Minutes of the Fishbourne Tennis Club annual general meeting 2023, held Wednesday 12 April

1. Welcome and Introduction
Apologies were received from 11 members. There were 22 attendees.

As the acting chairman, Bryan Doling, welcomed the members and thanked them for attending. It was noted that we still do not have a Chairperson for the club.

2. Minutes of the 2022 AGM

The minutes of the 2022 AGM had been circulated and there were no matters arising.
The motion to approve the minutes was propose by Mike Hall-Hall and seconded by Roy Hay.

3. Re-Election of Committee and New Members

Those offering themselves for election were:

Bob Murray Bryan Doling Kate Gurl Debbie Jupe Gordon Read Ivor Smith

The motion to accept the re-election of the Committee was proposed by Nikki Scott and seconded by David Lord.

4. Membership Report
Ivor Smith presented the previously circulated membership report. The following additional observations and amplifications were made:

  1. It was noted that membership renewals are always down from the peak of the previous year with gains made throughout the season.
  2. We already have three new members who had previously played as pay-and-play customers.
  3. The general trend is that the Membership has plateaued with fairly equal numbers of Adult Men and Women.
  4. Whilst there is a shortage of Junior members there is very active junior tennis participation with Generation Tennis. In order to encourage Alex’s junior sessions we do not require juniors to be members of FTC.
  5. The geographical spread of members continues to show a wide catchment area with few members from Fishbourne.
  6. The mature age group demographic is expected to result in a significant number of non- renewals each year.
  7. The Pay-and-Play figures show a significant increase for 2022-23. This is something of a distortion due to the way the numbers are calculated. With the previous booking system the count is for pay-and-play customers who used the courts. With the new system the count is for pay-and-play sessions booked.
  8. During the 2022-23 season we were obliged to change the booking system. The previous OpenPlay system was retired by the supplier. We elected to go with the LTA sponsored Clubspark system. For LTA affiliated clubs, the only cost for this system is a transaction fee for all pay-and-play sessions booked. Clubspark also have a good support system.

5. Finance Report

Bryan Doling presented the previously circulated audited accounts for 2022-23.

  1. A loss of about £11K was reported for the year, largely due to the expenditure of about £25K on court re-surfacing and maintenance. We now have all four courts recently re-surfaced.
  2. However, we must expect further annual court maintenance costs for power washing and chemical treatments in 2023-24.
  3. We are also expecting an increase in the FPFA levy on members.
  4. Income from subscriptions and pay-and-play customers were both up.
  5. We have only one final repayment of the interest free loan to the FPFA of £17.5K.
  6. A question was asked about the cost of electricity. This was shown as a reduction from the previous year. It was confirmed that we have received a number of confusing bills but they all definitely related to our meter. The expectation was that electricity costs would probably double in 2023-24.

In the light of the expected cost increases, Bryan proposed that the adult membership fee be increased to £165 for the 2024-25 season. This proposal was favourably received by the attendees.

A motion to accept the Audited Accounts and increase the adult membership fee to £165 for the 2024-25 was proposed by Pammi Haylett and seconded by David Lord.

6. Facilities Improvement

Bob Murray summarised the various improvements to the facilities during the 2022-23 season.

  1. Our significant spending over the last two years has resulted in two newly re-surfaced hard courts and two excellent artificial grass courts, all with floodlights.
  2. All courts have been cleaned and treated as required.
  3. We are, therefore, coming to the end of a spending cycle and can look forward to re-building our sinking fund for future projects.
  4. Efforts have also been made to keep the courts clean, tidy and weed free.
  5. Overall, therefore, the club is in very good shape.
  6. Although no decision has been taken, we would like to upgrade the floodlights on courts 3 and 4 to LEDs. This would not only improve the light level but also reduce the electricity costs.
  7. The budget cost is likely to be about £14K for both courts but there may be further costs to add an extra floodlight pole.
  8. The clubhouse is also in need of repair to rotten timbers, followed by re-painting.

7. Welfare
Debbie Jupe summarised the welfare activities.

In line with LTA requirements, we have a new ”Safeguarding Policy” and a “Diversity and Inclusion Policy”. These are available to view on the website.

