BLTC Newsletter: Spring 2009

Contents

Chairman's Report

A huge thank you to all members of the committee for their hard work over the past year. With the economic situation being so difficult at the moment, I think it is inevitable that we will be affected in some way, but thanks to everyone's hard work and the support of all our members, the club is in a fairly strong position and well placed to weather the storm. We will hopefully be pressure-washing courts 1 and 2 very soon, and will also be re-fencing courts 3 and 4. The re-surfacing of courts 3 and 4 is being organised and we should have all the details soon. For a club of our size, we have excellent facilities which are envied by many of our visiting teams. I hope you will come along to as many of the club sessions as possible this season and make good use of them!

The social events have continued to be well supported by members and guests. It was good to see so many of you at the recent Skittles Evening- the night was a great success, many thanks to Viv for organising it and to Andy for explaining the rules! Our annual quiz this year is "Directions", and we are grateful to Aeona for setting it. There are a few tricky questions I still can't get! The quiz is always popular, so make sure you get your copy from a committee member if you haven't already- the closing date is 30th June. If you have an email address, please make sure it is on your membership form so that we can contact you regarding events and news.

In recognition of the financial situation affecting everyone, we have decided to keep membership fees for this year at the same level as last year. We have also decided to offer the facility to our members to spread the cost of adult and family fees by submitting post-dated cheques in 4 monthly instalments. If you wish to take advantage of this, you need to write the four cheques as follows:

The cheques must be dated the first of each of the four months ( April, May, June and July). Please note that any expenses occurred by an individual due to early presentation of the cheque will not be refunded by the club, and if a cheque bounces, membership will be suspended immediately and will not be re-instated until the outstanding amount has been paid. Please give these to Linda before or at the AGM as usual. The club will then present the post-dated cheques at the appropriate times. Please note that as offering this service involves extra work and charges, the fees in this instance are slightly higher. We looked into setting up a direct debit service, but unfortunately the cost of setting this up was unreasonably high.

We have decided to raise the ball levy at social sessions from 30p to 50p, which is still a very good price given the cost of the balls! This charge has not been increased for quite a few years. Our summer adult match fees for our team players will also increase to £1.50 per person.

The Wimbledon Ticket draw will be made as usual at the AGM on Tuesday 7th April at the pavilion. Please remember that to be entered, you must be a member of British Tennis and have paid your membership fees to Linda before the start of the meeting. 65 members have now signed up for British Tennis, so hopefully we will be allocated a good number of tickets. I look forward to seeing you there!

Secretary's Report

This year saw an encouraging increase in membership with more adults than in the previous two years and about 45% comprising under 18's. There were 48 new members. It was slightly disappointing that our new "young adult" membership category only attracted three new members, but we are looking at other ways to increase our adult membership. More income from membership fees is vital to provide sufficient capital to resurface courts 3 and 4, as the cost is rising all the time. The committee met five times during the year and we were pleased to welcome another volunteer, Polly Christian.

Only those of you (aged 9 or over) who registered for British Tennis will be eligible for the Wimbledon draw. To qualify you must have paid your fees and you must either attend the AGM or send your apologies in writing before the meeting. If you haven't registered for British Tennis yet, please do so. You will be eligible for this year's draw and an increase in membership will result in more tickets for Bredon for the following year. Membership is free. There are forms in the pavilion or you can register on line at: http://www.lta.org.uk/membership.

Treasurer's Report

This time last year, my report was slightly negative in that we were faced with static, if not declining, membership fees and other sources of income while faced by increasing costs.

This year, I am pleased to report a more positive outlook. As mentioned in the Secretary's report, membership is up and fundraising activities, through the annual quiz and the social events held during the year to date, have contributed around £600 to club funds.

At the same time, while our overheads, including electricity, water rates, insurance etc, have continued to rise ahead of inflation, we have so far managed to avoid any significant expenditure on maintaining either the courts or the clubhouse although it is planned to have courts 1 and 2 pressure washed prior to the start of the new season.

The Committee's recent discussions on the fee proposals for the forthcoming year gave rise to an interesting debate, having due regard to the need to maintain the Club's finances while recognising the potential adverse impact that the credit crunch and low interest rates might be having on our members. Helen's report summarises the conclusions from that debate.

As a result of the improvement in the clubs finances during the last year, the Committee will be giving serious consideration to resurfacing courts 3 and 4 during 2009/10.

Full details of the Club's income and expenditure will be presented to the AGM.

Team Reports

Congratulations go to all our teams for this very successful season, and our thanks to all the players who committed their time to the team matches. Many thanks to Carol Smith, Anthony Hickling and Andy Gray for overseeing the men's and ladies' teams. If you are interested in playing team tennis do contact Anthony on 01242 269668 or Carol on 01684 295303. You can also follow the teams' progress online at http://www.bredon-tennis.org.uk/teams/.

