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    The Alton Tennis Club Newsletter
                                                                                                                  March 2009

           Spring into action!
Chairman’s note                                                                                       rd
For many of us at the club, tennis is an all-year-round sport.      Sheila Sclater sadly died on 3 February 2009 after a long
However, for some of us tennis is more of a fair-weather            illness. She is greatly missed. It is hard to put into words the
game. The start of spring will hopefully have you reaching for      tremendous contribution she made to the Club as a founder
your trusty old racquet and coming down to the club to play,        member, a conscientious Committee member, a Match
or joining in one of the club sessions. All-year or fair-weather,   Secretary with great attention to detail and not least, a brilliant
we look forward to seeing you at the club.                          tennis player!
Whilst the club has not had any radical changes this year, we
                                                                    We thought we should like to hold an Event in her memory and
have been working closely with our friends at the LTA and at
East Hants District Council in the preparation of budgets and       we have had the idea of a Concert in the Spring, which will
plans to take the Club forward for the next 5 years. We hope        raise money for the Hospice at the same time.
you will like the plans, which involve floodlighting on our two
existing courts, a new clubhouse facility and potentially two       The Concert will be held in St. Lawrence‟s Church, Alton on
extra courts as well. These are exciting times, and we              Saturday 25 April at 7.30 pm, with music from the Adoramus
continue to receive strong support from the LTA, Alton Town         Singers and an exciting young trumpet player from our area,
Council and EHDC, who recognise the need for extra tennis           Laura Jurd.
facilities in Alton, and the fact that Alton Tennis Club has the
right profile, location and vision to be able to provide this
                                                                    Tickets – price £10 (free to children) are available from Sue
The current status of the floodlighting project is that we are      Hubbard – 01420 87709 or
very close to being able to move forward (see Floodlighting
update below). The LTA will be supporting us in May by              DO COME AND SUPPORT THIS WORTHWHILE EVENT!
providing a grant. Additional financing is, we believe, in place
from EHDC and Alton Town Council, with Alton Tennis Club
providing the balance. We are currently obtaining three             Floodlighting – Where are we?
quotes for the work, which we would anticipate being carried
out during the summer months so that everything is in place         The Committee has been working hard putting this project
to enable floodlit play to take place in the autumn as the          together and we are nearly there. Funding for about half of the
nights start to draw in. The floodlights will be enormously         project should come from the LTA by way of grant. We are also
beneficial to all our members, providing huge flexibility and       confident of getting about 25% of the cost from the EHDC
more options in scheduling. Even if you don‟t plan to play,         under the Community Initiative Fund. Specifications have been
say after work in the evening, you will benefit because             sent to contractors and we hope to appoint one in early
                                             continued on page 2    summer. The work will be carried out in the summer so that the
                                                                    lights are ready from the autumn. The work will not disrupt play
INSIDE THIS ISSUE                                                   on the courts.
                                                                    This is a major step forward for the Club and has been
2     Upcoming Social Events                                        supported by the LTA throughout. It will allow much more
                                                                    playing time. We intend to arrange winter club evenings. The
2     Summer Teams Update                                           playing time in summer evenings will be extended until 10pm
                                                                    which is the curfew time stipulated by the local authority in
3     Juniors Report                                                granting us planning permission for the lights.

3     Clubmark and British Tennis Membership
                                                                         Don‟t forget to visit our website for the most up to date
3     Club Sessions – Summer 2009                                                                information

                                                            First Serve 1
                                             continued from page 1

Chairman‟s note continued                                             buffet supper at half-time. It‟s a B.Y.O. event but there will
Organised sessions (eg matches) will be scheduled “out of             be soft drinks available F.O.C.! We try to ensure a good
hours” under floodlights, freeing up the courts at other times.       cross section of questions from ridiculously easy like “Who
The Funding subgroup, led with enormous energy by John
                                                                      wrote Grey‟s Elegy?” to ones for the clever clogs like “What
Hubbard, is also working hard at the next stages of the vision
of the club, identifying and securing funding for the                 kind of fish climb trees?”
clubhouse and two additional courts. These are time-                  Come on your own or bring your friends along, teams can
consuming and lengthy commitments, and I would like to                be made up on the night and everyone is welcome.
sincerely thank John, Gary Johnson and Doug Palmer for                We need to know numbers by 4 May, so please book as
their unstinting efforts.                                             soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

