BLTC Newsletter: Spring 2011

Contents

Chairman's Report

Well, what a year it has been!

As you are all no doubt aware, the clubhouse suffered a burst water pipe during the freezing weather just before Christmas. Due to insurance matters we were unable to start work on the clubhouse sooner; however, repair works are now very much underway. We are taking this opportunity to revitalise the clubhouse and brighten up the decor to maintain a comfortable, warm and inviting environment for all our members. Unfortunately, it is unlikely the work will be completed in time for the AGM, taking place on Wednesday 6th April. In this instance an alternative venue will be confirmed.

We are also looking for some volunteers to assist with additional maintenance needs in the form of staining of the woodwork outside the pavilion. If you are willing to help out please contact me. Another significant issue which we have been faced with more recently is the resignation of our junior coach. Due to personal circumstances Tim emigrated to join his partner in the Philippines. Unfortunately, his departure was extremely sudden and has left us in a very difficult position with regards to our coaching programme and the completion of the clubmark accreditation. We are still in discussions with local clubs and Gloucestershire LTA to maintain our coaching programme in the most effective way possible. I will continue to provide updates on the coaching situation to all parents of our junior members — I can only apologise for the disruption this has caused to our junior members and hope this will not be detrimental to their participation in tennis. We hope to resolve this matter very soon.

On a cheerier note, there have been some extremely positive events and developments at the club. The American Tournament and the club tournament once again demonstrated a huge success and illuminated the underlying competitive nature of some of our members, including my own! In addition, the annual quiz evening was once again well supported. Thanks must go to Andy Gray, Viv McRae, Jackie and Roger Dobbs and Carol Smith for organising these enjoyable events. Further social and fundraising events are in the pipeline for spring/summer 2011 so please keep a look out for notices in future newsletters and the Parish Magazine. Club membership costs will remain the same as last year. Please be assured we welcome all age groups and ability levels at Bredon LTC so don't hesitate to join up and come and have a game!

I would like to thank you all for your continued support during a difficult year and also to everyone on the committee for the extensive amount of work they have taken on to overcome a variety of challenges in recent months. I remain positive about the future for Bredon LTC, I believe the club is moving forward, albeit sideways at times (!) and will be stronger as a result of these obstacles in the long run. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the AGM — your opinions and comments do matter to us so please come along, if only perhaps for the Wimbledon Ticket Draw and bring and share supper!

Secretary's Report

There was a further drop in membership to 148 this year, which was disappointing. There were 33 new members. We were pleased to welcome David Curtis to the committee in May. Ian Rowland-Hill resigned, but is continuing to be responsible for the balls for social tennis, for which we are grateful. The committee met 4 times during the year and much work involved the appointment of new coaches following the dismissal of James in the summer and the sudden resignation of Tim in January, plus the insurance claim for repairs to the pavilion.

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 (there is no need to fill in a new form unless you have moved or changed your email address) 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. Forms are available from Linda or you can register on line.

Treasurer's Report

While we near the end of what has been a challenging year for many reasons, the Club remains in a relatively healthy financial position. It is likely that income and expenditure for the current year will be broadly even, largely due to the costs incurred on repairing the fencing around the courts. The burst pipe shortly before Christmas has tested the adequacy of our insurance cover, but hopefully the repairs will be completed shortly with only a small excess to be paid by the club.

Negotiations with Parish Council about a new, long term lease are ongoing. 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, Nila More and Barbara Stevens for overseeing the men's and ladies' teams. If you are interested in playing team tennis do contact Anthony or Carol. You can also follow the teams' progress online.

Ladies' Summer Leagues

The summer season was unfortunately a mixed bag for the ladies teams. The A team really struggled right through the season and unfortunately came bottom of their division meaning that they will be relegated next year to division 3. We had a team of seven ladies for the A team but with injuries we really could not hold our position and were outplayed in many of the matches. Hopefully the relegation this year will give us time to reconstruct the team allow us to regain our confidence. The ladies' B team did a lot better and with Nila More as captain they held onto their position and finished mid table in division 3a. It was good that they were able to hold their position and congratulations to them.

My thanks to all those who played in the summer league and a huge thank you to Nila for all her help in organising the team. Remember it is not always the winning that matters so long as you enjoy the game and the social time after the match, winning is just an added bonus.

Mixed Winter Leagues

The mixed winter league has been quite tough this year and due to the weather we had a few matches to re-arrange. Unfortunately the "A" team have not had a very good season having lost 7 matches and drawn 3 they find themselves at the bottom of division 3 with 2 matches to play. The "B" team have done considerably better winning 4 matches drawing 2 and losing 4 they are mid table in division 4 with 2 matches to play but unfortunately the possibility of losing 16 points for not turning up to play a match on the day it was scheduled.

