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Chairman’s Review 2019

31 December 2019 No Comment

CLTC AGM November 26th 2019 Chairman’s Address

Introduction

First of all can I personally thank you for attending this year’s AGM at our club. As I have said at previous AGMs your attendance at this meeting is very important to the committee. It demonstrates your keen interest in the club and shows support to those of us who represent and work on behalf of the entire membership throughout the year. Remember we are all volunteers and being able to update you on the activities and plans for the club is one of our main rewards. So thank you.

For those of you who are regular attendees of this annual meeting will note that we have changed the order of giving our reports. In the past, I’m afraid, I have gone first and talked about the highlights of the past year and rather stolen the thunder from John and Rob. Not tonight and I hope you enjoyed hearing about our recent successes as a club. However I may also touch on these again and I make no apology for doing so. Thanks Before that I want to do some thank you’s. Our President Mike Foster, who is again chairing this meeting, his deputy, Adrian Beames, who is standing down from his role as Vice President after many years of service, our trustees Raymond Butterworth, Val Dixon, Steve Harmes and Rob Upton, our committee members Meurig, Rhian, who is also our welfare officer, Lisa and Som all of whom play their part in the running of our club. A special mention too for Roger Bent our Secretary, who is so consistent and conscientious and of course Rob Upton, our Treasurer who oversees our finances with such dedication and experience and as we have heard has yet again ensured our club is in a healthy financial position. Can I also thank our many team captains who do great work throughout the year, ensuring at all levels we put out competitive teams, whether it be juniors, seniors or vets, summer and winter and what amazing success has been achieved? Thank you to all of our captains. This is not the end of my thank you’s but I’ll deal with those as I go through my address.

Review of Last Year

Before I talk about our priorities for the year ahead, I do want to touch on the successes of the past year, many of which have been highlighted already, so I will be brief, and add some comments regarding other matters. The success of our teams has been exceptional. We have shown outstanding performance at the elite playing end and I was so proud of our first team squad to win Tennis Wales’ team of the year in 2018, to win the South Wales Summer Doubles League for the 8th year in a row and take part in the LTA Team Tennis National Open finals in Bournemouth for the first time in our club’s history. To be on the same courts as Queen’s Club, Roehampton and Raynes Park, which is based in Wimbledon, was amazing for our young homegrown and talented squad.

John has already covered the successes of our other teams but it shows how competitive tennis lies at the heart of the club with over 150 members again taking part.

At the last AGM I told you about our ambition to update and upgrade our Floodlights. By now I wish we could look out of the window and see new LED lights on courts 5 to 7. However a lot of progress has been made. Just last Friday we heard that our Planning Application had been approved and we can now progress to the next stage of this project. Many things are considered before approval is granted. Examples include the impact on wildlife such as bats and nesting birds, light pollution, the height of the posts and their visibility from various locations. However through the conscientious leadership of Meurig and the support of specialists, we submitted a professional application which was well received by the local authority. We are delighted with this result, thank you Meurig. He will, with the support of the committee, continue to lead this project through to implementation and we are keen to start planning the next phase as soon as is practical. Because of the time consuming technical nature of this application the committee decided, at the beginning of the new financial year, to re-sequence our capital expenditure plans and bring forward the refurbishment and upgrading of courts 8,9,10 and 11. Courts 8 and 9 have been deep cleaned and repainted and 10 and 11 have had new artificial clay courts laid. This investment means we now have 5 very winter weather proof artificial clay courts and 2 other courts that are playable in most winter conditions.

Some comments have been received from members about the suitability of courts 1 to 4 for our rainy Cardiff weather. I’d answer this in the following manner. We now have 7 winter courts which is more than most clubs in South Wales and we also have a further 4 excellent courts for dry weather conditions. To replace the blue acrylic courts would cost around £150k, which is about 5 years worth of capital expenditure for the club and would be a massive decision for the club to take. Let me be clear this is not in our plans, unless of course some wealthy benefactor knows different!

I now want to talk about our membership numbers. During the year we have had a net gain of 24 members, not many you might think. But that is made up of 93 new members and 69 leavers. To understand the impact of this is interesting, our leavers left for a variety of reasons, two of which were they didn’t play very much or had moved away and didn’t play at all. The 93 new members all want to play tennis! Many lots of tennis! This is great and I want to wholeheartedly welcome everyone who has joined the club in the last year or so. I also want to thank Lisa Harrison in particular in her role as membership secretary for the positive impact she has had with welcoming and integrating new members into the club. The challenge though at times has been court availability. A problem we haven’t really encountered too much in previous years. This problem is very weather and time of day specific and on occasion has been further compromised by the high demand for group and individual coaching. As an aside did you know over 160 of our members have had group or individual coaching over the past year. Thank you to our coaches and no wonder our teams continue to be successful with all this improvement taking place. I want to assure you we are aware of the matter of pressure on court availability, especially as we saw it in September, when an incredible amount of tennis was being played. John is constantly reviewing this matter and we will continue to review the amount of coaching courts we allocate and at what times. All I ask of members is to be cooperative in how we share courts at busy times and be aware of what times you arrange, particularly box league matches as the end of the seasons approach.

On the subject of box league I want to thank Randall Edwards for continuing to run this league, for 10 years now. Over 80 members are currently involved and many more have taken part over the years. It really is a great league and since it began over 2,500 singles matches have been played, thank you Randall.

