Annual Parish Meeting reports

For the record, we think it is useful to publish here two of the reports we had put forward to our village APMs over the years. The issues and urgency of the need to refurbish were all clearly spelt out here, in documents that went into the public domain at the time.

Report for the Annual Parish Meeting on 25th April 2018

Your local tennis club shares the LTA's mission and purpose, which is to "Get more people playing tennis more often" in order to enrich lives through tennis. The courts have been part of Stapleford's Recreation Ground for nearly 60 years, since a public meeting in June 1959 took place to discuss forming a tennis club, and the parish council agreed to lease a parcel of land sufficient for two courts. Many long-time residents of Stapleford will no doubt have happy memories of you and your young families learning and enjoying a spot of tennis on your local courts. Currently the club has 170 members, roughly half and half adults and juniors.

In our Annual Parish Meeting report in April 2016 we highlighted the then urgent need for major investment for resurfacing and fence repairs. Since its inception, the tennis club has always been self-sufficient in carrying out the necessary periodic refurbishment works from funds accrued through Membership fees; roughly half of the annual receipts are set aside each year for this purpose, and in theory that will be enough after 10-12 years for what is required. These days there are grants available to match-fund club contributions, and it turns out this would be necessary in order for the club to pay for what is required now. To be eligible for any grant, a club needs to have a secure long lease on its facilities - 21 years minimum is the magic number - and because our current short-term lease expires in July 2019, we have been unable to pursue this avenue.

Because of the current state of the court surface and the fence, we have had to suspend our previously popular coaching programme and our club sessions. We also reduced our Membership fees in 2017 in recognition of the state of the surface and fencing, though we have ambitions to find a way to make Membership far cheaper still (even after a refurbishment), in line with some other comparable village tennis clubs.

Our current officers continue to liaise with the Parish Council over options for the future. We all want to get more people playing tennis more often, it is a question of how best to do that and how to pay for it!

Report for the Annual Parish Meeting on 20th April 2016

It has been another busy and successful year for Stapleford Tennis Club!

Around 50 families from in and around the village are members of our famously friendly tennis club. The club is an LTA Registered Place to Play and we share the LTA’s mission and purpose to “Get more people playing tennis more often” in order to enrich lives through tennis. We do this in part by trying to make tennis accessible to more people: promoting it as a fun, enjoyable and healthy activity. We believe this also fits in with one of the Parish Council's specific goals arising from the Parish Plan: to improve residents' access to sports facilities.

Following on from the success of our Open sessions in 2014 – where non-members were able to come and play – we hosted more of these in 2015 including a drop-in session of free professional coaching on the Saturday of the June Village Weekend. Open sessions were also held to co-incide with the Thursday afternoon Young People's Activity Group sessions during school holidays, and the courts were made available for the After School Club for their annual visits to the park in the last school week of July. We hope to do similar sessions in 2016, and would be pleased to build the progamme given enough volunteer time and availability to supervise as needed.

We know from our Members' Survey that most of our 200+ members prefer playing tennis as a sociable activity. For the budding stars of the future, we are continuing to build our programme of Junior Coaching in conjunction with Over & In. Meanwhile, an exciting new development for this year is the provision of Adult coaching sessions on Saturday afternoons (for “Beginners/Improvers”), starting on Saturday 16th April. Perhaps this chance to improve their game will then encourage more of our Members to take part when we host a “Stapleford Open” competition – one of our main ambitions for 2016.

Major Investment of the order of £30,000+ is now required for re-surfacing and fence works that are both quite badly needed; there are other additions that we would love to add if we can find the funds, e.g. a practice wall, even a replacement clubhouse? The LTA have grants available for facility improvements, and the deadline for the last round of these for 2016 is in June. Given that the whole site belongs to the Parish Council, we feel we cannot pursue any plans without the certain support and help of the Parish Council regarding what their vision for sports facilities on the Recreation Ground is, and how it can best be achieved. We are also keen to work alongside the football and cricket clubs in order to ensure the best outcome for all users.