BLTC Newsletter: Spring 2010

Contents

Chairman's Report

Significant improvements to the club have taken place this year with the much-anticipated resurfacing of Courts 3 and 4, and it is nice to see the area to the side of the clubhouse vastly improved with the creation of the garden area in memory of Colin Smith. I hope you will all enjoy playing on the new courts, or relaxing in the new seating area while you watch other players rush about for a change!

We are very aware of the state of the side netting, and will be replacing some of it within the next few months. The committee are also looking at hopefully purchasing a ball machine for the club's use, and I will keep you updated. The new lock that was put on the side gate in order to protect our new court surfaces has sadly been broken by a mindless vandal, but has now been replaced (with the existing number). Please continue to lock these courts after use as the special surface would be damaged by football studs, bikes or skateboards.

It is shame to see a slight drop in membership numbers recently, although with the economic worries faced by many I am sure that this will pick up again. I know that the majority of our members are friendly to everyone, but I would like to ask that everyone make a special effort to be friendly to new members and to make them welcome. I remember starting at the club myself and being very nervous about playing established members on my first club night! Just bear in mind that turning up to that first session is not easy, and the welcome you receive from the existing members on that one night can either encourage a new member to come again, or put them off forever. It can be frustrating to play someone new who is nervous, but our club only exists because of its members, and we can only maintain and improve our facilities with the income from our membership fees.

I would like to congratulate our teams for their perseverance through a difficult year. The sad loss of Colin Smith affected the whole club, but his skill on court was particularly felt by the men's and mixed teams during a challenging season, and the men's B-team coped well in a hard-fought Division 2 after their promotion at the end of last season. The A-team are also to be congratulated for their wins in the notoriously difficult Division One. Although both teams may end up being relegated, they did well to win promotion last year and will no doubt be in the top end of the lower division -the differences in the higher levels of the league are quite marked and all our team players should be proud of their efforts for the club. The mixed winter league teams did well to maintain their positions, and I wish I could have taken part. I hope Tim missed me just a bit in the delightful weather of the winter matches! The ladies' A and B team also did very well this year and maintained their league positions. The ladies' indoor winter social league seemed like a brilliant idea this winter (!) and I'm glad they have had a positive experience. Thanks to Andy, Anthony, Carol and Viv for their organisation of all the matches, and particular thanks to my ex ladies' partner Linda Llewellyn (we were just getting good as well!) for organising the mixed winter league B team -her help was much appreciated.

I would like to thank all of the committee again for their efforts this year. I particularly want to thank Malcolm Waters and Maggie Warren who will be standing down this year due to other commitments. They have both done sterling work for us and we are very grateful for their time and efforts. If anyone else is interested in helping on the committee, please speak to a committee member or contact me personally.

Secretary's Report

There was a slight drop in membership to 174 this year, which was disappointing after the increase last season. There were 52 new members. The committee met 5 times during the year. The club was encouraged by the LTA to apply for Clubmark status. This generated a considerable amount of work and some committee members attended courses. We were also involved in meetings with Bredon Play and Recreation to discuss the development of the playing fields.

As usual, the draw for Wimbledon tickets will be held at the AGM. Only those of you (aged 9 and over) who have registered for British Tennis will be eligible. 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

The Club's financial position continues to be healthy.

Clearly, the most significant event during the past year was the resurfacing of courts 3 and 4, which was completed at a total cost of approximately £16,800 which was less than we had originally projected. I am sure all members will agree that this work has enhanced the club's facilities — now all we need is some better weather to start making use of them.

Our recurring income and expenses have remained relatively stable, although total income from members' subscriptions is slightly down on the previous year. We also continue to suffer from the negligible interest rates that we can earn on club funds.

Having not increased subscriptions last year, the Committee are proposing a small increase in membership fees for the forthcoming year to cover the impact of inflation and to start rebuilding our reserves which have been depleted by the resurfacing work carried out this year.

I will present a more detailed summary of the Club's income and expenditure at the AGM.

Team Reports

Thanks to all the players who committed their time to the team matches. Many thanks to Carol Smith, Anthony Hickling, Andy Gray and Linda Llewellyn 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 www.bredon-tennis.org.uk/teams/.

Ladies' A Team

The season finished with our two ladies teams holding their positions in divisions 2 and 3. It was a close finish for the B team but they managed to hold onto their position.

The A team has run with 6 players taking it in turn to play the matches. Our best wishes go to Amy Lord who has played in the A team matches but has now moved to London to pursue her career as a Doctor.

