Tennis Chairman’s Report 2017
- Good evening. Thank you for attending this annual event which is designed to give both a report on the year 2016-17 but more importantly to give club members the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback to the tennis committee on any ways that the Club can improve the resources or functions of the tennis section.
- There are no formal rules or regulations governing this meeting, unlike the full Club AGM held yearly in May. I propose to give an overview of the past year and any plans for next year and then we will have reports from the various area of the tennis section. Then I will ask for your feedback on the format of the Club Championships and then the floor will be open for questions and feedback.
- I have been tennis chairman for a full year cycle now and I have really enjoyed the role. I would like to formally thank my fellow tennis committee members for their support and hard work organising and running the various functions of the tennis section.
- The tennis committee is comprised of:
- Secretary Lynda Lyons
- Men’s Captain Alan Gordon
- Ladies Captain Joanna White
- Juniors Rep Geoff Burch
- Social Tennis rep Bev Cabot
- Tuesday Ladies rep Max Coates
- Monday Men’s rep Stuart Brown
- Club Coach Russell May
- At the Tennis AGM in 2016 I reported that the tennis membership had remained stable at around 450 players including well over 120 Juniors. As of the 2nd of October 2017, our membership numbers are as follows. 405 purely tennis members, 22 who have tennis and squash memberships. So, we have a total of 427 adult tennis members and 104 junior tennis members. During this and next year more new members will join nudging up the membership to around 440-450 tennis members by 2018. In total the club currently has 600 members comprised of 122 bridge/social, 405 tennis members, 51 squash and racket ball and 22 tennis and squash and racket ball. There are 220 male members and 270 female numbers and 110 juniors. My thanks to our Club chairman and membership secretary John Richards for this detailed information and the support given to the tennis section by the main Club committee.
- The Club has successfully run our 2 annual LTA tournaments. The Veterans tournament in April and the Junior tournament in August. Both tournaments raised additional income for the club and kept the high profile of the club as an excellent venue for regional and national events. I would like to take this opportunity to thank both organising committees under the leadership of Geoff Burch and Jo White/Alan Gordon for producing excellent tournaments and also all the club members who helped out at these tournaments to facilitate their smooth running.
- The Club Championships came to a head-on finals day in September with a very busy day of finals concluded with a BBQ provided Lynda Lyons and her band of helpers. I would formally like to thank Russell for all his hard work and John Cliff for refereeing the tournament and keeping all the finalists on track. Thanks to Jenny and Mick for manning the bar and refreshments. Thanks to Bob Hillyer and Chris Cabot for producing excellent courts and grounds for finals day but also for maintaining the courts and club grounds throughout the year and getting to grips with the new powered brush that the club purchased during this 2016-17 year.
- The Club ran a variety of internal singles, American tournaments and touch tennis. The Rosemerryn Bowl was very successful last year and the planning is in full swing for this year with outside caterers hopefully providing the Christmas lunch. The annual charity tournament has just been played in aid of Prostate Cancer UK and the current total is £916.17. I am leaving our Justgiving page open because I am hoping for additional donations after the event. The page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/milfordtennisclub . Hopefully we can get near the £1000 mark in the next few weeks.
- A huge thanks to Helen Clarke for providing the salads. Joan Green for the couscous and Di Clark for providing beautiful deserts. Also, John Cliff for running the tournament draw and Ann Rand for manning the kitchen during the day. Plus, all the members who gave raffle prizes for the day. I would also like to thank Dominos pizzas for supporting our event by providing cut prize pizzas. With the men organising the event this year we had to have ‘Pizza” as part of the culinary offer!!
- Resources – Due to excellent membership numbers the Club is able to keep reinvesting in Club facilities. New bulbs have been installed on Courts 1,2 and 3 and the next phase will be to replace salt air damaged igniters. The 6M REBO wall has been installed and is sited at the garage end of court 6. This excellent practice wall is being used on a regular basis by tennis members and juniors. The Club coach also uses the REBO wall for coaching drills and exercises.
- The Club has launched its new website this year and the Club Facebook page is gaining more views and the content is being developed by the Club editors.
- The post of assistant coach is still vacant despite wide spread advertising and interviewing a number of well qualified coaches. Russell is currently covering additional coaching sessions with the help of Mike Moir and we are still exploring how we cover the assistant coach position on a more permanent basis.
