by Mike Lubienski – Chair, Whitchurch Tennis Club
Another season is nearly upon us and the gauntlet is down to produce a season as successful as the last one! Huge thanks go to Steve Cumines who has stood down as chair after many years on the club committee. In 2017 the club scored well on a number of fronts …
We are delighted with the engagement we have had with children. We have had 150 children on coaching programmes without counting those who have come to tennis camps – a really positive sign for tennis participation in the future. Alongside this we have had strong growth in our junior membership and a huge surge in minis membership – we now have nearly 70 minis and some promising tots too!
For those who have started to make the move into competition the club has run grade 4/5 tournaments, mini-red and mini-orange tournaments as part of the Tennis Wales circuit. We also had 10 youngsters involved in Aegon team events.
Schools and the Community
Drawing youngsters into tennis begins by offering a chance to feel what its like with a racquet in hand. We are delighted by the success of the free taster sessions which coach Melissa has run for year one and two children in the local primary schools. This delivered taster sessions to 420 children in the area from Whitchurch Primary, Coryton Primary, Melin Gruffydd Primary and Hawthorn Primary.
This relationship with the schools is followed through with coaching for older children at Whitchurch primary. Melin Gruffydd Primary use the club for year 3 and 4 pupils.
Both Whitchurch High School and Cathays High School use the club for training and all school matches and we have run a tennis after-school club for Whitchurch High School.
The club has also delivered LTA initiatives – free 6 week coaching session for children aged 5- 8 who are new to tennis and a Tennis Tuesday for girls and ladies only. It really has been a busy year for children’s tennis!
We are proud of our community connection and to have welcomed Melin Gruffydd Primary and Cylch Meithrin to stage successful fundraising events at the club. We have taken bookings for charity causes on a number of further occasions.
Growth in Membership
Again we take huge satisfaction in our membership growth over the last 12 months. The growth in junior and minis membership has been the most spectacular and vindicates our view that the competitive pricing makes it fantastically good value. Alongside this we introduced a special membership category for parents of youngsters and this has proved hugely popular – numbers have tripled to 33.
Away from our activity with children we have also seen seen a 10% growth in senior membership. This gives us great encouragement for the future and confirmation of the local demand for tennis.
On the Court
It has been a busy time on the courts. We ran successful summer and autumn club tournaments with high levels of participation which threw up some highly competitive matches and drew worthy winners on finals days.
In competition we have continued to punch above our weight. We fielded 2 women’s teams and 3 men’s teams in the South Wales summer doubles leagues. The most notable success was the promotion earned by the men’s first team to Premier Two, the second from top division in the South Wales League. The women’s first team narrowly missed out on promotion after battling in a play-off game.
The action doesn’t stop for winter! We fielded two men’s teams and a womens’ team in the Cymru Kitchens league. On top of that a men’s teams and a two women’s teams competed in the winter veterans’ league, all three teams winning promotion. The men’s and women’s veterans teams will compete next winter in the top South Wales divisions.
We look forward to the 2018 season with a strong committee, stable finances and a great base from which to grow our reputation as a club proud of its hundred year history, offering great facilities and offering a family-friendly face to our local community.
Thanks for your support,