Sport

International table tennis comp takes over Parliament House

POLITICAL games were overshadowed in Parliament House on Thursday by real sport.

The Great Hall was transformed into a makeshift sporting arena as table tennis players from Australia, Korea and China played for international ranking points.

It was thought to be the first official sporting event to take place in Parliament House.

Former tennis champion and now the Member for Bennelong, John Alexander was the driving force behind bringing the matches to Parliament House.

In fact, the Bennelong Cup has grown from the Liberal backbencher's Bennelong Schools Table Tennis Program, which has put table tennis tables in all 40 schools in his electorate.

About 25% of the Bennelong electorate are of Chinese and Korean descent.

The table tennis program was designed to encourage healthy activity and integration between students of different cultural backgrounds through sport.

More than 100 students from the Bennelong region attended the event in Canberra on Thursday.

Mr Alexander said the event was held in honour of 40 years of diplomatic relations with China and last year's celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations with Korea.

It was also attended by the People's Republic of China Ambassador Chen Yuming, the Republic of Korea Ambassador Teayong Cho, Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy, Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos.

And for the record, Australia's leading player William Henzell was too polished for his Korean opponent in the men's match, while China prevailed over Australia in the women's encounter.

Members of the Korean wheelchair table tennis team also played an exhibition match.

The Bennelong Cup Table Tennis Test Match is an official tournament between the Australian Olympic team and the Korean men's and Chinese women's teams, with the rest of the matches to be held in Ryde, Sydney, over the weekend.

Topics:  australian government, parliament house, sport, table tennis



The pacemaker cells of your gut

Restroom sign

Living Naturally: problems with the gut

Dunn eyes Millions for Group level push

TRAINING MASTERS: Matt and Keira Dunn at a Murwillumbah Racecourse race day.

Trainer eyes a cast of millions.

Pennant season out of sync?

SWING DOCTOR: Norman Carmichael, pictured with Julie Keegan, has sadly passed away.

Greg Kelly: On the mat.

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m