- I would like to take this opportunity to thank Russell for all his hard work and dedication to the Club by covering the assistant coach position until we find a suitable candidate for the post.
- In conclusion, I would like to thank all the members of the Club for producing such a friendly and positive environment for tennis at Milford. The support I have had from my committee and club members has been fantastic and we have all pulled together to provide excellent facilities and tennis events that I hope have proved to be very popular and enjoyable for our members.
Juniors Section – Geoff Burch
- I’d like to give a quick update on our Milford Juniors. Junior membership has remained steady at 103 juniors made up of 62 boys and 41 girls so looking positive with some new families joining this last year. Our Mini and Junior categories range all the way from 4 years old through to 16 years old. This last year we enjoyed another full programme of events including our All Stars Tournaments, Junior club evening, The Mini Tour series, Easter & Summer training camps; Junior Singles League, The Junior Closed Tournament, and LTA Junior Match Play events.
- And our Milford Junior LTA Open Tournament – our 79th tournament! was held again in August slightly later this year which proved to be a very successful event with higher entrant numbers than the last few years. Many thanks to all those who kindly helped out and supported this event. So, it will be our 80th year next year of running this tournament which I’m told is an ‘Oak’ anniversary so if anybody would like to whittle us some nice trophies out of Oak that would be great!
- After over 10 years of helping with the juniors I will be standing down at the end of the year so anybody that would like to get involved ideally who has children in the juniors and minis then please speak with myself and Neil.
- Finally, a big thank you to the coaches, children’s parents, grandparents and all the other club members who help make our junior programme possible. We look forward to continuing and expanding our programme over the next year. Thank you.
Geoff Burch – Junior Chairman
Coach’s Report - Russell May
- My report is normally quite long, so I have tried my best to keep it as short as possible whilst still being informative.
- This last year has been a busy year for myself, since the assistant position came available, we are still looking for the suitable candidate, I am lucky to currently have a few coaches who can come and cover some sessions, also the tennis leaders I train up to help out on court are becoming invaluable, but as I am also covering some sessions, this does mean our ability to expand is currently on hold. We are currently in 2 schools to help keep the flow of children on the programme and another has approached us, but currently cannot do.
- All sessions are open to members and non-members, we hold 7 adult sessions a week with 139 a large increase of 50 from last year adults participating in these, and 15 junior sessions a week with 83 an increase of 10 from last year of juniors participating in these sessions, so 222 mainly members enjoying the coaching sessions. This is very good if you go by the LTA telling us they have seen a drop-in participation nationally and just picking up now.
- If your keen to get involved, our coaching process throughout the year is (see flyer) so you know when to join in, individuals lessons we can adapt if needed of course.
- The new pricing structure introduced last year has gone well, where you have the option to sign up for course or pay as you go...
- Our competition programme, - outside of class throughout the year is, has seen our singles leagues prove popular for players to improve their game, still time to enter this winter and winners of summer leagues to pick up their t-shirt., Our junior closed tournament saw Oliver middle go into the road to Wimbledon, Drawn partners have proven tricky for some to get matches played, we are looking into a weekend tournament for this, superset is this Friday for team players, a fun quick fire event, club championships probably the best yet for entries and a superb finals day. Thank you to all who helped.
- Other items this year to help players onto the programme were touch tennis, an ideal introduction to the game, maybe if you’re coming back from injury also. GBTW a free session to introduce tennis to newcomers.
- To support the players off court, we have our stringing service, re-gripping, club shop for shoes racquets etc. club clothing from t-shirts/hoodies, for children and adults, sponsored by Godfrey Charles, making the price to you 40% off. All this can be ordered on the form in foyer. We also send the recyclable balls to dog homes and schools thank you for those who use the system.
- Having the above programme gives us tennismark+ status, thus allowing us to apply for grants from the LTA for new facilities, courts etc.
- Together we create a club and an environment that allows all our members and non-members from minis to juniors and adults enjoy playing the game and improve. Thank you to all , grounds, committee members , volunteers and you..
