Tennis News

Court Resurfacing

The work to resurface the block of three courts begins on Monday, Aug 17, although some preparatory work might start on the weekend. Since the work involves repairing the underlying asphalt the project is expected to take four weeks. The car park will be unavalable for use during that first week. 

As the coaches will be taking their annual leave after the end of the summer children's camps on Aug 14, all of the block of four courts will be available for general play for the following two weeks or so. Coaching is expected to restart on Sept 3, using the back two courts. Thus, from that point, until the resurfacing work is finished, only two courts will be available for general play. 

Court booking ceases on Aug 14 and will not be restarted. Hence, during this short period when only two courts will be available for general play, we should expect to wait for a court to become available and then come off after playing only one set. Only doubles should be played while people are waiting to play, 

Booking Slot Reduction

With the change in court usage because of the camps we are reducing the weekly court booking slots available from 3 to 2 per booker. Before the camps, there were four courts available for 12 hours. There are now three courts available for 6 hours, and, hence fewer booking slots are appropriate. This will be kept under continual review.

Side Gate Lock Replaced

The lock to the side gate on the Blackberry Path has been replaced and your old keys should now work.

Courts Usage During Camps

The summer camps for kids begin on Monday, July 6, and will continue for six weeks until mid-August. The camps will take place between 9:30AM and 3:30PM, Monday-Friday, and will be held on the block of four courts, as they have in the past. While camps are on, general play will be on the block of three courts. Before and after camp times, general play will be held, as now, on the block of four courts. After camps end, coaching will continue on the block of three courts. However, at the weekend, at least one of the coaching courts on the block of three will be available for general play, in addition to the block of four courts.  

Court booking will be applied to general play on the block of three courts while camps are on. But, as general play reverts to the block of four courts after camps have finished, courts will not be booked but will become like weekends are now. 

I will be issuing another newsletter regarding court arrangements once the resurfacing of the block of three courts starts after the camps finish.

Finally, I would like to thank all those who emailed me with appreciation for the last newsletter. While I fully endorsed the wording and sentiments expressed, the words were not mine, but crafted by Matt Bamford. 

Court Booking Thoughts

Your understanding and patience during the Coronavirus crisis has been much appreciated and has enabled us, the tennis committee, to formulate plans for the future without undue stress. The feedback regarding the court booking system has been predominantly positive, despite a few teething problems at the start, but, of course, such a restrictive system doesn’t suit everybody; so we are working on a medium-term solution whilst the country eases tentatively out of lockdown. Rest assured that all views will be taken into account, but at no point will the fundamental DNA of Brondesbury change. We are an inclusive club and have, since 2008, been working hard to create a ‘family’ of club members and coaches who know, like and respect each other. The transition from 100% booking to the total freedom of days gone by may be a rocky road, and, of course, all compromises will be considered, but our ethos is different to institutions such as a David Lloyd Centre, where booking is the only possible option and, as a result, club spirit completely absent. This Brondesbury spirit is often remarked upon when we play away matches, or when visitors come to us. One of the men’s teams regularly travels abroad to spread an equal mixture of camaraderie and mediocre tennis to the citizens of Mallorca. These friendship groups would never have developed under an exclusive booking scheme. Similarly, two of our coaches joined the club as little boys and, although their educational paths were separate, the Brondesbury bond and the access to better players, brought them back full circle to continue the evolution of the next generation.
So please bear with us whilst we ponder these divergent views, and try to remember the club you joined: we pride ourselves on our social cohesion; the co-operative ethos of the volunteers who work hard on your behalf; the professionalism and decency of the coaching team; and, above all, the sheer luxury of hitting a ball with friends in such fabulous surroundings. For some people, the lockdown has been a lonely and traumatic experience - let’s appreciate our good fortune during this unforgettable time and look forward to a summer of good health and great tennis.

Weekend Social Play - Update

Last Sunday reverted to its 'normal' unbooked state and went ahead, as far as we can tell, as it did before lockdown. Hence, weekends will continue in this manner. I am receiving emails from some of you about the court booking system, which will continue for midweek play for the immediate future. Hence, the three weekly slots 'bookers' have are now needed only for five days of the week rather than seven. The booking system remains under review and will need to be adapted when the kids camps begin on July 6.

Side Gate Lock

The padlock on the side gate into the club grounds from Blackberry Path has been changed temporarily.  It was installed (and the old one removed) during recent repairs to the gate and fence.  A replacement lock has been ordered and will arrive in about 10 days time.  The keys for the old lock will fit the replacement, so PLEASE DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR OLD KEYS.  There are no spare keys available for the temporary lock currently in place.

Sunday Social Tennis

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, courts this Sunday will not be booked. We should all return to the way the club operated prior to lockdown. Thus, if all courts are in use, people playing singles should enable those waiting to form a doubles. With people waiting for a court, a court should be vacated at the end of a set. People waiting should, of course, maintain appropriate social distance. 

It's intended that this practice will continue for all weekends from now on.

Marina will be running kids camps over the summer holidays and, when they have finished, the block of three courts will be resurfaced, including the underlying asphalt, in the second half of August and first part of September. I will let you know later how we plan to organise coaching and play over the summer.

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