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June 1st was the official launch of the new premises in Meadowview Road and we were pleased to welcome the mayor Krystal Miller and MP Stephen Hammond to help with the official opening.

Paul Sadler, the club chairman, gave a speech thanking Bellways, the developer, for providing five brand new courts and a club house, Sport England for providing a grant to help with the move in particular covering the cost of floodlighting, Phil Ryder and Andy Knap for their huge efforts in organising the move over several years and the committee of volunteers who have all contributed to the success of the club over the last 60 years. In particular there was special mention for the Launch Day sub-committee consisting of Gill Wood, Nicky Hudson, Neville Attwood, Chris Goldhawk and Sean O'Regan and also to Maura Buckley for organising the catering.

Mayor Krystal Miller did us the honour of cutting the ribbon and unveiling a commemorative plaque. MP Stephen Hammond helped to christen the courts by playing out a doubles set in which he was beaten easily by his wife Sally and a 12 year old girl, Jodie Lawrence-Taylor. Having said that Jodie is one of the most promising youngsters in the country, so there is no shame there, Stephen.

The afternoon continued with ex-Davis cup player, Danny Sapsford running a “tennis circus”. This was four coaching sessions offered freely to the club members as a thank you for their support. Danny showed his sportsmanship later on by joining three lucky members for a couple of sets in the late afternoon sunshine.

The festivities on the day included a fabulous buffet spread with a specially made tennis cake which was cut by Stephen Hammond, an ongoing barbeque (orchestrated by Master of the Tongs Graham Keir) and a charity raffle with proceeds going to St Raphael’s hospice.

The Chair of the Club, Paul Sadler said “the larger facilities now mean that the Club is in a position to welcome new adult and junior members of all ages and playing abilities, including complete beginners. The Club runs several “mix in” social sessions during the week, and coaching for all abilities.”

Photos of the day courtesy of Handan Erek and Nigel Greaves: 

The next open day is at the new site in Meadowview Road (off Grand Drive a few hundred yards north of the current site) from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday 28th April. It's a great opportunity to either take up or get back into tennis as the new season gets under way.

There will be free coaching for adults and juniors. Come by yourself or come with a friend. You will need non-marking trainers and ideally you will have your own racquet, but if not there are a few available to borrow.

There will be special offers for new members signing up on the day.

For Adults

  • £120 membership for the year (till end March 2014) with no joining fee
  • £30 for 5 weeks group coaching (5 x 1 hour sessions)

For Juniors

  • £120 for 6 months group coaching (reduced from £135)

In the final match of the winter season the mens 1st team earned a draw in a hard-fought tie in chilly conditions against local rivals Wilton.

The draw leaves Raynes Park in second place in the division which means a promotion for next season.

The match was significant not only for the quality of play, but also because it was the last for the mens 1st at the old premises.

We can now report further progress on the relocation of the tennis club to the LESSA site. The tennis club has now taken over responsibility for the new tennis facilities at Meadow View Road (the LESSA site). The lease for the premises was completed on 10 December, which means that the new site is now ours.

The tennis club committee has set up a subcommittee of 4 people to oversee the details of the club’s move. That subcommittee consists of Phil Ryder, Andy Knap, Nicola Hudson and Paul Sadler. The next steps include:

  • To register the club’s lease of the land, with the Land Registry.
  • To arrange for suitable flooring to be laid down throughout the new clubhouse building (at present the flooring is fibreboard).
  • To get floodlighting installed on courts 4 and 5.
  • To construct a new shed for the storage of tools, tennis equipment and grounds maintenance equipment.
  • To pave over an area adjacent to the clubhouse, to be used as a seating area for spectators.
  • To supplement the existing chainlink fencing around the tennis courts, with more robust “weldmesh” fencing.
  • To install a “keypad” entry system to the site, which will use a combination number for access (all members will be advised of the number to use).
  • To provide new interior furnishings, where they are needed, for the clubhouse.
  • To install new signage.
  • To arrange for the removal of furnishings etc. from the existing premises, to the new premises.

