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									 Second Serve
  The Alton Tennis Club Newsletter
                                                                                                             September 2009

     We have seen the light!                                       Return to Sport
Chairman’s note                                                    A Coaching Programme (set up jointly with East Hampshire
                                                                   District Council) is starting up on Thursday morning 8
So the nights are starting to draw in, and for the first time
                                                                   October from 9.30 am to 11.00 am. It will provide coaching
                                                                   and support for those adults who are either looking to try
                                                                   tennis for the first time or to play again after a long break.
Recent visitors to the Club will have noticed that either the
                                                                   This is the third such Programme we have run providing the
Club has become a scene from “the War of the Worlds” or we
                                                                   chance for new skills to be learned from a qualified coach in a
really do have lights. Let‟s hope it is the latter.
                                                                   friendly setting.
It looks as though the final logistical and administrative
                                                                   The cost is just £12 for the full 6 week course, which
obstacles have been overcome, and we are expecting the                            th
                                                                   concludes on 19 November, allowing for a break over half
lights to be connected by the end of October. This is really
exciting and I must recognise the contribution of the LTA in
helping us to achieve the lights. They have supported us both
                                                                   If you know anyone whose tennis is rusty and who wants
financially and morally, and I would like to sincerely thank the
                                                                   some fun and exercise on a Thursday morning, please ask
team at Hampshire and IOW LTA - without their help this
                                                                   Sue Hubbard to let them have further details.
project would not have happened.
                                                                   ( There are just 12 places, so do
                                                                   it today!
There is less news to report about the next stage of the vision
for our Club, which centres on two further new courts and a

                                                                       Grand Opening Ceremony
new clubhouse. As many of you know, the proposed Anstey
Rd redevelopment would have resulted in two extra courts.
However this project has now stalled, and there is no
prospect of short term progress. We are therefore looking at
alternative funding, involving the Town Council, East Hants
                                                                                      3rd November
District Council and the LTA.                                      STOP PRESS ++++++STOP PRESS ++++++STOP PRESS
                                                                   We are delighted to announce that the Grand Opening to
This year has been a good one for our junior and coaching          celebrate the official switching on of our lights will be held on
programmes, and thanks must go to Jonathan our coach and           the evening of 3 November. Moreover we are particularly
Sue, who together have turned the coaching into a lively,          pleased that the Mayor of Alton, Councillor Chick has kindly
growing and enjoyable community. Thank you to all parents          agreed to join us.
and juniors who are already enjoying the junior coaching, and      There will be lots going on, and this is a big event for our
if you are not, please do come down, support the Club,             Club, so we very much hope you will be able to join us. More
improve your child‟s tennis and gain some friends with shared      details to follow, but please put this date in your diary, and we
interests at our Saturday coaching.                                look forward to celebrating with you.

On the social side, I am afraid that Debbie and I are unable to
run the Bonfire Evening this year, for which we apologise. We      INSIDE THIS ISSUE
have thoroughly enjoyed hosting this event in previous years,
and very much hope we can welcome you next year.
                                                                   2       Social Events
Finally, I hope that you can join us for the AGM on 13
November. As ever, if you have any thoughts, observations          2       A Year in the Life of a Committee Member
or would like to make any comments, positive or negative,
please don‟t hesitate to contact me by email at                    3       Young Persons Section Have a good Autumn‟s tennis
                                                                   4       Singles Tournament and Administration
Adrian Jones
Chairman, Alton Tennis Club                                        4       Junior Achievement Award

                                                          Second Serve 1
                                                                                              A year in the life continued

       2010 SOCIAL CALENDAR                                    As someone who has coached tennis albeit some time
                                                               ago I was delighted that the club has invested in its
Historically we have held a quiz each year (usually in         future by establishing a junior coaching programme
April) & a skittles evening sometime in February.              and is now offering Adults the chance to return to
These evenings have been enjoyable and feedback                sport. The provision of the junior achievement award
has generally been very good but attendance has                (see article on page 4) further cements our
dropped off this year, to the extent that we had to            commitment to the youth of the club, particularly as it is
cancel the quiz evening. We would be pleased to get            in the name of someone who was so committed to
any feedback as to why attendance has dropped off.             youth development.
Are the events wrong? If so, does anyone have any
better suggestions for events they would like to see us        As you will see when you visit the club there has been
introduce into the social calendar? Or was it simply           considerable maintenance work done around the
that earlier in the year everyone was feeling the pinch        courts (weeding, tree maintenance and lawn mowing)
and stopped going to social events for financial               yet another skill offered by your committee and now
reasons? If so, will you plan to attend next year?             the lights are in place, I bet you like me, look forward
                                                               to making full use of them.
It would really help us to understand better what it is        I have been on other committees before but I don‟t
that you as members would like to see from your Club,          recall those committees having the range of skills or
so to continue the theme of this newsletter, please            the level of commitment of the current committee of
enLIGHTen us!                                                  Alton Tennis club. We have drawn on the skills of the
                                                               committee members to maintain a web site, to put
                                                               together budget and financial plans to apply for funding
                                                               from various sources and from the beginning I was

