New Delhi: When every
country is out to invite a Chinese table tennis player with open
arms, surprisingly a player of Indian origin in the New Zealand
women's team here for the Commonwealth Championships has come in
for praise from her highly-rated Chinese coach.
Armindeep Singh, a third generation Sikh based in Hamilton, is
part of the five-member New Zealand team including Sarah Lee-Her,
Ruofei Rao, Natalie Patterson and coach Chun Li, a former World
"She is consistent and is highly dedicated. Though she still has a
long way to go, I see a spark in her and she is improving
remarkably well," said Chun Li.
The entire New Zealand contingent, including Armindeep, feel they
are lucky to have the services of Chun Li.
Armindeep is eager to make the most of the opportunity she got
thanks to the withdrawal of two top players owing to family
"I have been to India before, but this is the first time I am here
on an official assignment. I see a lot of people are interested in
my performance," a smiling Armindeep told IANS during a break in
training at the Thyagaraj Stadium here.
It has been a path-breaking journey for the 24-year-old, whose
family, whether in Jalandhar (India) or New Zealand, have been
involved with dairy farming for decades.
Table tennis is her biggest passion and she hopes to continue
playing for as long as she enjoys.
"I picked up the game from my dad," she said.
How big is table tennis back home?
"The game is not that big. Most of the learning is done when you
come for international events like these. So the more events we go
to, the better we get," said Armindeep, who rates her
participation in the 2009 World Championships as the highlight of
her career so far.
Besides that, she has competed in multiple World University
Championships and looks forward to another in Russia later this
Armindeep is determined to achieve more before she runs out of
"I want to be number one player from New Zealand. At the same
time, I know that when my studies get over, I will have to work
for a living. There is hardly any money in table tennis," said the
management student from Waikato University.
Born and brought up in New Zealand, can she connect with India and
"I see myself as a New Zealander, but I respect India and its
culture. My mother was born here," she says with a grin.