I am delighted to bring you this review of what has happened over the summer months at BRTC and to give you an idea of what is to come in September.
The 2017 / 18 Fixture and Events card, kindly sponsored by Smith and Williamson, is almost ready. It will be e-mailed to all members, hopefully this week. Hard copies will arrive by about mid-September from the printer, and we will let you know when. I would then encourage as many members as possible to collect their copy when they are in thereafter, to save on postage, before we send out the remainder to those not living nearby or not playing regularly.
Open Day – Chris Harland, our Youth Development Officer, is organizing an Open Day on the 30th September to entice young people to come along and try the game. This is being supported by The Dedanist Foundation, who will supply lightweight balls and rackets for use by younger players, and an additional junior coach. It will be sub-divided into age groups of U12, U15 and U18 in the morning, with a separate group for BURTC students in the afternoon. For those that want to try it further, there will be a series of coaching days thereafter. I would ask all members to bring this Open Day to the attention of their children, grand-children and those of friends. More details will be forthcoming shortly.
Changes around the building - Of most significance, as you will see when you next visit the club, has been the installation of solar panels on three of the roofs of the court building. These became operational on Friday 18 August, so we have been generating electricity now for almost two weeks, saving money too. Income will also be generated from these panels, as surplus electricity is exported to the grid.
We also have two probable changes happening this Autumn; 1) as you may be aware from an earlier update, the gym is closing at the end of October and CCSL is moving back in with us, returning the gym to its original use as Beggar Bush’s maintenance workshops. Most notably, this will require a reconfiguration of the club’s parking area, but we will still retain designated parking beside the clubhouse; and 2) we are hoping to be able to provide accommodation upstairs in the gallery, beyond the dining room, for Donna Sanderson-Hull, the physio who runs Blue Sky Physio downstairs within the gym. This will involve us building a room for Donna around the further dormer window. This change will provide another source of income, while members will still be able to view the court from the netted gallery area.
New Club Website – We are in the final stages of completing the new BRTC website. It is currently being “road-tested” by members of the committee to review content, add photos, more recent news etc. We hope it will be launched very soon, and we will send an e-mail to you all to inform you when. As with any website, it will then be ever-changing and we will welcome comments and input for it.
Club matches- Our Autumn has not got off to the best of starts with both September matches having to be postponed. Hardwick House club was unable to assemble a team for this coming Saturday and we realised, at a late stage, that the match at home against Holyport on Saturday 30 September (match manager, KK) clashed with Chris Harland’s Open Day, above. We hope to rearrange both matches soon.
Pimms party - On the evening of 11 August, we held a Pimms Party at Jan and Simon Fuller’s home in Clifton, to watch the balloons take off. Unfortunately the rain closed in, so the 40 guests chatted happily, putting the world to rights. I send many thanks to Jan and Simon for their kind hospitality.
Sunshine Cup and Moonshine Cup - We ran the Sunshine Cup (a handicap competition for 16 players, with a new racket as first prize) during July and August. Comprising four boxes of four, the winners of each box went forward into semi-finals and the final. The two finalists were Matt Skidmore and Phil Moss, with Matt winning 6/2, 6/5. The runners up in the initial four boxes made up a separate box to play for the Moonshine Cup, which was won by Miles Farren.
So the next couple of months will be busy and interesting. But there will still be plenty of time and opportunity to enjoy your tennis along the way, so get booking.
With best wishes, Denis