We are about to enter teams for the summer league and hopefully will be playing 2 men's teams and 2 ladies' teams but there is the possibility we will have to play just one ladies team due to injuries in the A team. I will be contacting several ladies to see if we can field a second team on the basis of lots of players enjoying a few games each so that it is not too much of a commitment on each player. Please if anyone wishes to play in the leagues (summer or winter) contact Carol.

Pershore Indoor Ladies Tennis League

Well we enjoyed it but this is not a league for the faint hearted. It is full on hard hitting, competitive tennis, and not a gentle social morning! We played six matches with, sadly, no outright wins but we did have two winning draws (higher number of games won). That leaves three losses and one match for which we gained full points but only because the opposition did not turn up! The final position will be announced on 15th March.

The format is an interesting one: two pairs each play two rubbers of nineteen games with sudden death at deuce. It makes keeping score quite tricky as well as keeping concentration for every game as game score can be important to the final outcome. Nine players took part. My thanks to all of them for making it so easy to arrange the teams, for standing up so well to the opposition and coming off court with a smile!

Ladies Coaching

Ladies Coaching on Thursday mornings is going well despite the inclement weather! Sixteen ladies turn out most weeks split between two groups and much laughter can be heard whilst we master topspin and slice. All standards catered for and there is always a space available in the second group for rusty returners/improvers.

Men's A Team

The A Team comfortably kept its A Team status in the Gloucestershire Summer League and with better availability of players early on in the season might conceivably have achieved promotion. The team finished with 25 points, using 10 different players. All the regulars had some good games and the mid season addition of Dan Sutherland was very timely. As usual, we needed players from the B team pool for several fixtures and they helped boost our points tally. Circumstances dictated that the number of different pairings was greater this season, but flexibility and mutual support helped offset any disadvantage.

Perhaps the most enjoyable match was the hard fought draw at Gotherington, while the 0-4 loss at Painswick was undoubtedly the most disappointing result: this being a place where we usually give a good account of ourselves. The weekend team sessions have continued to be well attended, which is pleasing, but we will continue to play at a level below our true potential until we eradicate individual inconsistencies partly caused by lack of quality practice time.

Men's B team

Another tough but enjoyable season of summer league tennis unfortunately culminated with the B team being relegated to division 4. We had not been outclassed by any means last season, but seem to have lost out on the vast majority of close matches. We had three 2-2 draws, with the remaining matches ending in either 3-1 losses or 4-0 losses. Many thanks to all who have played this season, Ancel Boucher, Andy Gray (captain), David Curtis, Malcolm Waters, Pete Hutchison, Ron Loxley, Tim Troughton, and Tommy Spry.

Despite a reasonable size squad we have still struggled at times to find a full team, so if anyone who is interested in playing league tennis please pop along to men's team practice Saturday mornings (8:30am to 10:30am) or get in contact with me. I'm hoping we can continue to adding to the team — especially any youngsters looking for the first taste of league tennis (Pete Hutchinson played well last season, and Chris Richardson should also be involved in the 2011 summer season) Next season should at the very least bring in better results as the opposition will be a little weaker, and with the experience built up by new players fielded this season should hopefully help the team push forward for future seasons and back up the table.

Men's Doubles Winter League

We again entered the men's doubles league held at East Glos over the winter period. In a league of 8 teams (Bredon, Cheltenham College, East Glos D, Frampton, Gloucester Lawn Tennis Club, Leckhampton, Northleach, and Tewkesbury Park B), we won 6 matches, and lost one — to Gloucester Lawn Tennis Club - who at time of print had won all their games so look like will win the league. Our run of good results will however mean we will gain promotion in 2nd spot — up to Division 1 so we can look forward to a very high standard of opposition next winter to pit our wits against!

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 12th/13th 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

Three teams were entered in last years junior leagues at 9U, 14U and 16U levels. A total of 23 players were involved and all the teams finished in the top half of their divisions with the 14U team finishing 2nd with Dan Barber winning 75% of his matches. Thanks to Lesley Sime, Grace McGuigan and Claire Barber for organising the teams.

Social Tennis

The club's social tennis sessions have been generally well attended throughout the summer with several new members attending regularly and some good tennis has been played. They are held on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, Monday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons, all year round. Since the autumn numbers have dropped during the week, particularly on Friday afternoons so any new players will be very welcome at any of the sessions. From October, the committee decided to again allow a £1 fee per player to cover the cost of balls and floodlights which can now be switched on without tokens during Social Sessions using the switch in the light cupboard.

Social Events

This annual event took place at Bredon Bowling Club, and was well supported. Unfortunately the Christmas mulled wine mince pies and mixed doubles event had to be cancelled due to bad weather. Further social events are planned for 2011, details will be available soon.