We're looking forward to welcoming you back to the Club from Monday 29th March.
The announced plans for exiting lockdown has given us a firmer basis to plan from, although several of the milestone dates have a 'no earlier than' proviso and therefore remain subject to confirmation. Here are our current thoughts about how we will get things started:
RESUMPTION OF PLAY
First things first! It is great that we will be able to resume play from 8am Monday 29th March and that we are able to play doubles (tennis and croquet) from the get go; so the resumption of play is much less restrictive than when we re-started last Spring.
We do anticipate strong demand for facilities when we re-start and are keen to manage things as best we can with regards to court availability. We ask Members wherever possible to resume their usual weekday and weekend tennis routines (rather than all arrive on Monday morning!) that should enable our long established arrive and play philosophy to operate as normal and then have peak time play managed fairly by the Court Booking system.
COURT BOOKING SYSTEM
Peak Time Court Booking
Most Members became familiar with the peak time Court Booking system during 2020 and this will continue to be used for evening, weekend and Bank Holiday slots to help manage demand when we re-open; bookable 7 days in advance, peak times will typically be as follows:
Saturdays & Sundays: 8am - Dusk
Bank Holidays: 8am - 9:30pm
Weekdays: 5 - 9:30pm
Daily booking limit 1.5hrs (except Saturdays where doubles can be booked 8-10am or 10-12pm)
No junior bookings before 12:30pm on Saturdays
(Courts 6-9 are only bookable for coaching)
Weekly Calendar - Social Mix-Ins, Matches & Coaching
As before a certain number of courts will be marked out each week at various times, for specific pre-organised social play (e.g. Tuesday Night Mix-In), matches, tournaments and group coaching sessions. Please book online if you wish to attend.
Croquet Lawn Booking will also be fully enabled and the Croquet Committee have already communicated their plans for resumption of play.
PLEASE CONSIDER OTHERS
We expect that demand for courts and lawns will remain high for the first few months as Members will be keen to play after such a long lockdown and we will also have several in-house competitions starting and then tournaments, as the full calendar of events resume.
Of course, we want as many Members as possible to enjoy the facilities and we therefore ask Members who can play during off peak times to please do so, we also ask that Members refrain from booking follow-on courts at peak times in the name of opponents that have played in earlier slots.
In line with our expectations for high demand from Members, no guests will be permitted until the second stage of the exit from lockdown which is expected to be on 12th April and then only 1 guest per member please, with the guest registered and fee paid before the commencement of play.
GETTING THE CLUB READY FOR PLAY
Artificial Clay and Hard Courts
The AC courts have had a deep grooming and all tarmac courts have been jet washed over recent weeks. Tarmac courts 6/7 and 8/9 are already booked in for a re-paint in late April 2021.
The Croquet Lawns are ready for play and we also hope to open the Lawn Tennis courts from the outset. Both are dependant upon the weather (low rainfall please!) and notice will be provided to Members if plans are forced to change.
GETTING YOURSELF READY FOR PLAY!
The latest lockdown has unfortunately meant that many tennis players will have lost a lot of their "fitness" for tennis, so it's very important to try and get yourself prepared for play to reduce the risk of injury when you return to the Club, otherwise known as "Prehab". There's millions of workouts online, but it can be a bit of a minefield to know what's right for you, so the LTA has provided some simple ideas for home workouts.
a). Mobility is without doubt most important for injury prevention. Yoga / Pilates sessions are excellent for this, or the LTA provides a great daily stretching routine to do at home. This can then be followed by shoulder and trunk tennis exercises.
b). Players that like to be more dynamic on court can try some of the more intense workouts that include tennis specific exercises to work on upper and lower body strength and conditioning.
c). When you're back on court make sure you warm-up, start slowly and practise a full range of shots and movements before playing any kind of match, where the temptation to push it that bit too far is always there!
d). Why not join one of the coaching drills sessions to begin with for tips and advice to get back into tennis safety and effectively!
CLUBHOUSE AND BAR
The Clubhouse will be open from 8am on Monday 29th March, masks must be warn indoors at all times and Social Distancing measures fully observed. The Clubhouse will be your main access to the courts via the established one way system and limited use will be allowed (one person at a time) of the Ladies/ Gentlemen's WCs.
The Bar will also be open for takeaway only (no alcohol/ indoor congregating) for a limited time c.10am-1pm, seven days a week, from the outset. Outdoor congregating is limited to the rule of 6 / two households.
A number of social as well as more competitive tennis tournaments (adult and junior) are planned to run once restrictions allow, including the Club Championships from the beginning of May. Please lookout for full details in our "Competitions" newsletter going out to Members next week.
Our "sign-ups" system is now up and running again on the Playwaze web/app for Men's and Ladies Team practise sessions, as well as Men's 55's. If any new Members are interested in taking part, please get in contact.
Whilst indoor sports can not resume as yet and Member’s socialising remains limited, we’re looking forward to playing more sport and having a few take away drinks at the Club in the weeks ahead – not long to wait now!