On Sunday 26th September we're going to host a relaxed Mix 'n' Match tournament and social gathering afterwards. Head down to the club for 2pm if you want to play, and we'll assign you to partners for 4 rounds of tennis, with a different partner each time. We'll keep track of your score, and the person with the most points will be forever celebrated as social play winner! If you just want to socialise come down anyway, or turn up from 5pm for the social part.
Please bring an item of food or drink so that from 5pm we can enjoy each other's company with a relaxed buffet-style meal. After 18 months of difficulties it will be great to gather together again for the first of hopefully many such events!
This is a reminder that entries for the doubles ladder close on Friday 10th September. Some people have reported that the link sent out in the last newsletter isn't working for them, so if that is the case for you please just log in to your Playwaze account, find the doubles ladder on the homepage and sign up from there. Then you can invite your partner. Or, if you'd rather, let Nicola know the names of your partnership, and she can add you in manually so long as you both have accounts with Playwaze (email@example.com).
We're looking forwards to lots of pairs signing up this week!
We are going to be starting up the doubles ladder again, as the previous one didn't have much of a chance to get going before the Covid-19 restrictions hit. We'll now be operating it via Playwaze, so that members can sign up and enter their own results, and be able to access and view the ladder at all times. In order to make this happen, members will need to log in to Playwaze, sign up to the doubles ladder and invite their partner. Feel free to have the same partner as before, or use this opportunity to pick someone new! There is no restrictions on pairs, so you can enter as a same or mixed gender pair.
The ladder is set for a one-set match, but feel free to play best of 3 sets if there is no pressure on courts, and enter your best set as the score. You will be able to challenge pairs up to 2 spaces ahead of you on the ladder.
The deadline for signing up is 10th September, and the ladder will go live from the 20th September.
Please contact Nicola Hands if you have any difficulties using the system.
I work at The Pavilion Study Centre, a Pupil Referral Unit in Barnet (for children who can't manage in a mainstream school).
We are holding a sports day for our students and are looking for used tennis balls for one of our events.
Please could you donate for collection from the club by Wednesday 14th July. Please leave your balls in the coal scuttle on the tennis pavilion porch.
With many thanks and kind regards
(wife of former long term member, Teddy Graham)
Thank you all for coming, and a special welcome to Philip’s family: Jane, Anna & Eva.
A few years ago, when my Mum was ill, Philip sent her a print of one of his photographs. He knew that she, like him, had been a professional photographer, and hoped she might derive some pleasure from the image. Within the dark, night-time surround was a captivating portrait of one of London’s ‘other workers’, a Muslim cleaning lady, seen through the doors of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The angle of her vacuum cleaner mirrored her aching back, the giant illuminated glass brought to mind the dome shape of a mosque.
“This is exciting” I said to Mum, “We are obviously witnesses to a minimum wage worker, labouring within a temple to the God of money”
“Well, maybe” said Mum, looking down her nose at her second-born cretin of a son, “But what Philip has really achieved here, is to show grace and beauty in an instance where you wouldn’t usually notice it - and he only had a millisecond to capture it - that is his talent. His appreciation that beauty takes many forms, and that the lowliest people possess grace and dignity”
Thus chastened, I began to see our friend, Philip, in a different light - not just as a social or political commentator, but as an artist. Now I would be lying if I said that his tennis contained either grace or beauty, but every finalist here today will have played a set with or against him, and all of us will have been passed down the line by his forehand, or beaten by his backhand volley. He still holds the record for the most double-faults in one game, yet, astonishingly, winning that game.
But I don’t think any of us will remember Philip for his shot making, or his over-generous line calling: everyone who spoke to me after his death used the words Gentleman, Kind, Decent, Charming and, yes, Handsome. Especially touching were the tearful tributes from our young coaching team - every one of them had played a set or two and had a cup of tea with this generous man when they were growing up. Perhaps the most perfect illustration of the effect Philip had on even the toughest people was summarised yesterday: I bumped into Janna in the car park, in the pouring rain, and asked her if, despite the dismal forecast, she would come along to say goodbye to our old friend.
“Matt” she said, “I don’t fall in love with many men, but I really loved Philip. I will be there, even in a storm.”
Hurtful, Janna, to the rest of us losers, but a touching tribute nevertheless.
And so, we have planted this memorial olive tree in memory of Philip - it is rough and gnarled, but also a thing of grace and beauty. His daughter, Eva has made the planter, so current and future tennis tea-drinkers can sit and mourn their losses under its branches.
[Our Over 65s Final today was also played in honour of Philip, so I’d like Jane, Philip’s wife, to come up and present the trophy to the winners, Charlie & Naomi. Last year, Charlie had a hip replacement, and this year Naomi is looking for a husband replacement. (watering can trophy) ]