: Belmont Bananas (Callum Rusbridge, Thom Nguyen, Hayden Tapp) 6-3 winners over Titan
Premier 2: Empire Dangerous (Chris Williams, Bruce Connolly, Uy Tang) – a nail-biting 6-5 win over the Waterloo Wizards
Premier 3: Karori Kometz (Darrin Carmichael, Ben Westenra, Reg Fuez) 6-4 over Empire Xiong, reversing an in-season loss to Empire Xiong.

Results for Series 2: 2011 Winter Interclub Series 2 Final

(Juniors to be compiled)

NB: Series 1 Results here.

Thanks to Bruce for managing the interclub nights and to Chris for compiling the results. Thanks Reg for the pics:

Premier 1 winning team Belmont Bananas (Callum Rusbridge, Thom Nguyen, Hayden Tapp)

Premier 2 winning team: Empire Dangerous (Chris Williams, Bruce Connolly, Uy Tang)

Premier 3 winning team: Karori Kometz (Darrin Carmichael, Ben Westenra, Reg Fuez)

Winter Interclub Prem 2 & 3 Series 2 draws

… are here (the first week of Series 2 for Premier 2 and Premier 3 grades):

TTW Winter Interclub Premier 2 draw Series 2 (starting Wednesday)
TTW Winter Interclub Premier 3 draw Series 2 (starting Tuesday)

Malcolm on the recent Nelson Open

Full tournament results were published here. Malcolm won the Over 50 Men’s Singles, and the Over 40 and Over 50 Men’s Doubles. This takes his Nelson titles to 18 and he has 68 in total! Malcolm reports that the tournament was well run due to the efficient organisation of Paul Op de Buysch, Donny Harris, Chris Hood and Debbie Stratford. Also his thanks to Karen Holmes and her team (Noelene Wells, Kay Hazeldine, and Dianne Watson) for running the cafeteria (presumably Malcolm has fond memories of the cafeteria!).

Malcolm Wong – O50 Men’s Singles winner
Over 50 Men’s Doubles winners – Malcolm Wong and Peter Wells
Over 40 Men’s Doubles winners – Piotr Ratka and Malcolm Wong

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