Tue 20 Dec 2016
In this newsletter we would like to inform you of the work that is currently being undertaken to evolve the club. For this, we need a vision statement to encompass what the club stands for, what it aspires to and to act as a reference point for how the club approaches its re-development.
Riverside Tennis Club is a progressive and ambitious not for profit organisation that strives to continually evolve. We aspire to provide the best tennis facilities, coaching programmes and playing experience we can and for these to be a source of pride for all club members and the town. The ethos at Riverside will enable us to create an inclusive hub for tennis in the area and to welcome a wide range of players to our club, irrespective of age, ability or background to access our facilities alongside the day to day activities for our members. We aim to share our love for the game into the wider community to cement the future and sustainability of our club
Inclusive, Welcoming & Friendly
Provide wide ranging opportunities at every playing level
Progressive, ambitious & visionary on and off court
Cultivate a passionate, exciting & successful learning environment
Respect & integrity of our Club and the sport
All Ages, All Abilities, All Welcome
In order to evolve the club in the light of our vision we have been working on a development plan.
The Development plan explores how the club can:
- Develop facilities
- Improve the playing experience
- Enhance the sense of ‘Club’ in the off-court life of Riverside.
The Development Plan document acts as a blueprint on how we will improve the club. It will be reviewed regularly and will provide a framework for our long term vision. We aim to publish this in early 2017 and subsequently invite you a special consultation evening to talk you through our plan which will include the building of 2 new indoor courts as the flagship.
There are 4 elements to the Development Plan:
- New Indoor Courts
- Upgrading Current Facilities/Services - Floodlights, visibility on court, court fittings & furniture, cafe, social activities
- New Clubhouse
- Funding & Financial Considerations
NEW INDOOR COURTS
The single biggest development the club would like to undertake is to build two indoor courts in the area beyond existing courts 7-9. This would be a fantastic new feature for the club adding to how our facilities can be used all year round and in all weather. It will result in greater participation in the sport from the very youngest to the very oldest.
UPGRADING EXISTING FACILITIES
The floodlighting of the courts is poor and needs to be corrected. At present there are two very different standards of facility playing in daylight and under floodlights. Through the work we have done and changes in technology, we have an opportunity to produce a floodlighting system which will be of the very highest standards and provide lower running and maintenance costs.
Painting courts 4-6 and 7-9 blue [scheduled for April 2017]
Giving a greater contrast to see the ball while in play
Reflecting more light from the surface to illuminate the lower half of the ball under floodlights.
Erecting privacy screens to replace the existing windbreaks at the back of courts 4 5 6:
Ensuring that there is less glare from the bubble, overspill from other floodlights and other background light
Providing a better backdrop for daytime use
Court Fittings and Furniture
It is important that we deliver continual improvements in all areas of the club which benefit the members in every way: nets, net winders, scoreboards, bins, on and off court furniture.
As members will already know Margaret and Mukesh will no longer be running the café and we can only reiterate our thanks for all their hard work over the past 4 years. Charlie Fay will be running the café from Jan 2017 and will be redesigning the café area and extending opening hours throughout the day. We’re looking forwards to the partnership with Charlie and are keen to use the new opening hours to benefit the members and put the club further into the heart of the community.
Social events are an important element in creating the character of the club and these will be included in the club’s development as we look to cement the playing and non-playing community around the clubhouse. It is important that we expand the social events calendar, to involve a wider selection of the clubs and develop our sense of ‘Club’.
A new clubhouse situated to the side of court 4 would not only afford better amenities such as changing rooms, but would also allow us to provide better car parking, attract new income streams to help fund development and bring new amenities to the club as well as enhancing existing ones such as the bar, cafe and shop.
The club is a not for profit organisation and always seeks to reinvest surpluses into improved facilities and services. We have maintained a healthy sinking fund for the most recent capital project we undertook. However it is not surprising that we find ourselves short now we’re looking to embark on a period of significant development to improve facilities beyond what we currently enjoy. The club would need to seek around £700,000 capital to meet the costs of the planned development. It therefore needs to seek a loan/grant from the LTA and will need to improve existing income streams to repay elements of this.
Depending on the financial commitment and LTA loan repayment schedule, we may also need to encourage a wider use of the club / clubhouse to supplement the revenue streams that our existing membership base contribute.
Potential areas that we have considered to focus on to increase our income streams if required are:
- Rent from new café owners
- Sponsorship of indoor courts
- General Sponsorship of the club
- Sponsorship of training programmes
We hope you are supportive of how the club will develop and that our members understand the overall benefit of this to the club as a whole. We are proud of ensuring that our membership and supplementary activities are both affordable and whilst wishing to improve, we are fully aware of the need to be sustainable and serve the membership base as well as possible.
We are well aware of the enormous effort this will require and welcome any comments and or help in achieving our goals as we continue to improve our Club.