Here is the report from the tennis Chairman:
What a year! Not the one we expected but very many highlights:
- We have been lucky enough to play some tennis – actually quite a lot! – when other sports have been more severely affected…..
- Since the last AGM we have new members of the committee…..and I’d like to thank them for taking on these roles
- We now have a really strong committee who are doing a great job – thanks to them all for all their hard work over the year….
- Membership has grown by over 150 this year since lockdown was lifted in May (we lose 50-60 members each year). Overall at the last count, we had a total of 693 tennis members - 488 adults (407 at end of 2019) and 205 juniors (178 at end of 2019). We are particularly pleased to see 49 under 30s playing at the club. And a huge welcome to all new members
- We have also welcomed many guests to the club this year – and a number have become members.
- Squash players have also joined us on court while their facilities were closed – and we continue to welcome them while this is the case
- Final approval for our floodlights was received from Cheshire Planning and we formally switched on our lights on Wednesday 9th September. Our new floodlights are brilliant (literally) and great to play under
- The coaching team has been expanded from 1.5 to 3 to meet demand. The coaching programme now includes performance groups in most age groups, and as a result of our new floodlights we have at last been able to expand our winter programme. We now have a very strong and busy coaching team. Thanks to Stuart, Ed and Mike for persevering through a year which has been very difficult for them. I hope all the members will continue to support them and enjoy great coaching sessions.
- As testament to the coaching team’s efforts and the childrens’ abilities - 17 children attended county training, 12 - mini tennis and 5 yellow ball (one 5 years ago; 4 at the start of 2019)
- Our five artificial clay courts are now 18 months old. They have been a great success. From a player’s point of view, they have become the ‘go to’ courts, with the highest percentage of bookings. Demand far outstrips supply, with the majority of players preferring to play on artificial clay. Players prefer the surface because it enables a better tennis game, is less damaging on joints and plays well in wet conditions, extending playable time. Thanks to David Killworth and the grounds team for keeping the courts in tip-top condition
- Work on re-surfacing courts 1-3 with artificial clay is being carried out during December which will help meet the demand for this wonderful surface. Thanks to David Killworth for making this project happen
- During the latest lockdown courts 10, 12 and 13 have been ‘rejuvenated’ as the torrential rain resulted in muddy patches on these courts. The process involves removing most of the dirty contaminated sand from the carpet and replacing it with new sand. Thanks to the club for allowing us to spend the money on this expensive process and to David Killworth for organising the work
- Our finances this year have been affected by the pandemic – with no income from social events and reduced income from other sources. However with the help of lower costs in some areas we expect to be within 10% of our planned budget for the year. As Q2 loan repayments were deferred, we expect to have a healthy surplus at the end of the year. Thanks to Mark Toulmin our Treasurer for pulling together all our numbers
- Tennis matches were a write-off this summer and winter matches have also been affected. We just have to wait and see what we are allowed to do in 2021
- We were allowed to re-start social tennis in July and these have been well attended. Thanks to Sally Bradbury who is organising volunteers to run each session.
- Social events this year were planned and re-planned. Thanks to Sophia Read for trying to make some events happen, only to be stalled at the last moment. We look forward to some events in 2021 as soon as we are allowed. Despite tennis section social events being cancelled / postposed, I’d like to thank John Berry and his team for opening the clubhouse when possible and organising pop-up food events at weekends. There were plenty of very enjoyable socially distanced afternoons and evenings on the cricket pitch and terrace this summer
- In the LTA Awards, David Patterson was the LTA National runner-up in the 'Official of the Year' category. Max Green was awarded LTA Cheshire Young volunteer of the Year. Congratulations to David and Max. These awards help raise the profile of the club within the Cheshire LTA and the National LTA. And as a result of this……
- We had a visit from LTA President David Rawlinson in August. He was given a tour of the facilities as well as hearing about our recent successes and our plans for the future. He loved playing on our artificial clay courts.
- We continue to have big plans for the future. We hope to:
- Re-surface courts 13 and 14 with artificial clay possibly in 2022.
- Re-surface courts 9-12 and replace the old floodlights on courts 9, 11 and 13 after that
- We know that these projects will require us to continue to raise funds – but we know that our members have enjoyed playing on our new courts under our new lights, and we want to ensure that all courts are up to a similar standard. We have initiated three fund raising efforts:
- Request for people to consider donating the 20% saving in their subs to the tennis section
- Request for people to use Easyfundraising for their on-line shopping – no extra cost to the shopper
- Request to recycle tennis balls – if each tennis member recycled 12 tennis balls next year we could raise over £2000+
It’s been an honour to lead the section this year, but not a year I was expecting….
Finally I’d like to thank the whole tennis committee (especially those I haven’t mentioned) who spend a huge amount of time and energy making it possible to play tennis at our wonderful club. And thanks to all you members who have been following all the challenging rules over the last year, but still managing to play a huge amount of very enjoyable tennis.
The officers elected unanimously were as follows:
Chairman Ruth Samuels Proposed Paul Johnson Seconded David Killworth
Secretary Russell Jenkins Proposed Tim Jevons Seconded Mark Toulmin
Treasurer Mark Toulmin Proposed Phil Gray Seconded Russell Jenkins
Ground/Maintenance David Killworth Proposed Pip Brough Seconded Alan Hancock
Ladies Team Capt Pip Brough Proposed Simon Jowitt Seconded Sally Bradbury
Men’s Team Capt James Stokes Proposed Tony Fox Seconded Alan Hancock
Social Events Sophia Reade Proposed Melissa Drath Seconded Phil Gray
Welfare Officer Louise Vernon Proposed Ruth Samuels Seconded Tim Jevons
Coaching Representative Stuart Murray Proposed Grahame Codd Seconded Paul Johnson
Social Tennis Organiser Sally Bradbury Proposed Russell Jenkins Seconded Tony Fox
Junior Chairman Clare Slack Proposed Ruth Samuels Seconded Melissa Drath