Ladies' B Team

The B team has run with 10 players and it was great to add two new players to the team, namely Nila More and Caroline Hodge. We have competed again in the Gloucestershire Mixed Doubles Floodlit league and despite the weather both our teams managed to complete all there fixtures by the end of February. The mixed A team just lost out on promotion and finished third but had some hard fought enjoyable matches. This team consisted of 7 players but where possible we kept to set pairs which proved to be good tactic.

The Mixed B team had gained promotion to their division because another team higher in the league had dropped out but this proved to be too much for them and although they enjoyed the hard competitive matches they unfortunately finished bottom of the division and will be relegated.

My thanks to Linda Llewellyn for her work running the B team which proved quite hard at times to get a team together and also to Andy Gray who helped me run the A team and for being willing to partner me this year in the mixed league.

Ladies' Winter Indoor Social League

Some of the ladies have enjoyed playing in a new Winter Indoor Social League at Pershore Tennis Centre on Tuesday mornings this winter. At the time of going to press we have won one, drawn one and lost three matches, with one postponed match still to play. It has been good to have some guaranteed 'whatever the weather' tennis through the winter, although the postponed match was due to heavy snow falling. It has also been good to meet and play with some different teams and the standard of tennis has generally been high.

Mens' A Team

As feared the standard of play in Division One was very high and we were also unfortunate in playing in the much stronger half of the Division. Our total number of rubbers won was 8, although this isn't a fair reflection on some of our performances where we lost double rubbers from winning positions. Basically we lacked the consistency of the other teams and were well short of the level required. Last season started with the tragic loss of a key player in Colin Smith and I think its true that this affected the performance of both the men's teams.

Mens' B team

After gaining promotion from division 3 in 2008 the B team found life harder in Division 2 coming up against a high standard of opposition. The season was marked by the sad loss of Colin Smith during our first game of the season. One of the stars from last season and much loved member and ex chairman of Bredon Tennis club, all the teams thoughts and best wishes go to Carol and the rest of the family through what has been a difficult last 12 months.

From our 12 games the B team picked up a total of 6 points, unfortunately leading to relegation back to division 3 for this season. Leaving aside the odd 4-0 drubbing, there were a couple of noticeable scalps this season, getting a 2-2 draw away at Lydney (who ended up winning the division) as well as picking up 3 points over our two matches against Gloucester Wotton (who finished second in the division).

While we were on the end of some poor results, it was comforting to know that there were many close matches, often third sets or championship tie breaks being lost denying us a greater spoil of the points. Throughout the season a large pool of players were used, Andy Gray (c), Martin Sime, Colin Smith, Tim Troughton, Malcolm Waters, Ron Loxley, Kristian McQuillam and Stuart Dyer. Many thanks to all those involved for your efforts, and here is hoping for a prosperous season this year where hopefully we will be nearer the top end of the table!

Club Tournament

We have again run an internal tournament which has seen a large number of matches played including the finals which were held on the weekend of 20th/21st March.

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.

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.

This summer the club will be entering three Junior teams in the AEGON Gloucestershire Team Tennis League. A 14 and Under and a 12 and under boys team and a 9 and under mixed team. Good luck to all the players and thanks again to the team captains.

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. There is now a social session floodlight override switch in the meter cupboard which allows the floodlights to be turned on during evening social sessions without needing to use tokens. Players can continue to obtain floodlight tokens if they would like to use the floodlights outside of social sessions.

A season starter night will be held on Thursday 8th April from 6:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served and the floodlights will be free. Please come along and give evening social tennis a go, and get your tennis season off to a great start. If you know of any non-members who might be interested in playing then please invite them to come and have a go, they will be made very welcome.

Annual Quiz

Last year's Quiz entitled 'Directions' was set by Aeona Aitken and raised over £200 for the club. Winners were Caroline Priest and Frances Arrow with 97 points. Thanks to Aeona for a very enjoyable and successful Quiz. The committee is still looking for a Quiz for this year so if anyone has one or wants to do one please get in touch with Helen Townsend.

Social Events

The club's social events have been well-attended again with the Colin Smith Memorial Tournament and BBQ in September, our annual Quiz Night in October and the very festive (and chilly!) Mulled Wine and Mince Pies with a serving of tennis at Christmas. In February we had the annual bowling night at the Queen's Head, which as usual was a good night and enjoyed by all. We hope to see many of you at the Season Starter in April, and the committee will aim to organise a BBQ event over the summer as well. We will keep you informed!