Ladies' A and B Teams

The ladies A team finished 3rd in their division. The team consisted of 4 permanent players with members from the B team filling in when required. Carole Bankes and Sara Holyer played a total of 10 rubbers as a pair and won them all. Sara Holyer has now moved away and we wish her well in her new home in the Plymouth area.

The Ladies' B team won their division this year with 41 points, having lost just one match. Wendy Coke played 8 matches, 16 rubbers with Carol Smith, and as a pair they lost just one rubber.

We are now busy arranging fixtures for the summer league of 2009 for our four teams and if you would like to play competitive matches please let Carol Smith know.

Ladies' Daytime League

We have again entered a team in the Ladies' Daytime League this winter. There are six teams in the League and we play each other home and away. So far we have played seven matches, winning just one, drawing one and losing five. We have three more matches to play by April, so we will be hoping to improve those results.

Mens' A Team

Last summer we played our final league game in the knowledge that, even if we won, the team might still be relegated. Eventually we kept our status in Division 2 by the narrowest of margins.

This year we again faced another tight situation with two unfinished matches left to play against De la Bere and Cheltenham Civil Service, only this time the issue was whether or not we would be promoted together with Cirencester, who were already the clear winners of this division.

Winning our last rubber against Cheltenham Civil Service meant our final points tally was the same as Lydney's, but we squeezed through by having lost one match fewer than them.

From the outset, as in the previous three seasons, the main priority was promotion for the B team and given the constraints this placed on the A team it was with some surprise we found ourselves in a situation with promotion a distinct possibility for both. The eleven point improvement in the A team's final points total from last year can be put down to several factors: the regular attendance by most players to team practices throughout the year; some dynamic play by Rob Jones in the first half of the season; consistent performances from Stuart Hutchinson; contributions from Tom Spry and Lee Sharpe and as importantly, some very telling contributions from players drafted in from the B team, with Andy Gray's and Colin Smith's performances of particular importance.

Having achieved Division One status for the first time in eight years it will be interesting to see how we cope, but we are looking forward to the challenge.

Mens' B team

The Men's B team had a successful season, finishing second in their league on 30 points, only behind winners Nailsworth C on win loss ratio. After drawing the first four matches it was looking like a mid table finish was on the cards, but a very strong second half of the season propelled the team to their promotion place. Many thanks go to all those involved: Andy Gray, Martin Sime, Colin Smith, Tim Troughton, Ron Loxley & Malcolm Waters. Lets hope next season in Division 2 will be as successful and will continue the contest within the team for the right to be the A pair!

Winter Floodlit Leagues

This winter we had two mixed teams competing in divisions 3 and 4 of the Gloucestershire Floodlit league, together with a Men's doubles team in the East Glos Winter Floodlit League. We also had a ladies doubles team playing with four other teams in a friendly league put together by Beckford Tennis Club playing home and away matches.

All the winter leagues have had a very challenging time if not in the matches in the weather conditions this year. We have just managed to complete all our mixed league matches with the last two being played on Friday 27th February when the league had to be completed by 28th. The "A" team finished 4th and the "B" team finished 3rd in their respective leagues so well done to all those who participated.

As far as the ladies doubles are concerned we have only managed to play three matches so far but hopefully will complete the other matches in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately we have lost the ones we have played but it will have been a good experience as we have played against some people who do not play in the Gloucestershire league.

Tournament

We have again run an internal tournament which will have seen a total of 53 matches played including the finals which were held on the weekend of 14th/15th March. It was nice to see three of our younger members play with their parents and indeed put up a good fight against the older more experienced players. The cups will be presented at the AGM where the winners will be announced. Our thanks to all the players who took part and organised their matches in a timely manner despite the weather conditions this year.

2008/2009 Tournament Winners:

Junior Tennis

The club entered two teams in the Gloucestershire Junior League last summer. The U12 team was Rory McGuigan, Daniel McGuigan, Simon Cox, Dan Barber, Tom Elliot and Joe Bradley. The U14 team was Max Barber, Peter Hutchinson, Steven Rhodes, and Jake Walker. Both teams enjoyed the season and had some good games. The U14's played three games, winning two, including a good win against local rivals Beckford. The U12's also improved significantly, winning more games and competing well. Both teams enjoyed the season and thanks goes to Claire Barber and Grace McGuigan for organising the U14's and U12's respectively.

Social Tennis

The club's social tennis sessions form the mainstay of social tennis within the club and have been generally well attended during the summer months. They are held on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, Monday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons, all year round.

Throughout April the committee has decided to again allow a £1 fee per player to cover the cost of balls and floodlights.

The floodlights will still need to be controlled by tokens but if you use a token for a club night please note it in the signing-in book and any you use will then be refunded by Maggie Warren.

A season starter night will be held on Thursday 9th April from 6:30. Light refreshments will be served and the floodlights will be free.

Please come along and give evening social tennis a go and get the season off to a great start.

Annual Quiz

This year's quiz is entitled 'Directions'. Questions relate to North, South, East and West. Now available from committee members or Aeona Aitken. You have until 30th June to return your answers! Please support the club by purchasing your copies - only £1 each.