A number of things cropped up recently relating to the Club rather than to tennis so I am combining a Newsletter with ‘What’s On’ in February.
· Ben is now well on the road to recovery having had a severe dose of pneumonia, although he will be on light duties for a while yet (i.e no serious tennis!). KK did a wonderful job filling in whilst Ben was away but this does beg the question of having someone to ‘mind the shop’ if one or both of the Professionals are incapacitated. Ideally we need a small group of members who are prepared to come in and help out should the situation arise – volunteers please.
· Chris Harland, who has served on the Committee as our Youth Development Officer since April 2015, will be standing down at the AGM because of increased work commitments. Chris has worked hard with local schools to introduce youngsters to real tennis and he did a great job in assembling the youth team for the Royal Visit last year. We need to maintain the momentum and build on his efforts, so please email him at (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to learn more about the role or are interested in taking it on.
· On Committee matters in general, we do need more members to get actively involved in the running of the Club. There are a number of areas where we could do with extra hands to assist without necessarily becoming a member of the Committee, for example, looking after the day to day running and maintenance of the building; assisting Jan with social events; taking on the role of Health & Safety officer; and helping with other day to day matters such as organising competitions. Don’t just come and play, get involved – though we need you to play more as well!
· As part of the above, you will be aware that the Club is launching a new membership drive. Increasing membership numbers has been an ongoing issue for several years, with the number of new members balancing out the number of members resigning. We know that the best way to attract new members is via existing members. Veteran members have probably exhausted their credit with friends and family – so I am looking to our newer members to encourage friends and family to come along and try the game. We are also looking at other initiatives, such as targeting specific groups – so again if you want to get involved, get in touch. The Club has just invested in a special oversized racquet, which is intended to make it easier for new players, and especially children, to get to grips with what is quite a difficult and complex game – all we need now are new players to try it out!
· Following a query from a member, it has been agreed members may have sole use of the court for an hour to practice, at the normal single rate of £9.00, with the caveat that the court can only be booked for this purpose on the day. If a member wishes to book a specific time for practice, in advance of the day, they may do so but will have to pay the full rate of £18.
· Finally on Club matters, there is a change of date for the Club’s Annual General Meeting. Unfortunately I am no longer available on Wednesday 24th April, the original date given in the Fixtures List, so the 2019 Annual General Meeting will now be held on Wednesday 1st May.
· Congratulations to Henry Taubman on winning the Yearling Cup. This is a handicap tournament for members who have been playing less than 12 months and Henry did very well to take on more senior players, including his father!
· It is interesting that some 50% of the inter-club matches scheduled to take place between September and the end of January were postponed. The game against Canford had to be postponed because of condensation on their court but the other instances were mainly due to lack of players either on our side or the opposition. So we are not alone in this. Also weekends are precious for families and people are disinclined to travel long distances just to play a couple of games of tennis. But these matches provide a great opportunity to play against members from other clubs and, in the case of away matches, to play on other courts – so have a look at the Fixtures List and give it a try.
· Having said that, there are just two inter-club matches in February. The first is this coming Saturday away at the Hyde, near Bridport, and the second is against Oxford at home on the 16thFebruary. Speak to KK or Ben if you are interested in taking part.
· The other fixture for this month is the 70+ Challenge – Age and/or handicap on Thursday 21st February. This is a new event and the format will be decided nearer the date but it is open to all members over the age of 70 and members with handicaps of 70 and above. A light lunch will be provided.
· We have one ‘official’ taster session on the morning of Saturday 9th February but individual or group tasters can be arranged as required, providing the court is free.
· Then there is a singles medal day open to all handicaps on the afternoon of 9th February and, of course, the regular Monday and Wednesday Club nights and the box competitions.
The main social event for this month is the Quiz Night on Thursday 7th February starting at 6.30 pm at the Club. Family and friends are welcome to join in and there will be a welcome drink and supper for £10 a head.