A year in the life
                                                               aware that this was a committee that pulled together
                                                               and supported each other.
                                 By Keith Arrowsmith-Oliver    As any new member of the committee will tell you
When I was approached to be on the committee last              unless you have an obvious skill that you are bringing
October I had no idea how busy the year would be.              to the table (so to speak) then your role is about
While I was vaguely aware of how the club wanted to            offering opinions, listening to what others say and
develop, I had not realised the extent to which the club       supporting decisions, hardly arduous, mostly common
and in particular your committee had gone towards              sense. There will always be things that you can take
achieving the goals agreed at previous AGM‟s.                  the lead on and in my case organising the Club
I was fortunate to join a committee with clear targets         Singles Championships, enabled me to make a
and with people with the drive and commitment to               positive contribution and becoming captain of the East
carry through the wishes of the club members.                  Hants Men‟s Team for this year was another.
The committee meets regularly to discuss and agree             The other articles in this newsletter show how active
on strategy but it is what is done outside these meeting       the committee is as a whole but if you were interested
that takes the time and shows the considerable                 in joining us then on a lighter note Lesley Johnson
commitment that members of the committee are willing           makes very good pot of tea (meetings are usually at
to make to achieve a tennis club that Alton can be             Gary and Lesley Johnson home) and Sue Hubbard
proud of.                                                      whose skills are many can be relied on to bring a spark
                                                               of humour and light heartedness to the proceedings
In this past year we have established a sinking fund for       before Adrian drags us back to the business at hand
maintenance of club facilities, got funding for the lights,    ….
and looked at funding alternatives for the future vision
of the club. The committee has fostered good working
relationships with local politicians, public and private       „All in All „it has been a very enjoyable year as a
funding bodies and the LTA. I will not bore you here           committee member and I am sure there are plenty
with detail, come to the AGM and show your support             more adventures for us to enjoy in the coming year!
for our efforts (there will be full reports from your

                                                      Second Serve 2
Young Persons Section                                         Lights and Plans
                                                              For those who have been down to the club recently you
                                                              will have noticed that we now have flood lights. We hope
                                                              to be able to connect to the power supply during October.
                                                              We will also be installing lighting and power in the club
                                                              Getting the lights is the end product of a lot of work by the
                                                              committee and by John Hubbard who has been leading
                                                              on fund raising.
                                                              When the club was established in 1994 it was a condition
                                                              of the planning permission that there should be no flood
                                                              lights.The first step in the long route to get the lights was
                                                              to get that condition lifted a few years ago.
                                                              Funding has come mainly from the LTA but also with help
                                                              from Grass Roots and Hampshire Playing Fields. The
                                                              club will be bearing a modest shortfall.
This May we held a Schools tournament with participating      Your committee has started work on fund raising for the
Schools, such as Bentley, Chawton and Selborne                building of two additional courts and a larger club house.
Primary. It was a great success and we hope it will be        We hope to obtain grants from East Hampshire Council
repeated next year. We ran it in the doubles format and       and the LTA and that the next two years will see these
the winners in the photograph above were from Bentley         plans come to fruition.
Primary School. Jonathan, our coach, awarded the
                                                                  YOUR COMMITTEE                  NEEDS       YOU
We also participated in the Alton Buckle Festival, which is
aimed at encouraging young people to participate in                                                th
sports. Thanks go to Paul Johnson for his help on that.       Our AGM is coming up on the 13 November, and we
                                                              would be really keen to hear from you if you feel you
This summer our Under 16 boys team participated in the        might be interested in joining the Committee for the
Aegon League in Hants and IOW - their first year of           coming year.
competitive tennis, playing teams from the Isle of Wight,     The Committee needs to represent the Club both
Avenue, Milford and Ryde. We are sure that this               externally and internally, and with a number of projects
experience will help them as they continue to develop         on the go (ClubMark, junior programmes, funding, lighting
their match play.                                             etc) the Committee could really use some help and a
                                                              fresh perspective.
On 11th July we ran a morning of competitive tennis,          No particular skills needed, but a keen interest in the
culminating in the Junior Singles Championship, when          Club is pretty important. We meet approximately each
Paul Johnson successfully defended his title with some        month, and if you feel you might be interested, please
stiff competition from a number of the entrants. Jonathan
                                                              contact me ( so we can have
also organised competitive tennis for the Starters and
                                                              an initial chat about what might be involved.
Intermediate Groups. We will be holding the Doubles
Competition on the same night as the Opening Ceremony
for the lights – date to be notified.                         The Club really couldn‟t function without an active
                                                              Committee, please give some thought as to whether you
The Saturday morning Coaching Programme for                   can help to keep the Club moving forward by joining the
Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced juniors continues       Committee.
to flourish and may be extended to a Monday evening
once the lights are in place, as we recognise that            We want Alton to have a club it is proud of.
Saturday mornings are also a popular time for other
sports. Jonathan also ran some group coaching sessions
during August.

