Local table tennis player Emma Paton’s hard work has been rewarded recently with a string of accolades.
The 22-year-old received a letter from Deaf Sports New Zealand president, Daniel Harborne, in April congratulating her on being named Deaf Sportswoman of the Year for her 2013 sporting achievements.
Deaf Sports NZ felt Paton’s ability to successfully compete against deaf and hearing athletes was significant and would serve as encouragement to other deaf competitors.
The honours kept coming in May, when It was announced at the New Zealand Sign Language In Action Awards Gala Event in Wellington that Paton was the recipient of the 2014 Magnet Deaf Youth Award.
The award recognises a deaf leader aged 14-24 years who motivates others, has overcome significant challenges and is a strong advocate for New Zealand Sign Language.
Paton went on to compete at the South Island Teams Table Tennis Tournament on Queen’s Birthday Weekend in Timaru, where she was selected for the Otago Womens Team along with Yvonne Fogarty and Ruth Foster of Dunedin.
The Otago Women won the South Island title in a nail-biting upset win over the top seeded Canterbury team.
Three other Oamaru players also gained selection for Otago and competed at the tournament.
Lucy Paton and Hayley Tonkin were in the Under -18 Otago Girls Team and came third in their section with wins over South Canterbury and Southland. Josh Tonkin was in the Otago U18 Boys team and had some singles wins.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: SUPPLIED – Emma Paton was named Deaf Sportswoman of the Year for her 2013 sporting achievements.