Minutes of 2018 FTC annual general meeting



The meeting was held at the Fishbourne Centre, attended by 22 members, and the following Committee Members: David Lord (chair), Bryan Doling(treasurer), Sue Bargery, Kate Gurl (welfare), Sam Hart, Bob Murray (vice-chair), Gareth Price and Ivor Smith (membership); and Alex Bone (Generation Tennis) by invitation.  Apologies for absence were received from Nicola Dawtrey, Pammi Haylett, Edgar and Anne Houlson, Anne Kelly, Mary Marriott, Priscilla Pendle, Lynne Smith, Sarah and Duncan Stewart, Helen Strike, Jean Watson and Brian and Elizabeth Williams.

David Lord paid tribute to two former club members, Robin Birtley and Gaye Collins, who had passed away earlier this year.  Both Robin and Gaye had made very valuable contributions to the life of the club and the Committee over many years.

1. Minutes of 2017 AGM

There were no matters arising that would not be discussed later in the meeting. Roy Hay proposed that the minutes be accepted, seconded by Sue Groves. Minutes of this meeting will be posted on the Clubhouse noticeboard.

2. Re-election of the Committee

David Lord reported that his tenure as Chairman expired in September 2017 after four years, but was acting chairman for this AGM.  A new Chairman is sought from the membership. The Committee as listed above were approved for re-election, as proposed by Roy Hay and seconded by Simon Fallon.

3. Official Reports.

The Chairman reported that this had been another successful year for the club. The annual club championships, including a new veterans’ section (Vets65), had seen the highest entry ever and the Finals Day and BBQ had gone exceptionally well.  There were commendable successes by the various league teams (Portsmouth and District Leagues), and club tennis sessions and the social programme had been generally very well supported.  Highlights included Ivor replacing a floodlight bulb and the tennis nets and Jim completing the new shed – thanks to both!

The club was now preparing to move forward with its Improvement Plan in 2018, which would help bring it up to the standard of other tennis clubs.  This plan would of course involve quite a lot of expenditure, afforded through prudent management of the club’s finances over the years.  Members had been kept informed of and consulted on the proposals.  Elements of the plan outlined by David and Bob are:

  • resurfacing of Court 2. After consultations with members and discussions with various companies, the decision has been taken to change the surface to a form of artificial grass, Tiger Turf Advantage Pro. This will provide advantages in comfort and accessibility in all weathers; maintenance will be undertaken by the suppliers under contract.  Some decisions will have to be made about its accessibility to the general public and rules about appropriate footwear will need to be applied.  It is hoped that the work will be undertaken in June.
  • additional floodlighting will be carried out in two phases  (Court 4 in 2018 followed by Court 1 in due course), subject to the requirements of the approved planning permission; there will need to be adjustments to the electrical supply to the site and to the pavilion which is being finalised;
  • refurbishment to fencing, the pavilion and existing floodlights are also incorporated within the Improvement Plan.

The Membership Secretary, Ivor Smith, reported that there were currently 147 members (slightly down on last year), including 27 juniors.  The membership was split 50/50 men/women and over half the members were aged over 60. One third of members resided in Chichester, 30% in Fishbourne and 30% in Bosham.  Following past trends, the number of members was likely to increase in the coming weeks.  It continues to be important to attract new members as there is always some fall-out of existing members due to a variety of reasons.

The Treasurer, Bryan Doling, presented detailed accounts for the last year, explaining some apparent minor anomalies.  He reported that the club’s finances were healthy.  The aim to produce an annual surplus of £9,000-£10,000 had been maintained so that the club was now able to afford the sizeable expenditure (c.£40,000 plus VAT), needed this year to implement the improvement plan. The meeting agreed that the £10,000 grant offer from the LTA (plus interest free loan) should be declined due to their unsatisfactory terms and conditions relating to member liability in case of default which the Committee could not recommend.  The need to continue to provide funding for resurfacing of Courts 1, 3 and 4 in due course, further improvements and ongoing maintenance of facilities requires that the membership fee should increase to £115 for 2019-2020.  Approval of this recommendation was proposed by Sue Groves and seconded by Trevor Bracher.

Acceptance of the 2017-2018 accounts was proposed by Simon Fallon and seconded by Bill Cove.

Bryan and Ivor were thanked for their diligence and hard work in carrying out these roles, as well as extensive research, on behalf of the Club.

4. Tennis activities.

Information on Club sessions, Competitions and Leagues was presented:

  • as usual American tournaments have proved popular.  Roy and June were thanked for organising these for some years, as were all the member contributors to the catering!  Gareth Price has now offered to take this on for our next American Tournament on May 6;
  • so far 50 entries have been received for the 2018 club championships.  An entry fee of £3 per person (no matter how many events) is being charged.  The Vets65 event will continue due to popular demand, and some great matches are anticipated as titles (and pride) are defended;
  • there is participation in the teams for 7 of the Portsmouth and District Leagues.  The teams achieved some excellent results and final positions in the winter leagues – congratulations to all the players! Not a single match was missed despite the poor weather of the last few months.  Team Captains were thanked for their work and Bob Murray was thanked for his work in co-ordinating the league activities.

Coaching and Generation Tennis activities were outlined by Alex Bone.   This ninth year of partnership between Generation Tennis at the Club saw continued development of the coaching programme and the attraction through it of new club members.  Tuesday and Wednesday evenings have an adult men’s coaching session followed, on Tuesday, by a “rusty racquets” session. Wednesday evening is ladies team coaching. Friday morning a ladies coaching session.  Coaching for juniors takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday evening is a performance session for boys.  Saturday afternoon there are sessions for children and then for 9/10-year-olds.

Generation Tennis were applauded for their continued and enthusiastic role in helping to introduce tennis to the local community, to develop our adult and junior members’ skills, and further Fishbourne Tennis Club’s profile in the County.

5. Social activities

The past year’s social programme covered a range of activities as usual. The Table-tennis evening and Quiz Night were ‘sell-outs’ again although the Christmas event was not as well attended as in previous years, but still a successful evening.  Club members are invited to forward suggestions for social activities in the coming year, such as a Barn Dance in the autumn? A similar programme is planned for 2018.  The annual bowls event with the Bowls Section of Fishbourne Club will not be held this summer due to bad weather delaying the start of the bowls season.

6. Any other business.

Please keep your Clubhouse clean and tidy – we all need to help! Please add your name to the rota in the clubhouse to help organise or help when you’re there.

It was noted that the power supply to the clubhouse has been interrupted from time to time. This is being investigated.

The meeting closed at 8.53pm.

This was followed by the draw for 16 pairs of tickets for the 2018 Wimbledon Championships allocated to Fishbourne Tennis Club through our affiliation with the LTA.

Fishbourne Tennis Club Committee,  April 2018