A VIEW FROM THE BIG CHAIR
Greetings everyone – we hope this finds you fit and well.
We had hoped to be announcing the return of our game but, as you know, alone amongst the nations of Europe, tennis is still not permitted. As a committee, we had worked on a protocol, following the guidelines implemented over three weeks ago in England, in anticipation of following that lead. It is fair to say that the perverse decision came as a shock to everyone. We have since discussed the situation with Tennis Wales and it is clear that there had been every indication from civil servants and assembly members alike that the decision would go tennis’ way. Indeed, following the set-back, TW’s Chief Executive was led to believe that the further representations made over the weekend just past, would see the decision reversed. There is perhaps little point in relating what we might consider to be questionable reasoning behind the confirmed refusal; suffice it to say that the question appears to have been why? – as opposed to why not? There is one factor worth mentioning though – the First Minister stated that “the number of people who have written in about tennis is pretty small”. Aside from wondering why the size of a postbag could be in any way significant in this process, there is something you can all do, if you have not already done so – please sign the petition to the Welsh Government on the Tennis Wales website, calling for the return of our game – it remains open and can be accessed here. This has over three thousand signatures, to date. Let’s not allow that excuse, next time.
Never mind “work” on the re-opening protocol, have you seen the club recently? If not, you really should – it has never looked finer – and pictures cannot tell the whole story. An enormous amount of real work has gone into the courts and grounds. Step forward to take a bow, in no particular order, the families Follon, Arcos, Evans and Barker for variously tidying, cutting, washing, weeding, painting and barking, the latter more mulch related than the means of warding off unwelcome visitors. Individually, Lee, who will be speaking on Junior matters below, has worked his socks off everywhere; Paul has painted everything in sight; Snuff, Guy and Gordon have chipped away merrily. Rob has sanded and prepared the courts; India Follon has beautifully adapted the club crest to reflect the times, at the masthead of this letter. And by the way, though he probably would have if we had asked, Paul did not paint the hardcourts – the fetching blue they now sport was professionally done – not that I wish to impugn the quality of Paul’s other fine efforts, you understand!
All this adds to the enormous sense of frustration we all feel in not yet being able to use the club. While many of you have paid subscriptions without question, for which our profound thanks, others have not – and we are sympathetic to those, for their many understandable reasons. Our income is down then, but we have been awarded a grant by the Vale Council and other support has come through Tennis Wales – the indefatigable Stan will no doubt be saying more below. In summary, through careful management over the years, ours is a strong and secure club, in wonderful condition. After all this, there will be work to do to restore our membership, but our club’s long term prospects remain as strong as ever and we cannot wait to start enjoying it again. Our best wishes go out to everyone; we hope to have the best news of all and to see everyone, soon.
THOUGHTS OF SPRINGTIME AND HOPE!
Normally June is a very busy time in the club with seniors and juniors playing league matches, junior morning on Saturdays, coaching taking place for new and more established players, the handicap tournament in full flow, social play throughout the week, the bar open and socials where members can meet and have fun. With wonderful weather this spring the club would have been buzzing so it is a great pity that we must wait a while before we can enjoy all that the club has to offer.
Nevertheless, the club has been extremely busy in recent weeks with members volunteering to keep the grounds, clubhouse and courts in tip top condition plus Rob working hard on grounds and courts and suggestions for fitness routines. I am sure there will eventually be a roll call of all those who have contributed but thank you to all of you, seniors and juniors, for your efforts.
At this time of year, we would be sending out good wishes to all our younger members getting ready for going up to senior school, exams and graduation in schools and colleges. This is such a strange time for you and we wish you well for your futures. Hopefully, you can make up for all the parties and good times you have missed when we get through this time! Likewise, our thoughts are with our members missing their families and anyone touched by ill health.
With the easing of lockdown conditions being considered by the welsh government our chairman, Phil Brooksby, has worked with other members of the committee to draw up regulations for when the club will reopen so that limited tennis can start straight away. Getting back to normal will take some time so please be sure to look out for the notice when we can play again.
In the meantime, take care – keep fit and stay safe.
I am sure you don’t need me to tell you that the past few weeks have been financially challenging for the Club, but although cash flow has virtually dried up, I am pleased to report that we remain financially viable, able to pay our bills. This is in part due to those of you who have already paid your subs, for which many thanks, but also as a result of a grant for £25,000 which we were able to successfully negotiate with the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
At the same time, a significant number of members have still to renew for a number of reasons, and we are totally sympathetic. To help make it a little easier, the Committee has decided to use some of the grant to offer a discount of 20% to compensate for the time the Club has been closed. If it further helps, you may also spread the cost through monthly standing orders, with the final payment being made in February 2021.
For those of you who paid prior to the cut-off date of 30th April, when subs are due in 2021, you will each receive a discount of 25% to reflect your loyalty to the Club.
If there are any questions, or you want to chat through your own personal circumstances, then please do not hesitate to contact Philip, Steve, Rod, or myself (contact details at the bottom of this newsletter). All discussions will remain totally confidential.
That’s it from me.
Following the latest joint statement from Tennis Wales and in consultation with the LTA on 28th April, the decision was made to extend the cancellation of all LTA Competitions up to Sunday 28th June, this takes us past the ‘half-way’ mark of our season, whereby no league matches have been played. It was therefore, with regret, that Tennis Wales had to make the decision to cancel the Summer League Season 2020 for all categories and divisions.
Based on this, Tennis Wales propose that the Division standings for 2020 will ‘rollover’ to 2021.
So even though we have no team tennis to look forward to this summer we can hope that the winter season leagues, which usually begin in September, will continue. Plenty of time before then to get back on our lovely courts and for everyone to enjoy their tennis.
Paul & Freda
COACHING AND JUNIOR TOURNAMENT
The coaching team hopes that you are all safe and well and looking forward to restarting tennis soon.
It looks like only individual lessons or single-family lessons will be permitted initially but I’m sure we will eventually catch up with LTA England rules and allow small groups / squads…. I’ll keep you posted!
Junior Tournament week 2020 will take place in some form but it is highly likely we will defer to near the end of August, we don’t want to miss our favourite week of the year!
I am hopeful that squad tennis will take place during August as I don’t think there will be any tennis camps but there’s a two-week holiday during October so maybe two weeks of camp then!
The tennis courts look fantastic and await your return. Safety will be of paramount importance, please bring hand sanitiser, the use of specific tennis balls for the sessions will conform to the highest safety standards and social distancing measures will be adhered to!
Please feel free to email, text or phone me if you just want a chat.
Rob, Paul, Chloe, Libby, Darcey and Nicole
Junior events will recommence as soon as it’s safe to do so.
We have a raft of safety procedures in place – some of which are mentioned above – which will be rolled out in full prior to re-starting tennis at the club.
We look forward to seeing you all back on court soon – In the meantime follow us on Facebook
@Dinas Powys Tennis Club Chat
Junior Representative (and Apprentice Groundsman)
MAKE AN EXHIBITION OF YOURSELF
The design above – beautifully and painstakingly created by India Follon – has been commissioned as a new flag that now proudly flies above the courts awaiting our return.
And we know that many of you have been creative during this period – sewing, painting – even gardening!!
We are going to organise a Grand Exhibition of your efforts – so keep them all – take photos – and nearer the time we can forward full details.
And you wondered what they’d been doing in lockdown!!
We look forward to returning home – SOON