I am sending this out early as I will be away from 23rd September until 6th October! So I will start with events that have happened or are about to happen in September. The Ponsford Plate mixed doubles on 16th September was a great success. Six pairs entered, with a wide range of handicaps to challenge the marker, and we played first to five in a round robin format. Two pairs ended up with the same score, so they played a closely fought final cheered on by a full dedans. Tricia Moffat and Lindsey Henniker-Heaton emerged victorious – 11 years after they first won the tournament!
Congratulations to Matt Skidmore in retaining his Sunshine Cup title by winning against John Grice in a very close final.6/4 6/4
The Youth Open Day is on Saturday 29th September and Chris Harland would appreciate support from any members who have links with young players at cricket and lawn tennis clubs. If you are interested and can help, email Chris on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then there are two inter club matches on Sunday 30th September, one away at Holyport and the other at home to Hardwick House – so speak to KK or Ben if you fancy playing.
Enhancing the real tennis experience
The Committee is very conscious that we need to attract new members and get existing members to play more in order to maintain the long term sustainability of the Club. Stuart Andrews, who joined the Committee in April, is setting up a small working group to bounce ideas around and get things moving –so if you have any ideas on increasing membership numbers, particularly in respect of getting more younger players, or generally improving the ambiance at the Club along with the social facilities, please get in touch.
Something that is under active consideration is acquiring some additional land from Clifton College, and constructing two Padel Courts which would be open to the general public for Padel membership. Padel Tennis is apparently the fastest growing rackets sport in the world and very much family orientated - though I have to admit that I had never heard of it before and am very ignorant about the game! However I am fast learning about it thanks to those members including our past President, Nick Ponsford, who have played it on holiday. Our Treasurer, Chris Willows, is very enthusiastic and the Club has set up a small project team under Chris to bring the project forward to the point where a decision can be made. Chris and Nick would be more than happy to describe it - or try Googling it, to see it played and spot the links with real tennis. It would be nice to know how many of you have played it and whether you think the game would complement real tennis and help to enhance the Club.
You will have noticed that we are having problems with the car park barrier, which has been more locked up than down of late. It is an original feature of the Club and getting spare parts to repair the problem are proving difficult. So we are looking at alternatives and we may end up with a suitable notice board.On the plus side, we now have a brand new fire exit door at the end of the downstairs corridor.
Important diary dates for October
We have two inter-club matches in early October, one away and two at home. The dates are:
· Saturday 6th October against Newmarket – now an AWAY match, a change from the Fixtures List;
· Sunday 7th October at home against MCC
See KK or Ben if you want to play. Remember that for away matches the host club has to match the handicaps of our team, whereas for home matches we have to match the handicaps of the visiting team.
The Newman Bell Handicap Doubles is a Club tournament, with round robin boxes played over two days – Thursday 18th and Friday 19th October – and a grand finale on Saturday 20th October. Do enter whatever your handicap and don’t worry about finding a suitable partner. Just have a word with KK or Ben and they will arrange it.
Then on Sunday 28th October, we send a team to Leamington to play Leamington in the Preliminary Round of the Brodie Cup. This is one of the major T&RA inter-club competitions and it is limited to players in the 30-50 handicap range. KK will be organising things and team members have to be members of the T&RA.
Other events in October Include:
· A Singles Medal Day for 31-40 handicaps on Saturday 13th October
· A Doubles Medal Day under 40 handicaps on the afternoon of Sunday 28th
October - which we may need to change because of the Brodie Cup!
· And a Taster Session for new players interested in taking up the game on the morning of Sunday 28th October – so bring your friends and family along
And don’t forget - Monday and Wednesday Club nights start on 1st October.
A new date has yet to be fixed for the social event for new members.
With best wishes and plenty of good tennis.