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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » Table Tennis: How Australia’s No. 1 gets the edge - Swish

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  • 04Aug

    Australian number 1 William Henzell is always looking for ways to gain an edge over the competition in his preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He tried his hand at swish during Blind Sport Victoria’s annual swish tournament last weekend.

    Swish is played on a table tennis table modified for people who are blind or have low vision. Competitors hit an audible ball by swishing a rectangular paddle along the surface of the table, so that the ball is hit under a raised board rather than over a net.

    “Swish is a lightning fast game and there are a lot of similarities between it and table tennis. I thought I’d do some practice on my reaction speed,” said Henzell.

    He faced Swish club member Sam Hodson in an exciting exhibition match and was clearly impressed by the speed and skill of his 20-year old opponent.

    “Sam was pretty quick and knew how to aim for the corners. I gave him a good run for his money but he was too good in the end.”

    “The most astounding part of my visit was realising that people who were blind or had low vision easily followed every point and knew exactly what was happening on the table.”

    The game offers much more than an exciting, fast paced activity - it provides a great way for young and old to meet new people and have fun.

    Melbourne Swish Club President Michael Fogarty hopes to grow participation among both sighted and vision impaired competitors.

    He is impressed with the growth and development of the club juniors and is always on the lookout for new talent.

    “Some kids could hardly hit the ball past the net, now some can hit as hard as I can. I’m scared of them!”

    Dual Olympian Henzell, who won silver in the Men’s Singles at the 2006 CommonwealthGames, is confident heading into the 2010 Games.

    “We’ve got a strong team and definitely have very good medal chances in all events. I was just a few points off the gold in Melbourne and have all the motivation in the world to go one better.”

    Swish sessions are held at Vision Australia centres in Kooyong, Brisbane and Bendigo. Spectators, umpires and participants are always welcome. Contact Michael on 0409 182 035.

    Posted by ttfan @ 3:38 pm

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