If you need further information on either the Junior or
Adult Coaching Programmes please contact:
                      Sue Hubbard
                      01420 87709

                                                      Second Serve 3
                                                            In the ladies Championships the champion Lesley
                                                            Johnson and the runner up Sue Deane had to
                                                            overcome injuries to make the final. Lesley had to dig
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Alton Tennis            the deeper in the early rounds overcoming Anne? in
                                     th                     the semi-final in three close sets. This victory set up a
Club will take place on Friday 13 November at
7.30pm at All Saints Hall, Queens Rd Alton. If you          final between the two top seeds and what a final it
have any issues you would like to raise, please do let      was.
any Committee member know ahead of the AGM, and
we would be pleased to welcome as many of you as            The finals day competition drew plenty of support from
would like to attend.                                       club members and they were rewarded with some fine
                                                            tennis from all the finalists, but it is the ladies final
While the Committee are seeking re-election, an             which will live in the memory as the quality of the play
additional member would be great to see. We welcome         over the three sets was of a very high standard and
enthusiasm over experience, and the particular areas        showcased the quality of player we have within the
that we spend most time on are                              club. In the end Lesley‟s dogged determination
  General upkeep of the courts and facilities              prevailed. We look forward to next year and as we
  Fundraising for extra courts and clubhouse               have recruited some quality male players recently we
  Junior, schools and coaching programmes                  are hopeful that Paul will have the opposition that a
                                                            player of his ability deserves.

At the AGM we will be discussing the future vision for      The various trophies and prizes were presented at the
the Club, as well as discussing and making a                end of the day by our chairmen Adrian (see the
recommendation for the proposed charging method for         pictures on our web site)
the new lighting facilities

Full details will be on display in the Clubhouse, and up
on the website and for more details please contact
                                                            Junior Achievement Award
either     Lesley     Johnson       or   Adrian    Jones
(                                   We were touched and delighted when Alton Scouts
                                                            gave us a Junior Achievement Award in memory of
                                                            Sheila Sclater who died this year. Sheila had been the
                                                            Treasurer of the Scouts for some 20 years or more
Club Sessions For Winter 2009-10                            and they wanted to recognise the links between the 2
TIME    WEDNESDAY (1.30-5PM)                                clubs, whilst awarding something for Junior Tennis in
        TUESDAY 6.00pm-10.00pm                              her memory. It will be awarded during the Autumn at
        THURSDAY 6.00pm-10.00pm                             our Lights Opening Ceremony and congratulations go
        SUNDAY 1.30pm-4.30pm                                to Ross Welch who has won the Award in the first year
                                                            for a number of reasons but especially in recognition of
ENQUIRIES TO JUDY BROWN ON 01420 82289                      all the support he has given to our coach, Jonathan, in
                                                            running the Junior Boys Team this year.

Singles Tournament                                          Website Update
                                                            Just a short reminder to check in from time to time on our
We had eight entries in the men‟s championships and         website .
5 in the ladies championships.
                                                            We try and make sure we put useful information up onto the
In the men‟s competition the real interest was not who      website, including announcements, fixtures, notable events,
would win but who could get the most games off of the       timetables, coaching and course information and, well,
likely champion Paul Johnson (we are fortunate to           anything we think you might be interested in.
have a player of his ability to measure ourselves
against). In the end two games was the most any one         Over time we will hope to put more and more information up
got against him, however there were some good               onto the site, and if there is anyone who has a bit of time and
                                                            who would be willing to help us with the maintenance and
matches and Tim Roberts did very well in beating            content on the site , we would love to hear from you.
Adrian Jones and Gary Johnson to make to the final
where he put up a good fight before succumbing to
Paul‟s powerful game.

                                                 Second Serve 4

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