November Newsletter 2013

November 2013

Pete, Brian, Jo, Holly and Julie -some of the 2013 cup winners

AGM Report 2013 – Chulmleigh Tennis Club

Membership is 63 this year, down from 69 last year. 37 are adults and the rest are either junior or mini members. It has again been difficult to maintain junior membership, in spite of trialing cardio tennis at the Academy and primary school and providing 5 weeks of tennis coaching in March at the primary school.

Obviously all members grow older, with some leaving for university and others of us just becoming less fit and mobile! So recruitment is a constant effort! You can help by spreading the word, inviting new players and displaying posters of events and passing on the newsletter.

CTC participated in the SMART sessions run by Chulmleigh Recreational Association, but this was not well-supported. This is a Saturday morning multi activity session aimed at children and parents together. It does need some supervision, mainly to get out and put away equipment. CTC provided an adult to assist during May. Funding to support all these activities was through cooperation with the CRA and Active Devon.

Some of the funds were used to participate in the Healthy Activity Week in June, an initiative from the Patient Participation Group at Wallingbrook. It provided free taster sessions at all classes including cardio tennis. As a result a new adult beginner class has been developed.

Claire and Daniel Lewis with their cups

Coaching continues for all ages, as does Easter and summer tennis camps for primary aged students. It requires a commitment from members to maintain the services of a professional coach, especially through the winter! Come up on a Wednesday evening and you can try it out for yourself! Playing in the winter evening certainly blows you away!

Some Mini members have attended tournaments at Braunton and Tarka and have found the experience invaluable.

Junior members helped with the annual Chulmleigh Fair tournament and CTC members supported the CRA event on the Cricket Ground that week, by promoting tennis activities and a testing quiz. This will hopefully become an annual event.

The LTA are subsidising refurbishment of tennis nets, mini tennis equipment and coach training this year.

The club organised an internal tournament for members and has established a link with Winkleigh Tennis Club. Monthly themed socials need more members to commit to make these a real success… there seems to be a lot of groups playing over the week, but rarely altogether when a club ‘spirit’ can be felt. The big exception to that was the tournament finals day, organised by Andy.

Use of the courts is limited by having to share them with the local Academy and although plans have been produced to provide extra club storage, these have not progressed as hoped and the club is hampered by lack of dedicated club facilities. The CRA have had their plans stalled by the Academy and it is difficult to see how club facilities could be developed on the site without the full cooperation of the Academy.

We are still in negotiation with the CRA about our annual fees – where we have been unable to see a rationale for the amount they are asking for. Over the past two years, we have paid £2250 against their expectation of £3000 – which anyway is a stretch against our annual income, when we need to retain funds to invest in more club facilities in order to make the club more attractive and stronger. Based on discussions with the Academy and CRA in 2011, we believe they are asking too much in relation to costs.

We also pay for lighting through tokens. We have been fortunate so far this year that the floodlights have lasted longer than in previous seasons (although we suspect there was a fault in their installation that has now been corrected), but we need to be prepared should the Academy demand that we foot the next bill ourselves.

The CRA do keep telling us we have unique access arrangements, not being dependent on Sports Hall opening times, and they have also mentioned a different approach based on ‘Pay & Play’. They have also suggested that other clubs run more fund-raising events than we do.

One problem we face as a club is lack of cohesion: it is very hard to get people to participate and pull together as a club. We continue to try, through the tournament and social events, and are willing to organise whatever you suggest. But we do need the full membership to support club events, and offer to help in simple ways, rather than just participate when it suits.

To sum up:

The immediate task is to agree the basis of the hire fee with the CRA.

Next year we need to encourage new members and fuller participation by existing members in all aspects of the club.

Beyond that there is the need to develop some sort of accessible club storage/shelter/chalet that would enhance the amenities of the club.

What are your views on how to proceed? Continue to fight for an agreed settlement on our terms? Raise subscriptions? Fundraise for future expenditure?

The future of the club is in your hands.

Finally my thanks go to all the committee for their hard work over the past year. Without them behind the scenes, the club would not function. Denise bravely stepped in to help us out with the membership secretary role, but feels she is not able to continue – so we are looking for a replacement!

It is difficult to single out individuals, but Brian has been so committed to Sunday tennis over many years, that we owe it to him to maintain this session whilst he is unable to do so.

Julie has steered the Ladies through their challenging season and the Men have bounced their way along after having several years of consistent team players. We need a few more league players to sustain the three mens teams. The winter league is flourishing.

The committee welcomes new members, as it is always good to have a fresh input of ideas. Please put yourself forward if you want to make a contribution to the club and help it grow into 2014 and beyond.

The treasurer presented the accounts up to March 2013 and reported a healthy balance.

Reports were received from the winter and summer league teams. The latter found the league games more challenging this year, due to promotion of 3 of the teams. The Mens A team have had to play harder to maintain their position in Division 1, coming 5th overall. The Mens B team got a 16 point fine for walkovers in Division 4 and ended up 6th, whilst the Mens C team came 5th in Division 5. The Ladies played in Division 3 for the first time. The winter league was promoted to Division 1, but now dropped to Div 2 for this coming season. The Ladies entered a team in the Pete Stacey knockout for the first time.

Chris Brown was nominated to the committee by Brian Smith and seconded by Jo Moser. She has now taken over the membership secretary’s role.

Presentation of trophies and runner-up certificates for the in-club tournament followed. Members then discussed how to arrange the doubles matches for next year’s tournaments. Further discussions will be held with feed-back from the rest of the membership, before next year’s tournament is arranged.

Grub and skittles were enjoyed by all!

Xmas Present!
Club T-shirts and Hoodies: Contact Margaret Kingdon at Maritime Motifs, South Molton. Tel: 01769 572727. She has the logo design and knows the colours it is printed in, although it varies depending on whether the client chooses a light or dark colour item of clothing. She will discuss variations when ordering.

Diary Dates
Dec 1st Sunday Social: 10am with Winkleigh Tennis Club, all welcome!
Dec 4th Last mini coaching
Dec 11th Extra adult coaching session
Dec 2nd-Jan 6th College Xmas holiday
Jan 4th Sunday Social: 10am with Winkleigh Tennis club, all welcome!

Mini tennis winners

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