Fixtures Report 2017- Mick Long
- I think Summer 2017 was a record season for Milford Team Tennis, with 20 teams playing at least 111 matches, in the Dorset, Hampshire, Aegon and National leagues.
- We managed to get through that without any fixture disasters, even though Aegon have fixed match dates that are not published until after the Dorset fixtures have to be confirmed!
- The summer season has around 18-20 ‘playing weeks’ by the time you take away club events and trying to leave some of August free for re-arrangements, so in most weeks we had at least 5 matches being played, often more. We had a few days with 3 matches being played, and I think our record for Summer 2017 was 4 matches on a single day!
- With this many fixtures, it was sometimes necessary to schedule matches during bank holiday weeks, although I try to avoid matches on the bank holiday weekends if I can.
- My intention is also to try and spread out matches for each team, so that there’s at least a couple of weeks between their matches. Generally, we achieved that, but I’m grateful to the captains for not complaining where that was not possible!
- There are also cross-team player clashes to avoid, and generally I think that went ok – again I’m grateful to the captains in dealing with those times where player contention was unavoidable.
- And another thank-you to the captains for getting back to me quickly when I give out alternative dates for weather postponements. With the calendar as full as it is, I cannot hold free match slots for too long as we don’t have many, so the prompt responses are very much appreciated.
- This season got under way at the start of October. Winter league fixtures do tend to come out quite close to the season start – apologies for this, but we are driven by the Dorset LTA fixture setting schedule – their fixture meeting, where the fixtures are finalised, was not held until 13th Sept.
- For the winter, we run fewer teams (I had 12 teams to schedule) in fewer leagues – generally Dorset only. The same scheduling objectives apply as per the summer - a team’s matches 2 weeks apart, avoiding cross-team player clashes - but it’s a less crowded timetable. So the up-front scheduling tends to be much easier than summer, but there’s more work later to deal with a higher number of weather postponements.
- A final point – whilst I don’t want to make the fixture setting any more complex, if there are any team captains who’d PREFER their matches next season to be (or not be) on particular days of the week, please let me know via Jo or Alan. I won’t always be able to give you what you’d prefer, but if I know about it I can at least try. Fixture setting for the summer starts in January - yes less than 3 months away - so I’ll need to know before then.
Men’s Captain’s Report – Alan Gordon
- I will keep this brief in case anyone would like to ask questions later. Our philosophy with all the teams is to run as many as we need to cater for those players who wish to participate whatever their standard. In the Dorset leagues, there are 4-6 divisions in the Mens, Ladies and Mixed competitions so we have plenty of scope. Over the last year some 67 men participated in the 6/7 men’s teams which is roughly 33% of the adult men’s membership. This mirrors the overall club where 127 players have represented us out of approximately 350 adults. Most of our teams have held their own or been promoted. Each Team has a captain with a squad of, on average,6-8 players. We are always looking for new players to join the various squads so please contact any of the committee if you are interested. We enter teams in the summer and winter seasons so it is a year-round competition. Over the last 12 months we have participated in around ---- matches winning just over 50%. Finally, I would like to say a special thank you to Mick Long our fixtures secretary and also to Chris and Bob for ensuring our courts are in tip top condition for the matches.
- On another subject, each April we run our Vets tournament. Last year we had over 200 entries for the various events and raised over £2,000 for Club funds. Thank you everyone for the support and we look forward to running the 2018 event between the 16th -20th of April.
Ladies Captain’s Report – Joanna White
- To start by looking forward to the winter season and then to reflect on the summer season.
- Once again we are fielding a range of ladies teams and hope to build on the success of the summer season. The Ladies 3rd team welcomes a new Captain in Max Coakes as well as some new players. An informal hitting session was held for this group so that they could mix in and meet their fellow team members. They are keen to build on the successful end to last season.
- In the winter the Mixed 1 and 2 teams will play each other in Division 1 whilst the Mixed 3 team are keen to consolidate their position in Division 3 under the able captaincy of Judith Jackson. This team too welcomes a number of new players.
- It is a shame that the teams in the Daytime leagues has reduced resulting in fewer matches in Division 1 but hopefully this will change for next year.
- Looking back it was a highly successful summer season for the Ladies and Mixed teams.
- The daytime 60 + league expanded , which is good news for tennis in Dorset but reduced the number of matches being played as the home and away format was dropped.