These documents were approved during a meeting with the LTA.

We are seeking a volunteer to look after the defibrillator.

Bob explained that the unit had gone back to the supplier for a software upgrade and new pads. The battery is OK.

8. Tennis Activities

American Tournaments

Thanks were extended to Pammi for organising a whole series of well attended and much enjoyed tournaments.

The next American Tournament was scheduled for Sunday 23rd April. League Tennis

It was reported that FTC had seen considerable success with the teams competing in the Portsmouth District LTA Summer and Winter leagues.

The Summer league saw 2 promotions this year for FTC. The ladies and men’s teams both go up a division.

The men’s team are representing FTC in Division 1 out of 5. A considerable achievement when faced with competing against much bigger clubs.

The Winter league saw 2 more promotions for the ladies and the mixed teams.

We now have 5 teams entered into the league representing the club.

Thanks were extended to all the captains for volunteering to run the teams, not always an easy job.

If any member would like to get involved with league tennis then please contact Kate, League Co- ordinator, at [email protected].

Club Championships 2022

This was a very well attended and successful event. Thanks were extended to Kate and her team.

Club Championships 2023

All members had been sent details of the 2023 Championships.

The finals day will be on Saturday September 9th, if wet, Sunday 10th September.

Kate made available the entry forms to sign-up.

Club Sessions

Club sessions are intended to provide an opportunity for all members of all standards to meet together an enjoy mix-in games, generally doubles, with fellow members.

There is no need for court booking, just pitch up and join in.
These are particularly valuable opportunities for new members to meet other players.

It was generally agreed that the club sessions achieved these objectives. However, the use of WhatsApp groups had resulted in some unintended consequences with, occasionally, some pre- arranged fours not entering the spirit of a true mix-in session.

It was suggested that an email should be sent to all members re-enforcing the purpose of club sessions.

Members choose their own partners for men’s and ladies doubles and over 60’s vets mixed doubles.

The Mixed doubles pairings will be drawn out of a hat.

9. Generation Tennis
Alex Bone stated that he had been working with FTC for 15 years and presented the important

activities of Generation Tennis at the club.

The current weekly programme has 101 players in the programme.
Men: 24 – 39% off the male membership participated in the coaching programme over the year Ladies: 35 – 50% off female membership participated in the coaching programme over the year Boys: 22 aged between 4 and 14 years old
Girls: 20 aged between 4 and 14 years old

Junior Coaching Programme Schedule


  • 4pm to 5pm: 8 players aged between 8 & 10 year olds (fully Booked)
  • 5pm to 6pm: 8 players aged between 10 & 12 year olds Wednesday
  • 4pm to 5pm: 8 players aged between 4 & 7 year olds (fully Booked)
  • 5pm to 6pm: 6 players aged between 7 & 9 year olds Friday
  • 4.30pm to 5.30pm: 12 players aged between 12+ (fully Booked) Adult Coaching Programme Schedule Tuesday Evenings
  • 6pm to 7pm: Adult Improvers/intermediates – 16 on the WhatsApp group (fully Booked)
  • 7pm to 8pm: Rusty Rackets/Improvers – 15 on the WhatsApp group Wednesday Evenings
  • 6pm to 7pm: Ladies team training – 6 to 8 players
  • 7pm to 8pm: Men’s 1st & 2nd Team Training – 4 to 8 players Friday Mornings

• 9am to 10.30am: Ladies coaching – 20 on the WhatsApp group

Alex was thanked for all his efforts in providing a comprehensive coaching program for FTC.

10. Social events

2022 Festive Tennis

This was a very well attended and successful morning.

Thanks were extended to all those members who contributed to organising the event.

Quiz Night

Thanks were extended to Caroline James for running yet another excellent quiz night. This event was, again, over-subscribed.

Caroline has kindly offered to do it all again 2024! The date will be Friday 19th January 2024.

11. Any other business?

Bryan raised the question of how many Wimbledon ballot tickets were allocated to FTC. A show of hands indicated that five members had been successful in the ballot.

In previous years the club had been notified and we were able to have our own ballot as part of the AGM.

It was agreed that the LTA should be asked about the ticket allocation. There being no other items of business the meeting was closed at 20.50.