The great majority of the cost of these works will be provided by the funding from a Sport England lottery award.

The committee will be taking decisions as to when the various tennis activities will be transferred to the new site. However at present it is felt that we should at least get some of the work done, before any tennis is played there.

We also plan to hold an opening ceremony for the new site, the details of which have yet to be worked out.

Finally we can report that we will be giving notice to the freeholders of the old site (129 Grand Drive) that we will be terminating our lease for that site, with effect from 30 April 2013.

Following the decision of the last AGM of the Tennis Club to support the move to the LESSA site, we can now report important progress. On 22 October, the Tennis Club Committee took the important decision to accept the offer of a lease on the new tennis facilities at the LESSA site. This means that over the next few months the club will relocate from our existing site at 129 Grand Drive, to the new one at Meadow View Road (off Grand Drive).

The Lease

The offer of a lease on the new site came from the housebuilders Bellway Homes Ltd., who have constructed some new houses and flats on part of the LESSA site. As a part of a planning deal, Bellways were required to build new tennis facilities which they were then required to offer to our club.

The new premises will be leased by Bellways to our club, with a 99 year lease, on a peppercorn rent. The terms of the lease have been the subject of hard negotiations with Bellways in the period between July and October. The club has achieved considerable success in improving the terms of that lease in these negotiations. The club will be expected to pay a contribution to the overall maintenance of certain parts of the LESSA site, but the contribution will be capped at levels which we will be able to predict and to afford.

The New Premises

The new tennis club will be located about 300 metres from our existing site. To get there from the present site, you would go along Grand Drive, towards Raynes Park station, but after about 200 metres, turn left down Meadow View Road. The tennis club will be at the far end of that road. It is also possible to access the new club site from Westway, via a footpath/cycleway which runs off Westway (between nos. 108 and 110 Westway).

The new tennis facilities will include 5 new all-weather courts, and a new clubhouse, which will offer similar facilities to those provided by our existing clubhouse, but with the addition of 2 shower cubicles. The new kitchen is fitted out with cupboards work surfaces a stove, and a serving counter.

The club will also have use of 20 car parking spaces, which will be shared with whoever occupies the adjacent new playing fields.

Bellway’s work on the new courts and the clubhouse has now been virtually completed, though they have indicated that they will install an external power point (for use for example by the ball machine). There will however be some finishing off to the clubhouse which will be required, and which will be undertaken by the club. This will include flooring finishes, and other furnishings and fittings.

The club intends to install floodlighting on 2 of the 5 courts, and in fact planning permission has been granted for floodlighting for all 5 of the courts, by Merton Council. It is possible that at a future date, the club may decide to extend the floodlighting to all 5 courts.

The club also intends to construct a large new storage shed, which will be used to store tennis equipment, and grounds maintenance equipment and materials.

A paved spectator area will be constructed adjacent to the clubhouse building, to accommodate seating. Finally the club intends to install some steel fencing around the public side of the site, in order to increase the level of security.

Finance

The majority of the cost of providing the new tennis facilities has been borne by Bellways, and their investment here is estimated to be around £200,000. However, as referred to above there are some items which the club will need to provide at its own expense. The club has however been successful in bidding for lottery money, from Sport England, who have offered a grant of £30,000, which will cover the majority of these costs. The bid made to Sport England promised that the club would be putting a further £15,000 of its own money, as match funding, into the project.

Timing

The new lease should be signed by the end of November or possibly December, and we would be in a position to start using the new premises from that time. Exactly when the new site is used, will depend on progress with the outstanding work. For a period of time, the club plans to operate from both sites in parallel, but we should transfer our operations entirely to the new site probably in the spring of 2013. We will then terminate our lease on our old site.

Further details will be sent to you shortly regarding when the various social tennis sessions will transfer to the new site.

The main reason for using both sites in parallel is because we need some time to get the clubhouse fully finished internally, and to install the floodlighting on the new courts. Until this work is completed, we will need to continue to rely on the existing site.