- In the Dorset leagues the Ladies 2, led by Sue Keywood won promotion to Division 1 for next summer whilst Judith Jackson steered the Mixed 3 to win Division 4 and are so promoted for summer 2018 to Division 3. After a nail biting end to the season the Ladies 1 stayed in Division 1 in one of the tightest league finishes for a number of years.
- The ladies Hampshire teams did exceptionally well. Marcia Horne captained the Ladies 50+ team to a very close second place in Division 1 whilst Leigh Jerwood masterminded the escape of the Ladies 3 pair team from Div 3. The miles travelled to play in these leagues are considerable but it means that the Club is represented in the Hampshire Leagues and we get to see different clubs and players.
- A brief mention of the teams that played in the National Club knockout tournament in the 60’s and 70’s age group and County teams. The national knockout events attract entries from across the Country and as you might expect means we meet some tough opposition.
- Congratulations to Linda Havers, who representing the County, has won through to the national finals in December as part of the Hampshire 75+ squad. Jess Weguelin was again part of the winning 55+ County team and will also play in the national finals in December. In all 7 ladies play regular County tennis in age groups teams ranging from 55+ to 75+.
- A big thank you to all the ladies who played in 1 or more of the 10 ladies or mixed teams that the club fielded during the last summer and winter seasons. I know Captains are very grateful too to those players who even if not named in a squad turn out when they are needed. A thank you too to the captains of the teams and Mick Long who arranges all the fixtures. In all some 45 lady players represented the club in matches against clubs in Dorset and Hampshire.
- A mention too for the Team training sessions run on the last Friday of the month by Russell and every Wednesday morning at 1pm during term time. These sessions are a great opportunity to meet fellow squad members, and to pick up hints and tips to improve match play. It would be good to see more players at these sessions more regularly.
- It is with some confidence that we look forward to the winter season when we will be fielding 6 ladies teams, including 2 mid week friendly teams, a vets team plus 3 mixed teams.
- We are making more use of the newly revamped Club website to publicise squad members, link through to the league tables and remind members we are always keen to hear from prospective new team members.
- I hope all who have played for the club enjoyed their experience and will continue to help our reputation as a club that is both friendly and competitive.
- Questions and feedback from the floor.
MINUTES OF THE TENNIS AGM HELD ON SATURDAY 14 OCTOBER AT 5PM
members present: Neil Flanagan (Chairman)
Neil welcomed everyone attending the meeting. He then gave the following received apologies:
Judith and Andrew Jackson
Mick and Jenny Garfath
Jane and Nigel Sabin
Judy Ann Letchworth
Neil then read his report – this is displayed behind the minutes on the notice board for members to read should they wish to and on the Club website. He also read the reports from, Ladies Captain (Jo White) and the fixtures report from Mick Long. Geoff Burch then presented his report on the Junior Section and Alan Gordon presented his Men’s Captain report. Russell then read his coaching report to the meeting.
This was followed by any questions or discussions from the floor:
- Very positive comments from the floor on the new surface on courts 5 and 6 and how well they were playing. Alan and Neil explained the process the Club went through to check that the drainage was tested and a film on the tarmac base had developed over the years which inhibited correct drainage. This film was power washed away and then the new surface was laid which corrected the drainage problem on the old surface.
- Very positive comments on the REBOwall and how it was a very good facility for the Club.
- Ken Burbidge identified that with a buoyant membership paying the membership fees the Club has a surplus to spend on facilities. He identified that the committee would welcome suggestions for improving the Club’s facilities. Ken informed the meeting that the Club entrance was to be tidied up with retaining walls created at the entrance and a Club plaque set into the wall.
- A request from Ray to look at increasing the height of the green wind proofing netting on courts 1, 2 and 3 was put forward.
- A general plea from a number of members on closing the gates and signage so that members remember this action when they are leaving the courts. NFl to email members again re this action.
- Mary suggested the idea of a Junior Bursary to help juniors with competition expenses. There was discussion on what the criteria would be and how the bursary would be awarded and administered. NFl to raise with the tennis committee
Neil thanked the meeting for the comments and said they would inform future discussions at the tennis committee.
There were no other questions and the meeting closed at 6pm.