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Loddon Tennis Club Spring 2024 Newsletter

By Rik Balfour Club Chairman

Club Tournaments & Leagues

Do you know how much the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy is worth? If you do, you should definitely be entering the Loddon Tennis Club Quiz in The Jub Hub on Friday 19th April at 7pm! Well, whatever it’s worth, it couldn’t possibly match the value of the home-made prizes on offer at our Xmas Mixed Doubles Cup or last month’s Nadal vs Federer Team Tournament. Congratulations to Carol and Keith, our Xmas Doubles Champs and to the awesome Team Nadal on the narrowest of victories over Team Federer. Pictures of the winners with their unique trophies and medals.

The club’s Competition Organiser, Rob Atkinson, is currently making plans for the Loddon’s first Club Championships with both singles and doubles tournaments to be run over the summer, culminating in a late-summer Finals Day.

On the inter-club side of things, following on from our successful first outings in the summer and winter leagues, Loddon’s teams are set to return to action in May. With two mens teams, a ladies team and a mixed team there’s opportunities for all to get involved. Please let me know if you’d like to play and I’ll put you in touch with the relevant team captains for the 2024 summer leagues.

Mixed Team Captain: Elaine Spencer

Mens Team Captains: Keith Watson & James Preston

Ladies Team Captain: Mel Herwin

Greatest Love (of) All

Jack, Tennis Leader & Phoebe, Level 1 Coaching Assistant

Recently, it was pointed out to me that my previous newsletters have under-represented the junior side of the club. We currently have an impressive 68 junior members, 58 of whom are under-12. I pointed out that when it comes to the newsletter’s content, surely all 42 of the 42 people that rated the newsletter 10 out of 10 can’t be wrong (see Spectacular Survey 2023)! But there has been little coverage of the excellent progress our juniors have been making and, upon reflection, much like Whitney Houston, I believe children are our future. Of course they’re also argumentative, fussy eaters and spend too much time on screens. And, whilst solving the first two issues is most likely impossible, the junior coaching sessions make for a brilliantly healthy and enjoyable antidote to screen time!

As well as Club Coach, Paul Solomon, the juniors now have a team of Tennis Leaders and Level 1 Coaching Assistants helping them progress. On behalf of the juniors thanks to Jack, Pheobe, Sam, Tom and Joseph for their time and effort.

What, exactly, is a Tennis Leader, I hear you ask? Fear not, Jack has the answer…

“In the summer I completed a course that taught me the basics of being a tennis leader and becoming a tennis coach. The Introduction to Tennis Leaders Level 1 teaches high school aged children the first steps on how to help or be the coach. There are 3 modules in this course. The first of these is the “Introduction to Leading Tennis”, a 4-hour session where you learn the steps of a tennis session and how to lead it. I learnt how to lead a warmup, with and without a racket, the learning aspect where people are taught how to play tennis and gameplay where you use the skills you learn. The second part was “helping at a competition”, where I helped to run a tournament. Here I learnt how scoring works and how a tournament is set up. The final module was “helping at a venue”; for this I have helped Paul to coach one of the Junior sessions every week over the course of 10 weeks.  This course was beneficial for me as it has helped my communication skills and it gave me a major confidence boost. I strongly recommend it to everyone who is able to give it a go.”

Guest Fees

Over the years, Loddon Tennis Club has hosted many guest players and since last year’s court refurbishment, the feedback has been fantastic. So that guests, as well as members, contribute to the cost of keeping Loddon’s courts in top condition, the subcommittee has introduced a small guest fee that can be paid by the member making the booking.

To pay the guest fee: When booking a court, please select +Add Participant, enter the guest’s name and you will be able to pay the ludicrously good value guest fee of £1 per 30 minutes.

Whilst on the subject of guests, let me assure you that non-members are incredibly welcome at Loddon Tennis Club’s Quiz in The Jub Hub on Friday 19th April at 7pm. The more the merrier.

Communication Challenges

Currently the tennis club has 3,147 WhatsApp groups, none of which contain all members. So, in an effort to improve club communications we are starting a trial of Spond, which is a ‘Free Team Management App and Club Management Tool’. Spond will help with checking availability for sessions and team matches, make communication between the club and members smoother and allow new members to integrate into the club more rapidly. In future it will be much easier for me to instantly contact you all if say, for example, I wanted to let you know that tables for the Loddon Tennis Club Quiz in The Jub Hub on Friday 19th April at 7pm are selling out fast, which no doubt will very soon be the case.

For now, club communications will still remain on our club WhatsApp group, which can be joined by clicking here from your mobile device.

A Smorgasbord of Spring Snippets

Welfare: Craig Broadley-Naylor has just taken over as the club’s Welfare Officer. We’ll be sharing Craig’s contact details soon and he’ll be coming along to sessions to introduce himself. Craig brings a wealth of experience having previously been Welfare Officer at Beccles Tennnis Club and we wish him all the best in his new role.

Something for the Weekend: The Club Survey showed some enthusiasm for playing at weekends. The subcommittee would love to support a volunteer-led, mixed club session on a Saturday or Sunday. If you’d be interested in volunteering to co-ordinate this, please let us know; you wouldn’t need to attend every week and there’d be help available on selecting formats if needed.

Timetable: A link to the current club timetable is here and for any queries on sessions, please contact Paul at loddontennis@loddontowncouncil.gov.uk.

Club Kit: If you want your tennis outfit to look as dapper as the refurbished courts, an order for club kit is going in by mid-April, in time for the summer team matches. Please check out the kit selection here and contact Paul with your order.

CCTV: Please note that the town council have installed CCTV on the tennis courts, for the safety and security of everyone using the courts.

Clubhouse Code: A reminder that should you want access to the clubhouse, the code is 6076; the clubhouse contains a first aid kit.

Shed News: On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank Discount Shed & Stables for fitting the additional door inside our clubhouse at no additional cost. They’ve done a fantastic job on the clubhouse and if you’re looking for someone to build your tennis clubhouse, we’d highly recommend them. They’re a friendly, family run business and if a tennis clubhouse is a bit niche for you, they can build any standard or bespoke timber building. Check them out on Facebook here.

Committee Meeting: If you’re still hungry for more tennis updates after this newsletter, the next quarterly tennis subcommittee meeting will be held this Friday, April 5th in the Hollies Rear Hall at 1.00pm. Please let me know if you’d like to attend or if you have any correspondence, you’d like me to share with the committee.

Final Thought

Did I mention we’re hosting a quiz soon? It would be great to see you all there. Loddon Tennis Club’s Quiz in The Jub Hub on Friday 19th April at 7pm