August Newsletter

First of all, a warm welcome to our new members. The last couple of months has seen a number of new people join; either people stranded with their families during the Covid-19 crisis, or players from other clubs where facilities are not yet opened or just those that have realised tennis is a great way to exercise and have some fun. So welcome!

The club has tried to react quickly to the various Government changes and most importantly to allow players to play tennis. It is a strange environment that we are living in and it is clear that we are going to have to live with this virus for a while. I realise that the guard has been going down recently as the Government has relaxed the rules but I would ask you to respect the Covid-19 rules and regulations and do take special care about your distancing at the club. If we have an outbreak and the tennis club is connected with this then we could have to close the club. As we have seen with both Spain and Manchester this virus is still very much with us and the potential for disruption is very apparent. So, please keep abreast of the rules and adhere to social distancing and of course, the washing of hands.

The club is getting back to normal operation, and a series of friendly matches will start soon. We now have access to the club house but please remember this is really just to access the floodlights and the toilets when urgent. There are cleaning products inside the clubhouse, so please use them if you have to use the toilets or floodlights. The kitchen and the main clubhouse are still CLOSED. There is a potable water tap by the entrance gate which you can use to fill water bottles. The first aid kit will be located near the light controls. For the captains of both adult and junior matches please ensure that the guests are welcomed and ensure they use the facilities in line with our rules.

The courts are currently not as busy and with the school on holiday we also have access to the CVS courts. On this basis we will now allow visitors back to the BSTC site. The visitor rules remain the same; an adult visitor costs £5 a time and juniors are £1 per time.  The maximum number of visitors is three and a visitor can only visit four times a year. To respect the fact that people have taken out memberships, will members please observe this rule strictly and do not bring visitors down to the club unless they pay for the session. Any person who subsequently joins can have their visitor fee reimbursed, just ask.

The option to use the CVS courts has been a real bonus. There are a number of Bristol-based clubs and coaches who have being using the courts (with our approval) and the option to have this Pay and Play facility has been a great asset to the local community. The Chew Valley Badminton Club has also been hiring the courts to help their performance players get some activity and practice. Mike and the coaches have also been using the courts more as the four courts together make coaching distanced groups easier. Equally, club members have been using the courts and they provide a suitable alternative to BSTC hard courts. The coaches and the younger players say the hard courts are as good as BSTC, and the LED lights are much better than ours. I encourage all our club members to try the courts out and will increasingly encourage their use for matches.

The committee spends a lot of time trying to ensure a sensible allocation of court time between social groups, the provision of coaching, club-organised social groups and the league players.  We endeavour to make this acceptable to all. We do not claim to get this right all of the time, and I would encourage any of our members to approach me if you have any concerns. We do change bookings reasonably often and sometimes do not see the clashes that may occur. If no one speaks to us to raise concerns then don’t be surprised if they are not corrected!

Keith has placed orders with Courtstall to get the fencing at the back of courts one and two replaced, so no more balls disappearing out of reach. We hope to get this done before September and it will take some courts out of operation for a day or two. The committee has decided that it is time to replace the outdoor furniture and so we will be researching options. Any ideas or suggestions let me know.

The tournament draw is now out and can be found in the ‘Playing’ section of the club website. Would competitors please pay their entry fees and start organising their first-round matches. Good luck and let’s hope that we can get a finals day on Sunday 18th October, Covid-19 permitting! More details to follow nearer the time.

Finally, the eagerly anticipated AGM will be going ahead by zoom on Tuesday 8th September 2020 at about 7.00pm.

Keep well.

David Tonkin

On Behalf of BSTC Committee