The COVID-19 restrictions came into force just as our Winter Tournaments were due to play their final matches. It was high summer before doubles matches were permitted again, so it did feel quite odd to be playing a Winter Tournament Final on a beautiful warm summer evening!
Congratulations to the champions, and well played to everyone who took part in damp, blustery and/or cold conditions that are the hallmark of winter tennis matches.
The LTA, in consultation with the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, have confirmed that turn up and play sessions (often known as club or social sessions) may resume provided that clubs are following the appropriate protocol. We are therefore very pleased to be able to let you know that our "Social Tennis" sessions will resume from this Sunday 19th July (not Saturday, due to existing court bookings taking priority).
Before leaving home to play tennis, all participants should undergo a self-assessment symptom check for any COVID-19 symptoms using the information on the NHS website.
The peg board that is normally used to arrange sets in an equitable manner cannot be used—games will be arranged verbally instead. Please try to ensure everyone has a fair chance to play.
If you play with someone new, or that you don't know, make sure you exchange names, in case this is needed for NHS Test and Trace. The club will provide contact details to NHS Test and Trace for anyone who might have come into contact with an infection at a social session.
The club has installed hand sanitiser dispensers at the entrance to the courts. Please use this before entering and after leaving the courts. Even better, bring your own sanitiser and use it between sets.
As per our normal practice, most of the time there will be new balls supplied by the club. Where balls are not completely used following a Saturday session, they will be put aside and not used until at least Wednesday.
I have never been to Social Tennis. Can I come along?
Absolutely! Social tennis is open to all Senior and Student Members, plus Junior members who have been invited to participate by the Committee. It's great fun, we provide all the balls (plus floodlights when required) and you get to meet new people while playing some relaxed and convivial sets of tennis.
When is Social Tennis?
Saturday and Sunday from about 1:30pm until everyone has had enough fun.
Wednesday evenings from 7pm (free floodlighting provided).
Tuesday and Thursday mornings from about 10am until 12noon (2pm next week, 21st and 23rd July due to Junior Summer Camps).
Although many pubs and restaurants have re-opened, the government guidelines still advise against gatherings of more than 6 people from different households. We have therefore decided to cancel weekend and Wednesday evening social sessions until at least 15th 18th July.
Tuesday & Thursdays – The "mid-week section"
A number of Tuesday & Thursday morning regulars have been arranging 4s at 10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays to avoid missing their regular tennis-based exercise. To facilitate our mid-week regulars being able to stay fit and healthy, we have decided to trial reinstating the Tuesday and Thursday morning sessions with the proviso that attendees must follow the government guidelines and not mix with more than 5 other people per-session. For 8 players this means dividing into 2 fours at the beginning and not mixing, for 10 players you will need to split into two groups of 5 with no crossover, and so on. Please enjoy these sessions safely and responsibly!
Late yesterday the LTA issued updated guidance regarding the playing of tennis in England. The key change for players is that people from different households may now play doubles. However group activities such coaching are restricted to 6 persons and therefore "turn up and play" sessions (aka club/social tennis) may not resume at this time.
We are very pleased to confirm that following the latest update to the Government Coronavirus Regulations, the courts will be available to members for appropriate use from the afternoon of Wednesday 13th May. Only singles play is permitted, other than where players are all from the same household in which case they can play doubles. Please ensure you remain at least 2m away from all players who are not members of your household.
The clubhouse remains closed, drinking water and toilet facilities will not be available. Please bring sufficient water to the club, and wash your hands upon your return home. For further advice on staying safe is available from the LTA Coronavirus page, and we encourage all members to read and follow the published Guidance for Players.
To allow members to make use of the hitting wall and ball machine, please use courts 2, 3 and 5 in preference to 1 (ball machine) and 4 (hitting wall). We are sure many of you are raring to get back on court so please do use the online court booking system to ensure there is court available to play before travelling to the club. When booking courts, please do not book more time than you will use to ensure everyone has a fair chance to play.
Please note that since doubles is the principal form of play at Club Social Tennis sessions these remain suspended for the moment.
Following Government requirements, the tennis club is now closed and the premises locked. We hope all of our members are taking good care of themselves in these difficult times.
To give you something to look forward to, once this virus is defeated, José has promised to put on the biggest and best social session we've ever had! In the interim, the LTA are currently tweeting daily videos of suggestions for how you can practice some tennis skills while at home.
In summary, the tennis courts can remain open for use to help people remain active, subject to strict social distancing and hygiene practices being employed. However the clubhouse is closed except for essential hand washing and we would encourage you to bring hand sanitiser or antiseptic wipes to use instead.
Whether you are an experienced player looking for a friendly club experience, a "rusty racquet" wishing to return to the sport or a complete beginner, our club has something for you!
To showcase our new and modern facilities, we are hosting an Open Afternoon on Saturday 2nd May. Our fantastic coaching team will be offering some free coaching sessions, including a taster of the best way to keep fit with a tennis racquet, Cardio Tennis. You can also try out the courts by playing a few convivial sets with our friendly and welcoming existing members.
Secure your place by signing up online. If you enjoy yourself you will definitely want to take advantage of our amazing value membership so don't forget to bring your cheque book to secure some special one-day only deals on coaching.
If you are unable to make it on the day then please do drop by the club during one of our club tennis sessions for a free trial.
Sign up is now open for José's Easter Tennis camps! Based on fun, teamwork and tennis, these camps run from 10am-3pm Monday 6th to Thursday 9th April, and then again from Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th April. For full details and to secure your child's place, book online.
NB: During these weeks, Tuesday and Thursday social tennis for Senior Members will be held at the later time of 3-5pm.
All Senior, Student and Parent/Guardian Members are warmly invited to join us at 1:30pm on Sunday 1st March for coach-led social with José, followed by the Club's Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 3:30pm. Refreshments of cheese and wine (and alternative drinks) will be available to make it an enjoyable social occasion.
We will aim to keep the formal business of the meeting as brief as possible, and it will include an opportunity for Q&A with the Committee and Head Coach. We hope as many members as possible can join us to celebrate the start of the new tennis season on what is always a very sociable occasion.