Club closure; Wimbledon Ballot; Tennis subscriptions

Following the closure of the club, a number of questions have, quite reasonably, been raised by members.  Exercise is commended even by the government, and family groups can be together, so why not allow family groups to play tennis?  The grounds present a pleasant open space which could be valued by members, and perhaps by the local community, so why shut them off in their entirety?

I would first note that our action is reflected in the closure of all the other clubs of which we are aware.  Closing the tennis courts is a requirement of the LTA, to which the club is affiliated.  (Follow the link on the LTA website.)

Family tennis might be a very attractive idea.  However, even if opening the courts were permitted, the club would need to be sure that different family groups do not mix in the court areas, and that others do not take advantage of the courts being open.  The club has no practical way of ensuring this.

It is a pity to see the grounds gated off.  Our response is in the context of a national emergency under which the government requires each of us to limit the possibility of spreading the virus.  Anyone can exercise without having to use the club grounds.  If our (private) grounds were open, the club would have a responsibility to ensure that they were used responsibly.  Again, we have no practical way to do this.

We all look forward to the reopening of the club and a return to something approaching normal life.  Shakespeare offers solace, comparing separation to the winter season:

As call it winter, which being full of care
Makes summer's welcome thrice more wished, more rare.

Wimbledon Ballot

It is our expectation that, sadly, Wimbledon will be called off.  If it is not, then further notices will explain how we will conduct a ballot.

Tennis subscriptions

The club is reviewing how to treat tennis subscriptions, but has not yet reached a conclusion.  A note will follow soon.

My best wishes for everyone's good health.  Keep fit if you can.


Coronavirus update

The government’s most recent announcements include the closing of indoor sports facilities.  We are therefore following the lead of England Squash in closing our squash courts with immediate effect.  A notice is being sent to squash members giving more details.

The bar was already closed, and now we will also close the club pavilion until further notice.

Tennis remains open and, apparently, encouraged as a sport.  However, the guidance on avoiding social contact must be stressed.  The tennis pavilion is open only so as to allow access to the toilet block.  This will be emphasised by taping off the social areas and kitchen; all members and their families are expected to respect these restrictions.

The board believes that continuing to keep the tennis courts open is a responsible action in the light of government and LTA advice.  Not every tennis club is staying open, and our stance could change at any time.  Meanwhile members alone are responsible for choosing to play or not, and for acting in a way which stands the best chance of keeping them safe.

My best wishes for the health and wellbeing of all members.