National honour for teen

Michael Zhang receives HN Ballinger Trophy

Last updated 12:00 16/11/2012

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Fifteen-year-old Southlander Michael Zhang has been awarded the New Zealand Junior of the Year by Table Tennis New Zealand.

Zhang was presented with the HN Ballinger Trophy at a function in Invercargill on Wednesday night.

The presentation of the award was made by Ron Garrett on behalf of Table Tennis NZ.

The award is made for a variety of all-round achievements including playing results, sportsmanship, potential, dress, personality, enthusiasm and interest in club and association affairs.

The trophy was first presented in 1991 and honours Norm Ballinger , who served 21 years as treasurer and eight years as secretary-treasurer of the national association.

Southland has had two previous winners of the trophy, Kathryn Pemberton (nee Crook) in 1986 and Debbie Garrett in 1991.

On the national scene, the James Hargest College student represented New Zealand Under 15 team at the Australian Junior Champs in 2010 as a 13-year-old.

This year at the Global Junior Circuit event he was a member of the under 15 New Zealand B team, which won silver and also took bronze in the under-15 boys doubles.

At the New Zealand Junior National championships he won his first national title in winning the under 15 boys doubles from a fourth seeded position.

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- The Southland Times

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