Important club news for all members

Dear Fishbourne Tennis Club member,
Welcome to the latest news from your tennis club. There is lots you need to know about here, so please read on…

Track and Trace now in operation at FTC
Every time you play at FTC please ensure you write your name on the appropriate day in the new Track and Trace book next to the clubhouse door. This is an essential part of the club becoming Covid-19 secure so we can all go on enjoying tennis at Fishbourne – and the crucial factor in our being able to restart mix-in club sessions. A pen is provided but best if you have your own – why not leave one in your tennis bag? As well as entering your own name each time you play, you must record the names of any guests you play with.

Saturday morning mix-in club sessions to restart
After more than five months, club sessions are due to restart at Fishbourne on Saturday 29 August, and then be held every Saturday between 9am-1pm – if all goes well and the Track and Trace system is adhered to.

All four courts will be reserved for members’ use and as usual the emphasis will be on mixed doubles and a random mix of players on a first-come, first-on basis. The club will be providing brand new balls for these games. All paid-up members are welcome to attend.

Since this will be the first time members can just turn up and play it will be vital that all attending members put their name in the Track and Trace book by the clubhouse. And normal rules of course apply: any members showing any Covid symptoms must not attend; all members must use the hand sanitiser provided; and all must strictly adhere to social distancing before, during and after play.

Other ways to play tennis at FTC
Alongside the revived Saturday morning mix-ins, the American Tournaments will be continuing on Sunday afternoons and, if sufficient numbers, on Wednesday afternoons as well. Contact Pammi Haylett to book in to one of these fun mixed doubles tournaments.

The men’s singles, ladies’ singles and mixed doubles ladder competitions are (mostly) progressing well; anyone who needs more information on these contact Jazz Kimbell. There is also the prospect of informal friendlies against local clubs; again contact Jazz if you are interested in playing. Discussions about FTC taking part in a smaller, more local and informal version of the Portsmouth & District winter league are ongoing.

Members have embraced WhatsApp and many private games are now arranged via the social media platform. In addition, all members should by now have received the FTC member contact list which the club hopes will make it easier for members to contact other members to arrange their own games.

Remember to pay your guest fees! 
For several weeks now members have been able to play with guests at the club. But while members play for free, the club has always made a small charge for guest players and this is still the case. The fee is £3 per hour per guest or £6 with floodlights, capped at £6 (£12 with lights) so it is never more expensive than the public rate.

Payment should be made by the host member online to the usual bank details: sort code 09 01 53, account number 33095480 quoting your surname/guest as reference.

First Darren Triggs Trophy a success
A dozen club players held a mini tournament in support of FTC member Darren Triggs. Darren, the club’s 2018 mixed doubles champion with Priscilla Pendle, suffered a spinal stroke last December and has been in a wheelchair since. Money raised from the tournament is going towards buying a sports wheelchair for Darren so he can get back on court at Fishbourne.

The Darren Triggs Trophy is the idea of club member Sam Hart and is now set to become an annual event at the club. The inaugural tournament resulted in a four-way tie at the top with young Sam Thomas the eventual winner. See a full report on the website and also in the sports pages of this week’s Chichester Observer (the cutting is in the clubhouse window if you missed it).

New Tiger Turf surface for court 1
The latest upgrade at Fishbourne has been completed with the resurfacing of court 1 to Tiger Turf Advantage Pro, matching court 2. Having two hard and two artificial grass courts gives the club the best of both worlds and means that, like other clubs, we now have a choice of surfaces on which to play matches, as well as another “carpet” court to cushion achey joints!

The club has also paid for a new drainage channel alongside court 1 to ensure runoff from the car park doesn’t flood the court and to have the wonky fencing straightened. In addition a groundsman has been recruited to keep the weeds at bay.

David Lord made honorary member
After more than eight years of being closely involved in the running of the club, for most of that time as chairman, David Lord has decided to take a break from committee duties. In light of all his hard work for the club, and all the many improvements to tennis in Fishbourne he has seen through, he has been made an honorary member.

On behalf of all FTC members, the committee will also be making a presentation to David as a thank you for all that his exceptional voluntary efforts have achieved. The good news is he (and Sue) are not going anywhere and will continue to be involved in the club – as well as playing more tennis.

So who is on the committee now? 
Without an official AGM this year FTC members will be pleased to hear that your committee is still here, and has been working (by email) to keep the club moving forward. All the committee members with the exception of David Lord have indicated they are willing to carry on until what can be hoped will be a regular AGM next spring.

So who is on the committee and what do they do?

Ivor Smith, membership secretary

Membership matters, member communications and OpenPlay online booking system for members and non-members

Bryan Doling, treasurer

All financial matters

Bob Murray, vice chairman

Website content, newsletter, PR and publicity, Wimbledon ticket ballot, Generation Tennis liaison

Jazz Kimbell, fixtures secretary 

League fixtures, competitive ladders, liaison with FTC’s team captains, friendly inter-club matches

Nicola Dawtrey, social events secretary

Social events and tournaments

Pammi Haylett, health and safety officer 

Our new welfare guru! Plus American tournaments and social event support

Kate Gurl

Clubhouse, social tournaments and social event support

We are now seeking an additional FTC member to join the committee. Anyone interested can talk to any one of us. Areas that we could use help with are: events planning (such as Open Day, FTC Championships), LTA liaison, clubhouse maintenance, meetings minute-taker – and we always need fresh new ideas! All committee members are club members like you and everything they do is voluntary.

Remember you do not need to be a committee member to volunteer to help out when asked… Take a bow then: David Lord for being willing to continue to coordinate grounds maintenance; Tim Friesner for helping with online technology; Katy Bracher for ball supply and recycling; and Roy Hay and Gordon Read for help when needed.

…and lastly, a sad farewell
Peggy Burnand has written to say that Peter passed away on 13 August. Peter had an enduring friendship with many of us at the club and for many years played a central role in the life of the club. He was a former committee chairman and very active player until a stroke cut short his playing eight years ago. Peggy says: “Thank heavens for all the friendships made at the tennis club which will always be remembered and appreciated.”

On behalf of all members, the club has passed on its condolences to Peggy and the family.

All the best from the FTC committee