The Chairman's update

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Firstly, can I say how good it is to see the courts being used once more. I’m sure that like me, some feel that the guidelines are a nuisance, but as there have been cases of the dreaded coronavirus in the locality, these steps and controls are there not just for our wellbeing, but to ensure that a game of tennis doesn’t spread the virus beyond those playing. We owe Phil Cooper a debt of gratitude for his time and effort in getting Clubspark off the ground. The intention was to help promote the club, and to improve issues such as membership renewal (and renewal reminder), payment, and court booking. Phil has now handed over to Jerry Popham, and Jerry has been able to obtain the help of Paul Steed to take the process further. If you haven’t yet visited then do, and don’t forget that you can also download the booking app to enable a court to be booked in a matter of seconds. Membership renewal has been very encouraging and we have seen some new members too. The club has tried to be fair in pitching the renewal fees proportionally in line with the length of the remainder of the playing year, and maintaining the 20% discount for new members. We’ll be trying to improve tennis for juniors by incorporating them into mixed adult / junior sessions and competitions. Julie Steed along with the help of Lucy Jefferson will take a more active role in helping the juniors, and of course Dan will be running his usual coaching sessions as guidelines allow. The situation regarding Covid 19 may affect the timing of our plans, but as things return to whatever passes for normal, we will certainly be doing everything we can. We would also like to include the parents of junior members in our social calendar plans, so please look out for further details. Coaching. It’s great to see that a number of members have already taken the opportunity to engage Dan Sizer in coaching sessions. Dan arranged a junior coaching event on Sunday 12th July, which everyone involved enjoyed. Dan is available for one to one or group coaching and details can be found on the website or by contacting Dan at [email protected] or 07951 828760 Phil Cooper has very kindly established (and is coordinating) a ‘doubles format competition’ similar to the ‘ladder’ of a few seasons ago. The results are kept up to date on the website so if you haven’t taken part yet, then take a look, and arrange a match. You can mix and match tennis partners, as it’s your result that counts! Over 200 matches have been played so far, with Malcolm Steer leading the table having won 190 games from 37 matches. An easy way to take part is to find a partner and use the HTC Whatsapp no. to arrange a ‘four’, book a court, and you’re off and running. You can play as many sets as your stamina will allow. The competition has proved a popular alternative to social tennis until that can be re established, and a welcome alternative to league tennis, with a little ‘edge’ to the matches played. However, don’t feel that tennis MUST be competitive. Find a partner or partners, book a court, and enjoy. The Longmead management group are unable to reopen their facilities at present. We must respect this decision, and hope that CV19 disappears into the ether so that authorities relax guidelines and we can all feel safe in such premises. In the meantime, the outside toilet CAN be used. A key has been placed in the key safe between courts 2 & 3. Appropriate use of hand sanitiser is recommended . AGM. We’d like to hold the AGM as soon as possible, but have to be pragmatic. Longmead is not open, and neither are other facilities in the village. I’m sure that were we to convene a meeting, a number of members wouldn’t attend due to feeling vulnerable. Sorry for repeating the message, but we must hope that the CV19 situation improves so that we can go about our business. In the meantime, your committee is; Bob Hawkes (Chair), Jerry Popham (Treasurer), Suzy Besant (Secretary) Rachel Bussell (Welfare Officer), Julie Steed, Tim Julier, Lucy Jefferson