Stamps name into the South West Academy of Sport’s history books

Capel teenager Obie Herring has earned himself a place in the South West Academy of Sport history books as the first table tennis player to secure a coveted scholarship with the talent development organisation.

The 15-year-old said it was “pretty special” to have blazed a trail for his sport into the popular SWAS Individual Athlete Support Program, which provides high-level support to participants wanting to further their game.

The young sports man said a benefit of being part of the program was meeting aspiring athletes from other sporting codes who he shared commonalities with, such as sometimes having to choose to train instead of hanging out with mates.

Herring’s hard work has been paying off, with the rising star a consistent performer on Western Australia’s table tennis circuit as well as enjoying stints on the national stage.

Herring’s achievements include earning selection to the State team for the past three years. In 2019 he contested the National Junior Table Tennis Championships in the U/13 team. In 2020 the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, and recently Herring travelled to Brisbane as part of the 2021 U/15 WA team but the event was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, Herring has contributed to the Geographe Bay Table Tennis Club by bringing home a State championship country team championship title, country doubles and a runner-up singles title.

Despite his individual achievements, Herring’s attention is often focused on helping others succeed in the sport.

He played a key role establishing the Smash Hit Juniors in Busselton, coaching younger athletes, and visits schools with his training partner Matt Cheng to inspire others to pick up a bat.

As for his future plans, Herring wants to maximise the opportunities presented by the sport.

“I just want to make the most out of the sport. I could even be a coach up in Perth,” Herring.

“I want others to enjoy the sport and do well as it is just as fun and competitive as other mainstream sports.”

Herring said one tip or good trick to have in your repertoire is to be able to whip a solid low backhand smash.