Your membership is valuable and I hope you will renew your                   BARBECUE EVENING – 1ST AUG
membership of your Club, enjoying another 12 months of
tennis. As an added incentive this year, we were hugely and           at Warren Farm. From about 6.30 pm
pleasantly surprised to learn that we will be receiving 13
pairs of tickets for Wimbledon this year. Let me say that             Members and their families are all welcome at our annual
again…..                                                              barbecue which we are again holding, as guests of Doug
                                                                      and Suzy Palmer, at Warren Farm. Home grown salads
“13 pairs of tickets to Wimbledon this year”!                         and vegetable dishes prepared by Suzy (who also follows
                                                                      up with some amazing desserts) accompany the barbecued
We have no idea how this happened, but if you are a
member of both Alton Tennis Club and British Tennis, you              meats burnt by Doug, all served in the atmospheric
are eligible. The draw for the tickets will be at the Club Mixed      surroundings of their lovely „garden room‟ so rain is not a
American Tournament on the 4 May, so please firstly come              problem for the guests – only for the chefs! Again, this is a
along to the tournament (they are fun, and the American               B.Y.O. event with soft drinks available F.O.C.
Tournament format is enjoyable by all abilities) and secondly         Watch for ticket prices and further information nearer the
see your name hopefully get pulled out of the hat so that you         date.
can go to Wimbledon this year. Good luck.
                                                                             SKITTLES EVENING - REPORT
The Club works hard at the social calendar, and the events
typically offer friendly informal entertainment and good value.       An enjoyable evening was spent at The Jolly Farmer at
We would love to see more people join us for these events             Blacknest Nr Alton on Friday 6 March.
so please do pick your favourites in the Calendar and                 Although numbers were down from past years & the total
support us so that we continue to be able to organise them.           was only 18 nevertheless we had competitive games of
If you would like to see different events, or have some ideas
                                                                      Skittles Firstly the Ladies v Men with I think the Men coming
for something in the social calendar you feel would be
popular, please contact me or speak to anyone on the
                                                                      out winners(just) After a really delicious hot buffet we had
Committee. We would genuinely love to hear from you.                  a knockout competition which ended up very exciting with
                                                                      Rosemary & Jonathan tied with 1 life each. They both
It just remains for me to wish you a happy and enjoyable              bowled for one skittle & Rosemary was the winner. Well
year and a thoroughly enjoyable season of tennis at Alton             Done to her & everyone who helped
Tennis Club                                                           .
                                                                      Hope you can attend the next social evening, look forward
                                                                      to seeing you there. Judy
Adrian Jones
Chairman, Alton Tennis Club
                                                                      SUMMER TEAMS UPDATE
Upcoming Social Events
                                                                      As usual we are entering a Mixed Team in the Aldershot
                                                                      League (Second Division) and a Mens and Ladies Doubles
                                                                      Team in the East Hampshire League (both Division 3)
                                                                      If you would like to play in one of the teams, please contact
All Saints Parish Hall, Queen‟s Road, Alton.
                                                                      the relevant Captain as follows:
7pm for a 7.30pm start.
                                                                      Aldershot Mixed                   Gary Johnson
If you know who sang
“….you can thank your lucky stars that we’re not
                                                                      East Hampshire Ladies             Judy Brown
as smart as we like to think we are”
then you‟ll probably win the huge cash prize at our
                                                                      East Hampshire Men                Keith Arrowsmith-Oliver
annual quiz night. Your team of up to six do not all
have to be members (of ATC or Mensa!) and are
assured of an enjoyable evening with an excellent

