September is almost here and the real tennis season is about to start – where has the year gone to?
You will have recently received an electronic copy of the 2019-20 Fixtures List. Hard copies are available at the Club and there are lots of things to choose from with home and away matches and lots of Club tournaments and events. There are also a number of Social Events for your diary. There is a list of the inter-club matches on the notice board, so do put your name down if you are interested in playing. Away matches provide an ideal opportunity to play on a different court, whilst home matches provide an ideal opportunity to play new people with a similar handicap.
Wanted - a new Chairman!
Prior to the Annual General Meeting in 2018, I was asked if I would take on the role of Chairman of the Management Committee following Denis’s retirement. I agreed on the condition that it would be an interregnum of 12 months as I didn’t want to serve the full four years, and I was duly elected at the AGM. Fast forward 12 months to the 2019 AGM and with no one showing an interest in taking on the role, I found myself being re-elected for a further year. A number of things have happened since then and, quite simply, I am not prepared to continue after next April.
So the Club needs to find a new Chairman - and I am mentioning this now so that members can start thinking about possible candidates well ahead of the 2020 AGM. Ideally whoever takes over needs to be co-opted onto the Management Committee first in order to gain an insight into the affairs of the Club, rather than arriving ‘cold’ at the AGM. They will be inheriting a committed and hardworking Committee, with an excellent Treasurer and an excellent Secretary – who have kept things running seamlessly during my enforced absences. I am more than happy to discuss the role with you, if you are interested in taking it on.
We are kicking off the new season with a number of ‘social’ tennis events. The previous medal days have now become Gold Star Handicap Singles Days and the first three will be held in September. These are on:
Sunday 14th September for members with under 40 handicaps
Saturday 21st September for members with handicaps 41-50 and
Saturday 28th September for members with handicaps 51-60
On Sunday 15th September there is the Chairman’s Sunday Doubles with a light lunch provided. All handicaps welcome.
There is a Taster Session scheduled for Sunday 22nd September from 10am to 12 noon. Please bring along any friends and family who might like to learn more about real tennis and take up the game – just let Kevin or Ben know. There are also plenty of opportunities for individual or group taster sessions linked to the membership initiative. These can be arranged with KK and Ben as required, providing the court is free.
Following on from the taster session will be the first of the Secretary’s Invitation Singles – although there will be no formal invitation other than this mention! This will run from 12 noon to 4 pm and all handicaps are welcome.
Then we have our first inter club match of the year on Sunday 29th September. This is an away match with Hardwick House, where there is a lovely Edwardian court in a beautiful setting on the banks of the River Thames near Goring. Originally there were two real tennis courts on the estate – the story being that Charles Rose, the owner of the estate, was so concerned about getting a chill after playing tennis that he had a second court built next to the house on his wife’s rose garden. She was away on a summer tour at the time! Only the court by the house remains in play and the derelict remains of the original one are visible as you go along the drive. Charles Rose also built the court at Newmarket, so at one time he owned three real tennis courts!
Finally, please note that Ben has had a lot of expressions of interest for the proposed visit to Bordeaux in January 2020 and he has closed the list of players, pending confirmation.
On Wednesday 4th September Jan and Bob will be creating an Andalucian Supper, with a tasting of Sherries and wine accompanied by assorted Tapas and Spanish food. It is being held in the Bretten Room, which meant limiting numbers. There may just be one or at the most two spaces still available, so check with Kevin or Ben if you are interested. The organisers may be persuaded to hold a similar event later in the season for those who have missed out - but only if there is sufficient interest.
Diary dates for later in the year include:
Tuesday 26th November – a welcome event for new members to meet the Committee
Wednesday 4th December – Christmas drinks and the Chawner Challenge
Thursday 12th December – Christmas Lunch at the Lansdown in Clifton
Looking forward to seeing you on court.
With best wishes,