The Whole Process

Overall this scheme has been 5 years in gestation, with the first approach being made to the club in November 2007. Since that time a great deal of work has been undertaken by the club to get us to this point. It is hoped that this move will allow the club to expand, to offer extra coaching, and to secure our longer term future as a viable club.

Nov 2012

Raynes Park Residents’ Lawn Tennis Club is delighted to say that it has been successful in a bid for funding which was made to Sport England. Today it was announced by Sport England that they would make a grant of £30,000 to the Raynes Park club under their “Places People Play” legacy programme.

The award will allow the club to relocate to a new larger site on the former London Electricity Sports Ground (LESSA) site at 119 Grand Drive SW20. The new site offers 5 brand new tennis courts and a new clubhouse building. The Sport England award will provide funding for supplementary facilities, including floodlighting for two of the courts, a paved spectator area, internal furnishings for the clubhouse, secure weldmesh fencing around the courts and an equipment storage shed.

It is intended that the club will be in operation on its new site in 2013.

The local community tennis club, which has been in existence for over 60 years, has recently been awarded “Clubmark” quality accreditation by the Lawn Tennis Association. It currently operates from a site at 129 Grand Drive SW20. These premises are restricted in size and only provide for 3 tennis courts. The new site is located only about 300 metres away from the existing site, so all existing members will easily be able to get to it.

The club, which has always welcomed new members of all ages and playing abilities, should be able to expand its operations when it moves to the new site. The club confirmed that it will be able to bring the game of tennis to more local people than it would have been able to do had it remained on the existing site. Full details about the club can be found on its website www.rprltc.co.uk .

A spokesman for the club said: “This is very exciting news indeed for the club. It represents a major step forward for its expansion, which we have been working towards for over 4 years. The club, which is able to offer tennis coaching to both juniors and adults, is always keen to accept new members, even before the relocation takes place.” The spokesman went on to say: “We believe that our club offers a welcoming and friendly environment for people to enjoy the game. We have members ranging in age from 5 to 90 years old, and we welcome new members ranging from complete beginners to experienced players and potential champions.”

Wimbledon’s MP, Mr Stephen Hammond said: “I am delighted to learn that Raynes Park Residents’ Lawn Tennis Club has been successful in its bid. It will enable the Club to offer tennis to more of my constituents. As a tennis player myself, I look forward to being invited to play at the new facility in due course!”

For many years the LESSA site had lain unused and derelict. The 5 tennis courts and the new clubhouse building were provided as part of a development project undertaken by Bellway Homes. As part of the planning permission for the development of the LESSA site, Bellway have built houses and flats on a small part of the site and have enabled the remainder of the site to return to active sports use.

Well done to everyone who reached the finals and congratulations to the winners:

Ladies Singles Final
Saidhanya bt Nicky

Men’s Singles Final
Dishan bt Neville

Junior Exhibition Set
Ellis/Charlie bt Aimee/Huw

Ladies Doubles Final
Saidhanya/Liz bt Lizanne/Maja

Men’s Doubles Final
Ravi/Neville bt Jacek/Sean

Mixed Doubles Final
Lizanne/Jacek bt Saidhanya/Chris

 

Our club has been allocated 24 tickets this year. As soon as we receive details they will be posted on the club notice board.

The draw for these tickets will take place on Sunday 13th May at 3pm. As always, we are strictly following the LTA’s guidelines details of which are posted in the club house.

This is always a popular event with a full programme. Details to follow nearer the time. In the meantime there will be entry forms in the club house this weekend so could all senior members please put your names down for any tournament you’d like to take part in. Entry fee is £3 per tournament and the draw will take place on Sunday 13th May.

In order to enter you must be free to play on 14th July or 15th July in case of bad weather.

Tennis Box League 15 May-17 July 

Congratulations to David who won this summer's League 1 (see attached). And to Nigel who won League 2, and is promoted to the higher echelons of League 1!

The re-introduction of a Singles League seemed to be successful with the vast majority of matches played so well done all who participated.

The next round will begin shortly so please let me know (nevattwood@yahoo.com) if you wish to participate. All standards welcome.