I am pleased to see that there was quite a bit of celebration about the impending return to tennis yesterday. I am excited to meet our Members and will spend some time outside to make myself available until we open indoors.
In addition, it came to light there were some recent gaps in communication due the management change and previous to that, the pandemic closures. I apologize for that and I hope to rectify it moving forward with transparency and increased accessibility.
I thought it would be beneficial to elaborate specifically on the fees for outdoor court bookings. I reached out to the Paula Colman, Chair of the Tennis Committee for background.
– Last summer, the courts were free to members with no courts costs as a temporary pandemic provision.
– Outdoor court fees were increased from £1.00 to £2.50 from 2020 onwards.
– The Tennis Committee initially agreed to the increase in January 2020, but it was deferred due to the pandemic. On 18th January 2021, the Tennis Committee unanimously voted in favour to increase the fees. It was then presented with no issues to the Members Committee at the 8th February 2021 Meeting.
– Substantiating the increase were:
Costs associated with the maintenance of the outdoor courts which include-
1. The restoration of the three hard courts scheduled for May 17, at a cost of £30,000, which should also help minimise surface pooling of water.
2. Continued maintenance on the grass courts which we hope to open May 1 (weather permitting). Mark Ferguson from STRI (a leading sports surface solutions consultant) was at the Club on Wednesday for an inspection and remarked, From my agronomy perspective it was good to see the courts in fine health, having come out of winter in good condition. The grass courts are currently in very good condition.
– The fee increase also discourages the booking courts and not turning up, which impacts overall availability.
– The Committee was cognizant about minimizing the cost increase: for doubles players it calculates to £0.62p an hour with an increase of £0.37p per hour on previous years costs.
– There has not been an increase in tennis fees in recent memory.
– Walk-on remains free and will be allowed as soon as the pandemic restrictions lift sufficiently.
For specific tennis related questions, please feel free to reach out to Head of Tennis, Kyle Brassington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, enough cannot be said for those Members who have retained full membership through the pandemic. Your loyalty is an immense contribution to the ILTSC and we will remain forever grateful.