Table Tennis Wellington



TTW AGM Coming up (Tuesday March 6)

Official notices have been sent out already but you may be interested to know that the 10th Annual General Meeting of Table Tennis Wellington is being held commencing 7:30pm at the Empire Table tennis Club stadium. Even if you are not a specific member or club delegate, you can attend as an observer. Also, there are spaces available on the executive committee so there is a chance you’ll be nominated!

Notwithstanding specific coaching roles or specific honorariums (accepted or otherwise), members of committees are unpaid and may work many hours, sometimes in between family crisis and imminent work deadlines! Next time you walk into a club or activity, consider how many people might have been involved along the way in bringing table tennis to you. That small amount of money you spend really goes a long way. In the overall scheme of things, any time or expertise you can provide over and above those dollars counts a great deal towards maintaining table tennis in our community.

Magical Blog Fairy(TM)
Magical Blog Fairy™
Most work is done by people not on any specific committee. It’s not the task of any particular committee to attend to all your table tennis needs and desires, an association is only the sum of the things that we all create. For example, the reason why story X, Y or Z isn’t in this blog, is simply that no-one has sent it in, there is no Magical Blog Fairy™ flitting around from table to table gathering stories near and far.

A committee is a vehicle for planning and decision-making, followed by enabling the people and resources to execute specific projects. While a committee should ideally proportionately represent a range of interests, note that many (if not most) major activities happen externally to direct committee involvement, with perhaps only intermittent interaction if at all. To clarify what I mean, here are some examples:

  1. Someone of their own accord organises entries and car-pooling for people interested in travelling to a tournament together.
  2. Clubs themselves operate independently from each other and at least mostly independently from the TTW at the association level.
  3. Your local sports shop that advertises and sells table tennis equipment is a separate process with essentially no connection to any club, association, or national sports body or committee. Arguably, the greatest force for promoting table tennis in New Zealand overall is Rebel Sports.

At the end of the day, we are all better off if everyone working on a community project is doing something they enjoy and in an area they are interested in. Maybe there is some project that you may be interested in, that you would like to run or be a part of, you can get on a club or association committee or not even be on a committee at all but just talk with your committee to see how your project can dovetail nicely with everything else that is going on.

Win’s Wgtn Open on youtube – behind the scenes

From Win Nguyen on his work with the videos this year…

After seeing so much interest in the videos I uploaded onto Youtube of the 2010 TTSports Wgtn. TT Open, I decided to go ahead and film this year’s tournament to upload as well. I wanted to do something to help table tennis in NZ. We all know it’s a minority sport here and there is definitely a shortage of New Zealand table tennis videos on Youtube – we need to increase its popularity & image! In my opinion, having videos of our top players in action goes a long way towards increasing interest and numbers in our sport.

Filming-wise, it actually worked out quite well this year with me not playing in the tournament, giving me more time to concentrate on the videos (I entered last year and also filmed which was why I wasn’t able to get as much footage). The decision to do video was only made a week beforehand. In that time I came up with an idea to allow me to position my camcorder for better viewing angles. I wasn’t happy with how the camera was positioned last year – so low that the far end of the table wasn’t visible. A hit ball would just disappear into the distance and the viewer had to watch for the bounce of the ball to know whether it was in or out! Plus, there was no real indication of exactly where on the table the ball landed either – there’s a very good reason why when you watch table tennis on the camera is mounted up so high! I too wanted to achieve a similar kind of shot. Half an hour later I came up with an idea for my “Quadpod”, which took about an hour to put together from stuff I had lying in the garage (imagine a carpenter & hoarder person in one), and another hour of testing & fine-tuning to have a working prototype! It was a very simple design (as you can see from the photos). Mounting a flexible mini tripod (the “Joby Gorillapod“) on an adjustable platform above a ladder was a good way of getting up to the height I wanted for my filming. It can be adjusted from about 2m – 3.1m for height, was stable, portable & easily assembled / disassembled simply by loosening a couple of screws.

I only had one camcorder for last year’s tournament but decided I really needed two, with the amount of filming I was going to do, so went out & bought one during the week.

The Quadpod worked well on the day. The main issue I had with it was that I didn’t want to set it up right in the centre of the lounge area because of lack of space & for safety reasons with so many people walking past, someone could easily walk into it. I ended up leaving it at one end of the stadium only with one camcorder attached to it and using Rob Chung’s tripod & my 2nd camcorder moving up and down the stadium as needed. Because what I was using were just mini camcorders, I struggled with enough battery life & storage space – only an hour on one and two hours on the other, so any free moment I got between matches were spent either charging them up or transferring files to my laptop! It was a very very long day of filming, taking photos of result sheets (for looking back on scores), and catching up with old friends who were all very supportive of me doing the videos. I was at the stadium for about 16 hours, from 9am Saturday til around 1am early Sunday morning! The final was played around 12:30am and by then most people had already left so there wasn’t much of an audience – disappointing for The Grand Finale. It was very tiring but I thoroughly enjoyed my day there and witnessed some very good table tennis.

