Tennis report – 2017 AGM
I very much feel like the new boy here having only been in post for such a short amount of time, even though I first joined The Weald as long ago as 1988, back in the days when I could actually play tennis. That said in this short time we have formed a new tennis committee and huge thanks must go to Lorrayne Molloy, Suzy Gray, Bradley Bant, Luke Evans, Sandra Clarke and Sharon Slade. They stepped up to the plate and have been a huge help to me. I should also like to thank Gill Andersson who has also been very supportive and my predecessor Phil Latham who every time I e mail him for advice and help never fails to send me valuable information.
Since the new Tennis committee was formed a couple of months ago we have looked into the way that the club purchases equipment and maintains the courts and surrounds. We wanted to get a more robust ordering process in place and Sharon has sourced a sole supplier for tennis equipment (excluding balls) thus ensuring best quality/price and only she or her staff will be able to order such equipment, ensuring that the club knows at all times what equipment it actually has and when and how much it needs to order. You will have seen the new storage area at the back of the club which will be invaluable. We have ordered two new benches for courts 1 and 2 of the clay and new court bins are also currently on trial. We have liaised extensively with Mike our groundsman and he has taken on an assistant to enable him to give more time to improve the look of the club, for example there is ongoing repair work now to the grass area to the south of the clay courts.
Obviously the most significant improvement in our facilities this year is the installation of the floodlights for the clay courts. Project managing this to a successful conclusion was a significant task and I should like to formally thank our membership secretary, Alison for her excellent work, not that I am biased you understand.
Social tennis continues to be ably looked after by Suzy and can I implore members to support these events as a huge amount of work goes into setting up and running them and it is very disheartening if they are poorly supported or worse people sign up and then pull out. We are really pleased that Jan Gonella has agreed to take on the running of Wednesday morning social tennis and a big thanks to her and also to her illustrious predecessor Simon Strange who did such a great job.
Having our Lead Coach, Bradley, on our committee is a great asset and we have now formalised the club’s relationship with our coaching team and we are sure that this will now go from strength to strength. Our coaching programmes - my thanks go to all our coaches who turn out in all weathers to provide marvellous support to our Club programme, one that caters in the most part for all members seeking to access the programme. This programme is our primary member recruitment and retention tool and will continue to be developed and adjusted over the next year by the Tennis Committee in consultation with the coaching team. My thanks to Bradley, Tom and Jarryd for their time and effort this last year.
In terms of our teams the Men’s 1st team was sadly relegated from Team Tennis Regional – but hopefully they will look to make an immediate return in 2018. The Ladies 1st made Team Tennis Inter County Playoffs under Petra, so a big congratulations there. We also had a great result as the Ladies 1st were County Doubles Champions under Emma Richardson.
The Men’s 4ths under Carl Valentine won Div .6 for a second successive summer promotion and The Weald Open was praised by outsiders for a being a great week. It was the first tournament in Sussex to have a wheel chair event running alongside able bodied players of which we should be very proud of and thanks must go to Gill for organising the Wheelchair event.
The Club Champs was successful as ever this year, with players not only dealing with the pressures of playing against fellow members and training partners but the conditions as well. That being said, on finals day, we couldn't have hoped for a better occasion with the sun beaming out and the sight of familiar faces such as Petta Sedova and Timmy Gedin, just to name a couple, battling it out to retain their singles and doubles titles from all their many challengers.
The tennis on show was great and as a club its really encouraging to see so many members so passionate about this event. Thanks to Gill for refereeing 3 days and Phil one day.
We have continued our link with Windmills School – many thanks to Mick Mccarron and we have now opened talks with Downlands via Gill Stafford and Bradley.
That’s about it for this year; I’d be pleased to hear from any members throughout the year with positive suggestions on how we can continue to improve our great club.