February Newsletter

Welcome to the first tennis newsletter of 2024! Despite some wet and cold weather, it has been great to see so many players out on court. It won’t be long until the new season kicks off in full, with the first Colchester and District matches to be played in April. In the meantime, the winter league is in full flow and box leagues are continuing as usual, along with the regular club sessions. In this newsletter, we take the opportunity to look back at recent events and look ahead to the new season.


Christmas Jumper Tournament - 27th December

When we looked at the weather forecast on Christmas Day, it seemed as if our first Christmas Jumper Tournament for several years was doomed. But the weather gods relented for what turned out to be one of our best CJ Tournaments ever. All six courts were full with 24 brave souls sporting a fine array of splendid outfits and the tennis matched the quality of the clothes.

After two hours of fierce but friendly competition, Isabella Snell emerged as the top lady scorer, just ahead of Ali Hysom. Top gentleman was Kevin Eastaugh, with Mark and Harry Chatterton only a couple of points behind. Mark, Harry and Faye won the Family Prize and the Chair’s special award went to Nina and John Paine, who were outstanding for new competitors. After intense debate amongst the judges as to what could fairly be defined as a jumper, Paul Rainer’s Elf outfit was judged the winner.

All the contestants enjoyed the chance to warm up in the bar afterwards and many appreciated the opportunity to enjoy helpings of delicious hot soup. The Tennis Committee would like to thank the chefs and the bar staff who turned out on a cold day just after Christmas to make this possible.


Winter League 2023-24

The club entered a Mixed and a Men’s team into the winter league this year. Matches have been taking place since October with a few more still to play. In the Mixed competition, highlights were a 5-3 win vs Spring Lane A and a January draw against Dedham. In the Men’s, we had an excellent 7-1 win vs Wivenhoe in November. The Tennis Committee would like to extend a big thank you to Sherry Hodgson and Paul Rainer for captaining the mixed and men’s teams respectively, and well done to all the players who turned out for the teams.

Full results can be viewed here: Winter League 2023–24 (


Dates for 2024 Diary

  • 16th March – Pre-season mingle 6pm
  • 20th April - Fundraising tournament
  • 18th May – Free fun tournament
  • 6th July – Pimm’s and wooden rackets tournament
  • 24th August – Charity tournament
  • 22nd September - Club Finals Day, 29th September as back-up date
  • 5th October – End of season dinner
  • 28th December – Christmas jumpers tournament


Pre-season Tennis Mingle – 16th March

We are holding our annual pre-season tennis mingle on Saturday 16th March at 6pm. This informal drinks evening is open to all tennis playing members, you don’t need to be in a team. The evening is a great chance to meet and to get to know your fellow tennis players before the season starts. It's buy your own drinks but nibbles will be provided. 

If you're planning to attend, please either add your full name and any other attendees’ full names to the list behind the bar or email Loess on by Saturday 9th March so the bar can plan for expected numbers.  


Sunday Club Session

Our new Sunday club session has been building in popularity in recent weeks with some fantastic play across multiple courts. The session runs from 11:00-12:30 on courts 1-3. The Committee has set up a What’s App group which has been a big success as it enables players to know how many others are planning to attend that day. If you would like to join the group, please send your name and mobile number to If you don’t want to join the group that’s also fine – just turn up!


Here’s a quick reminder of all our club sessions and timings:

  • Saturday Morning:  9.00am – 11.30am
  • Saturday Morning: 11.30am – 12.30pm (Improvers Session)
  • Sunday Morning:  11.00am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday Morning:  9.30am – 11.00am
  • Wednesday Evening: 7.00pm – 8.30pm


Player Profile - Isabella Snell

I started playing tennis when I was five years old at Sudbury Tennis Club. I progressed through red ball onto orange ball, before moving to the OC when I was eight years old, because my Sudbury coach moved on and recommended Tom. 

Tennis was one of the many sports I played when I was younger. I have represented my primary and secondary school in netball, hockey, football, cricket, cross-country running and swimming. In my spare time I also used to do climbing, gymnastics and dance. However, now I just focus on tennis and hockey. I currently play hockey for the Bury St Edmunds Ladies 3s’ team, after progressing up two teams last season, getting the ‘Most Improved Player’ award.

With Tom’s coaching, I was given the opportunity to practise and then subsequently play for the OC Ladies B Team, who made me feel very welcome, despite me only being 12 years old at the time. Last year I entered and won the Mixed Doubles Club Championships with Dan Cotton; my first club trophy! 

Last season I started off in the B Team and moved up to the A Team in Ladies and Mixed Doubles halfway through the season. I also entered the Colchester and District Tournament, playing in the Open Mixed Doubles with Tom, and U18 girls, at Frinton. Unfortunately I lost both matches, but the tournament officials awarded me the Peter Mornard Memorial Trophy in recognition of my effort and endurance during a 3.5 hour match on the hottest day of the year! 

The following weekend I won both the Open Ladies Singles along with the Open Mixed Doubles Club Championship, again partnering Dan. During the school week, and over the summer holidays, I help Tom coach the juniors. I do this partly to complete my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and also because I really enjoy it. I hope to take my LTA coaching qualification as soon as I am old enough. This academic year I will be sitting my GCSEs and hope to pursue a career in sport, possibly as a coach and sports psychologist.


Keep in touch on social media

There is now a Facebook page set up for club members. It's easy to join and a great way to keep in touch. The admins would also love to hear from you with any news regarding club activities. If you would like to hear more simply search on Facebook for Officers' Club Members or use this link and ask to become a member of the group.



We wanted to remind all members that we have a defibrillator stored safely behind the bar, and also one on the outside of the clubhouse. A defibrillator can help save the life of someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. The defib is portable, easy to use, with clear step-by-step instructions.


Supported Club Sessions

A club session which is supported by experienced players has been running since October 2022. It is held every Saturday at 11.30 for an hour, immediately after the general club session. It was designed to help new starters, those new to tennis and tennis improvers to learn the structure of the club sessions, scoring, doubles play and court etiquette so that people could feel confident to join the general club sessions. Demand for this session has been increasing,  so it has now been expanded across 3 courts. There is no charge for the session and those supporting are a team of volunteers. Several players have already gone on to join the regular club sessions which has been great to see. Due to the success of the sessions, we will continue to run them throughout 2024. If you would like to join in, please message Ali on 07717 500146 and you will be added to the WhatsApp group and will be welcomed.

If you would like to volunteer to help support the sessions, then please also get in touch. Our volunteers have been answering questions such as: 'How do you find rough or smooth?', 'Whose responsibility is it to call the serve out?', Why don't we say 45 rather than 40?’’ - and so often we're learning too!


Box Leagues

Thank you again to Christine Long for all of her hard work looking after these and keeping all players updated each month with names of their opponents. As a reminder, box leagues are played in the following categories and are open to all:

  • Ladies singles
  • Ladies doubles
  • Men’s singles
  • Men’s doubles
  • Mixed doubles

If anybody would like to join the next Box Leagues please either contact Christine directly or one of the Tennis Committee.


Your Committee

As a reminder, your committee members are:

  • Peter Halliday – Chair
  • Tom Perry – Club Coach
  • Kevin Eastaugh – Club Captain
  • Angela Eastaugh – Safeguarding Officer
  • Anna Bisco 
  • Loess Overbury-Tapper
  • Sarah Brockless – a special welcome to Sarah as our newest committee member

Do come and talk to us with any feedback, ideas or queries. Tennis committee members give their free time to support the club with all tennis related matters. The minutes from our most recent meeting are available to view on the notice board.