Harry on the ball in Poland

HARRY McGoldrick is fast making a name for himself in the world of table tennis.

The 13-year-old recently returned from an intensive, week-long training camp in Poland where he was training for eight hours a day in sub zero temperatures.

Harry took up the sport three years ago while on a family holiday in Lanzarote.

He said: “There was a table beside the pool area and my dad started playing with me. There was a tournament I went in for as well. I enjoyed it so decided I wanted to get better at it.”

Lismore student Harry started training with Gervis Knox and lately has enlisted the help of Andrew Dennison.

Andrew said: “This season Harry has really made a big effort to improve. He comes regularly to training in Belfast and made the long trip to Poland for some quality training.”

Harry was recommended for the training camp in Poland and went there after finishing seventh at the Ballymena Junior Challenge and joint third in the Allianz School’s Cup Individual Championships at Valley Leisure Centre.

Of the intensive training regime in Poland he said: “It was tough. I think it brought my game on.”

In Nowy Targ in Poland the night temperature reached -35 degrees while the daytime temperature was -15 degrees.

Harry has been invited back to Poland in July and they have also asked him to accompany the squad to China in August for three weeks.

His father Michael said: “It’s a big decision and one which we are going to give serious consideration.”

When he’s not training with coaches Harry spars against his nephew Noah Jamison, whose hand-eye co-ordination belies his four years.

Harry thanked Robin McGeown, owner of The Stables, Portadown businessman Kevin Judge, Lismore School and friends and family for their donations towards the Poland training camp. Harry is ranked sixth in Ulster at Under 14 and attends the Ulster Development Squad training at The Valley Belfast.

He is from an area blessed with table tennis stars with local men Jimmy Hamill and Jimmy Robinson having represented Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games.

Any table tennis enthusiasts willing to provide some sponsorship for Harry should contact his father Michael on 0789 888 8531 or m.mcgoldrick@gmail.com