Resumption of doubles play and group coaching

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Photo credit:  senivpetro

It is now three weeks since we resumed play at Aylsham Tennis Club and we would like to thank all members for the way that they have worked with us to do this in a careful and responsible way.

The Government issued new guidelines last Thursday and the LTA provided updated guidance on Sunday. The Committee has reviewed these and our own site-specific situation and have decided, after careful deliberation, to EXPAND PLAY AT AYLSHAM, WITHOUT GOING QUITE AS FAR AS THE LATEST LTA GUIDELINES.


PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY as the virus has not gone away. It is by protecting each other that we will protect ourselves and our loved ones.

The main points to note are as follows:

1) We have decided to allow DOUBLES PLAY at the club for members of different households above the age of 15, subject to the use of separate sets of balls by each serving player to avoid contact.

2) We are also relaxing the restriction on 12-15 YEAR OLDS who now do not need to play with an adult although play for this age group will be LIMITED TO SINGLES for the time being unless playing with an adult.

3) Club-arranged activities such as club-sessions, ladies morning and the team roll up remain suspended, but it is now possible to book COACHING SESSIONS FOR A GROUP OF UP TO FOUR PLAYERS (adults or juniors) with Rachael or Gareth.

4) SOCIAL DISTANCING AND AVOIDING CONTACT WITH ANY SURFACE that others may have touched will continue to be absolutely crucial to play in a safe manner. Please continue to take particular care when entering the courts and to manage tennis balls when playing. Although it is more complicated, we will CONTINUE TO USE SEPARATE SETS OF BALLS rather than adopt the LTA's more relaxed guidance on ball hygiene requirements. Please do bring HAND SANITISER and use it if you touch a foreign surface or ball.

5) Court usage continues to run at just over a third of the total capacity. We will continue to operate via ONLINE BOOKINGS ONLY and, for the time being, to restrict tennis to MEMBERS ONLY. Members can book one session of up to 2 hours per week. This can be done up to 7 days in advance. In addition to this, members can continue to book additional court-time (of up to two hours) for one day ahead if there is un-booked space on the booking sheet. I'd remind you to contact Alan Marchbank ([email protected]) if you are experiencing any problems with using the booking system.

6) For the time being we will continue to extend last years' membership season for existing members although we are also allowing new members to join the Club.

7) THE CLUB HUT, BACK CORRIDOR AND BOWLS CLUB WILL NOT BE ACCESSIBLE to members although our coaches, Rachael and Gareth, will be allowed to use the toilet and handwashing facilities in the Bowls Club as they spend such long periods at the courts. THE TOILETS WILL CONTINUE TO BE UNAVAILABLE FOR GENERAL USE.

We hope that these are all positive steps forward as we look to restore a range of tennis for the Club. The Committee will closely monitor the situation and make decisions on whether to extend tennis further or to tighten activity depending on how we progress together and in the light of the evolving public health situation, government guidelines and LTA advice.

With best wishes from the Aylsham Tennis Club committee