                                                             First Serve 2
Juniors Report                                                        British Tennis Membership
                                                                      Wimbledon Draw – 13 pairs of tickets to be won!!
Our Junior Coaching has continued through the Winter this
year under the guidance of Jonathan, our Coach. Jonathan is           As you may be aware the rules have changed this year.
going to be taking further coaching qualifications during the         Previously Alton Tennis Club received tickets based on
Summer months.                                                        the number of adult Club members. We paid a fee to
                                                                      affiliate each member to the LTA & then received a
                                                                      proportionate number of tickets which we distributed to
We have 3 groups on a Saturday morning, with the beginners            interested members via a ballot.
starting at 10.00 am, the intermediate group at 11.00 am and          From 2009 onwards the number of tickets allocated to
the advanced players at 12 noon.                                      clubs is based on the number of British Tennis Members
                                                                      who have joined & noted Alton Tennis Club as their club.
                                                                      I am pleased to say that this year we have been allocated
This really is a great opportunity to develop skills in a very        13 pairs of tickets. A draw will be held to determine who
supportive environment.                                               may buy these. Members who belong to both Alton
                                                                      Tennis Club & British Tennis & are aged 9 years or above
                                                                      are entitled to be entered into the draw.
We are planning to run a Schools Tournament on 9th May                When completing your membership renewal form please
when our Juniors will be invited to take part. It will be the
                                                                      indicate if you wish to be entered into the draw & also
chance for children from Schools in the area to join us have a
                                                                      please confirm that you are a British Tennis Member.
great day and maybe even take up playing tennis on a regular
basis.                                                                We will be holding our ballot at a Tournament on May
                                                                      Bank Holiday (4/5/2009). We hope to see lots of
The Junior Tournament is Scheduled for 11th July and we               members at this event but don‟t worry if you are not able
hope for great weather and a fun time for all. More details will      to come. I will contact those members who are successful
be sent out to the Juniors nearer the time.                           in the draw to arrange collection/payment.
                                                                       Remember: Only BWTA members who are paid up
                                                                      Alton Tennis Club members at 30/4/2009 will be
If you need further information on either the Junior or Adult         eligible for inclusion in the ballot.
Coaching Programmes please contact:
                        Sue Hubbard
                        01420 87709                                   Club Sessions - Summer 2009
                                   TIME     TUESDAY & THURSDAY (6PM ONWARDS)
                                                                               WEDNESDAY (1.30-5PM)

Clubmark Update                                                                SUNDAY (10AM – 12)
                                                                      ENQUIRIES TO JUDY BROWN ON 01420 82289
Club Mark is a kite mark awarded to tennis clubs and other sports
clubs. When awarded it shows that the club has achieved a
                                                                      SOCIAL CLUB SESSIONS AT ALTON TENNIS CLUB
certain standard in all the major aspects of its management and
administration.                                                       We pride ourselves at our Club for having „the friendly touch‟. In
We are applying for Club Mark and the process is well advanced.       all aspects of the running of the club including Junior Coaching
We have to show that our finances and financial and other             & Tournaments as well as the competitive side we always aim
planning are sound, that we have a playing and coaching               to have fun in a friendly way.
programme which caters for junior and adult needs and that we         This is especially found at our Club Sessions which are held
have the proper policies in place for our major activities eg child   Sundays & Wednesdays in the Winter & Tuesday & Thursday
protection.                                                           evenings, Sunday mornings & Wednesday afternoons in the
The preparation of our application has been time-consuming,           summer. This year the Summer Season starts on Sunday
involving all of the Committee in one way or another. We think we     morning 29 March at 10am-1pm & Tuesday & Thursdays
are nearly ready to submit it.                                        evening from thereon, 6pm onwards.
We believe that Club Mark will show that even as a very small         Wednesday afternoons continue as normal 1.30pm-5pm.
club we adhere to high standards and will have achieved a bench       On these afternoons in the week it has become a very social
mark on the way the club is run. Club Mark is awarded by the          gathering. A mixed group of ages-retired persons, college
LTA with whom we have been liaising closely. It seems that Club       students & others who are lucky to be „working from home‟ &
Mark will increasingly be a condition for the award of funding and    having a little break!! We have some really good tennis all
will be more and more important as we grow from a small to a          mixing in together & for the ones sitting out there is always tea
larger club.                                                          & biscuits while chatting to fellow players waiting for their next
We welcome comments and input, please feed any thoughts               game on court!
back to Gary Johnson ( ).                             Why not come to one of these sessions, you will get some good
                                                                      tennis & be sure of a welcome from fellow members. Looking
                                                                      forward to seeing you. Judy

                                                               First Serve 3

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