I managed to capture over 40 matches which was about 10 hours of footage!!! I wanted to edit & upload the videos as quickly as I could, especially the Mens Singles Final because not many people were there to watch it live so I knew there would be a lot of interest. After a much needed sleep-in, I finished editing around 12pm on Sunday and with Youtube’s uploading & processing time, it was available for viewing at around 4pm that day! That was the start of a very busy week for me, editing videos every chance I got before & after work, going to bed after 1am on many occasions. My goal was to have everything on Youtube within a week while interest was still high. In the end, it took me 8 days in total – my last highlights video uploaded in the early hours of Sunday morning (10 July).

After my epic week of editing, I can honestly say it was all worth it. Judging by the number of views I’ve had, at last count – over 1,000 collectively for all the 2011 Wgtn. Open videos in just over a week, it was worth the effort it in the end. After all, there’s not much point in making these videos if no-one’s going to watch them, right?

This gives me the drive to do it all again at next year’s Wellington TT Open! Hopefully by then I would’ve learnt more about movie-making and be able to produce better videos! If anyone is keen to help me out, regardless of whether you have video editing knowledge or not, even if it’s just some ideas or to offer constructive criticism, please email me: getwin1 [at], or search me on Facebook using the same email address.

There are a few people who I want to thank: everyone at Table Tennis Wellington for organizing another successful tournament, Paul Solt, the Tournament Manager (& sponsor!) for giving me permission to do the filming, Mat Hobbs & Rob Chung for your initial input & ideas for the highlights soundtrack & to Rob again for taking over the filming on Sunday when I couldn’t be there. And of course, thanks to everyone who took the time out to watch my videos, as you discovered there’s a lot there!

Here’s something to look forward to: I will be uploading videos of the recent Canterbury Open soon – thanks to Sarah Her-Lee & John Cordue for providing me with the source footage. If all goes well, I may be receiving regular videos from them to edit & upload as they travel and compete in various tournaments around NZ & the world! Also, if anyone has filmed some good matches and wants them edited & uploaded, please don’t hesitate to email me at the above address. I really enjoy making table tennis videos so don’t feel like it’s going to be a burden on me! I really want to encourage everyone out there if you have a camcorder, why not do some filming next time you’re at a tournament!!!


PS: Quick links to the three most popular videos:
Highlights 1/3
Highlights 2/3
Highlights 3/3

100th Post! You next?

Hello all, this is the 100th post to the Table Tennis Wellington blog! We had a big contribution from Andrew Hubbard with some great schools reports and photos to get the ball rolling early. Since then we’ve had a couple of other contributors but usually it is just general news or material anyone sends me and I’ll put it up with minor edits. It works better though if many people contribute either sending to me or creating a wordpress login and posting direct (see here). Anything TT and Wgtn related belongs here so feel free to contribute. My favourites are player profiles that Malcolm has done so let’s see some more of these, including from the junior ranks so get writing!

Bryan McConnochie – The Big Looper

Malcolm writes in with another player profile, this time Bryan McConnochie…

Bryan is a left hand attacking player, still playing Premier 1 interclub table tennis at the age of 62. In his younger days he played representative rugby for 4 provinces over 21 years (1968-1989): South Canterbury, Canterbury, Wairarapa-Bush and Horowhenua. Bryan started off as an open side flanker and ending up as a tight head prop. One of his highlights was playing wing and marking the great All Black, Bryan Williams, when Wairarapa-Bush played the All Blacks during the 1972 internal tour.

Bryan and his son Phillip have always played interclub together and have won several Men’s Open Doubles titles. The Wairarapa, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay Men’s Doubles, and the North Island Men’s B Grade (twice) and Over 30 title.

In 1998 Bryan partnered by Joan Munn (Victoria, Australia) upset the 3rd, 2nd and 1st seeds to win the New Zealand Veterans Over 40 Mixed Doubles. He has won 9 individual veterans titles at the New Zealand Open. This included the Over 55 Men’s Single (2006). Bryan has represented New Zealand in the veterans test against Australia.

Nic Willis Track Meet 4 Chch – in Wellington this Saturday (tomorrow)

This Saturday: an emergency relief international track meet at Newtown Park, 5-6:30pm. Although entry to the event is absolutely free, The Salvation Army will be collecting donations for the earthquake relief appeal. The meet will feature perhaps the best line up of international milers seen in New Zealand for decades and will also play host to the presentation of Nick Willis’ Olympic silver medal.


NB: How to donate to various appeals is here.

Interesting new PingSkills articles

Check out the PingSkills blog with a couple of new entries with particular NZ interest in particular a wide-ranging interview with Richard Lee – 3 Time New Zealand Open Champion.

Maybe some new ideas for you to try out in the upcoming Composite Teams!

(thanks to Paul Griffin for the link)

Table Tennis for Fun and Table Tennis for Blood

"Chess for Fun and Chess for Blood" by Edward Lasker

The title of the 1942 book: “Chess for Fun and Chess for Blood” (by Edward Lasker) captures the spirit of competitive chess (and indeed any sport) with enthusiasm on one side and yet the innate mortal warfare on the other.

Enjoy the TTSports Wellington Open this weekend everyone!

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