On the theme of playing tennis I just want to reflect on the amazing amount of tennis that is being played. In addition to a record breaking amount of team tennis, we have group coaching, individual coaching, ladies night, mens night, mix-ins, both formal and informal, loads of social tennis, American tournaments, box league, club championships, the CLTC open in August, other smaller tournaments held at the club, the annual trip to Torquay for our juniors, the recent Don Bosco exchange and the common thread in all of this our love of tennis under the leadership and guidance of head coach and general manager, John Williams. Thank you John and let’s do even more of the same next year!

So to the future

I say it every year, no complacency. The committee will continue to work on your behalf to ensure we manage the club’s affairs professionally, with sound financial responsibility and a keen focus on tennis activities. To this end I hope you will shortly agree to strengthen our committee with the approval and welcome of Paul Cousins and Paul Senter to the committee. They are both active playing members of the club and will bring a new perspective, energy and I hope wisdom to our future discussions. We will also continue to ensure we offer an appropriate catering and bar service to the club. Recently Pete has decided to end his day to day involvement in the catering operation, but I am pleased to say he will continue to support us when necessary at various one off catering events. My thanks go to all the team who have worked behind the bar and in the kitchens especially Marcia. They do so much that goes unnoticed, whether it be for late night team meals, outside events or just dealing with the myriad of daily requests. Thanks too to Wayne, our cleaner and groundsman and Brian and Dennis, who also do lots of jobs around the grounds including at this time of year, trying to keep our courts as leaf free as possible. Thank you to all.

This time next year I hope that we will be able to look out and see new LED lights on courts 5-7 and I hope that any problems we have will be because so many of us want to be playing even more tennis and I hope we have even more tennis successes both individual and team on the courts. We are all brought together by our love and enjoyment of tennis and by being members of this great club we are continuing the traditions that go back to 1888. I wonder what those original members would make of the club now? Here is a closing thought. What will members in 2088 make of us now? Thank you

 

 

TEAM TENNIS

We have had 43 Teams competing throughout 2019.

13  in LTA Team Tennis

14 in South Wales Doubles

16 in Winter and Veteran league

 

Results are as follows:

 

SOUTH WALES DOUBLES LEAGUE

South Wales Doubles League

Men’s 1st Team – Premier 1 (8th Year running)

Men’s 2nd Team – Winners of Premier 2

Men’s 3rd Team – Won Division 1 play off for promotion to Premier 3.

Men’s 4th Team – Won Division 3 East

Men’s 5th Team  – Promoted from Division 5 East

Men’s 6th Team  – Retained position in Division 5 East

Men’s 7th Team – Won Division 6 East

Men’s 8th Team – Promoted from Division 9 East

Ladies 1st Team – Premier 1 Winners

Ladies 2nd Team – Retained position in Premier 2

Ladies 3rd Team – Retained position in Division 3 East

Ladies 4th Team – Won Division 8 East

Ladies 5th Team – Retained position in Division 8 East

 

A very successful SW doubles league season.  9 out of 13 teams won the league or got promoted, with the other 4 retaining their position.

60&Over Mixed Team – Won Division 1 Capt. Val Dixon

 

LTA TEAM TENNIS

Ladies 1st Team – runner up in West Midlands Regional Division.

Men 1st Team – came 3rd in Midlands National Division.  They then went on to win a ‘play-off’ match away in Lincoln.  Following this, they played in the National Finals which is the last 8 men’s teams in GB. 20 club members went to support them.

Ladies 2: South Wales Division 1 winners. Lost in play off for Regional division.

Men 2: retained position in South Wales Division 1

Men 3: retained position in South Wales Division 2

 

Junior Teams:

South Wales Winners

12&U Girls

16&U Boys

18&U Boys

 

There were 184 matches played between April and July with 160 players representing the club.

 

WINTER AND VETERANS  LEAGUES 2018/19:

We had another successful season with the following teams winning their respective divisions:

Ladies 1 – Division 1 Capt. Charlotte Lewis

Ladies 3 – Division 8 Capt. Nikki Hughes

Men’s 1 – Division 1 Capt. John Williams

Men’s 3  – Division 5 Capt. Tom Baker

 

Mixed 1 – Division 1 Capt. Cat Wray

Mixed 2 – Division 3 Capt. Randall Edwards

 

Vets Ladies 1 – Division 1 Capt. Alison Sandford

 

CLUB CLOSED CHAMPIONSHIPS:

The Club Championships have been held over a 3-day period for many years.  However this year we changed the format with it being held during the month of September, and introduced a Tier system so that everyone had a chance of winning their respective event.

This proved to be a great success, particularly in relation to the entry numbers, and for the players in the event for first time. The results were as follows:

 

Men’s Singles

48 Players (8 Last Year). Winners:

Tier 1: Dominic Pearson

Tier 2: Colin Todd

Tier 3: Josh Lutner

 

Ladies Singles

16 Players (8 Last Year). Winners:

Tier 1: Buddug James

Tier 2: Zoe Chivers

 

Men’s Doubles

24 Pairs (8 Last Year)

Winners:

Tier 2: Brandon Wheeler and Andrew Longsdail

Tier 3: Graham Webster and Paul Cousins

 

Ladies Doubles

13 pairs (4 Last Year)

Winners:

Tier 1: Buddug James and Alex Oelmann

Tier 2: Nikki Hughes and Sue Edwards

 

Mixed Doubles

22 Pairs (16 pairs Last Year)

Winners:

Tier 1: Dafydd and Buddug James

Tier 2: Paul and Joely Keenan

 

97 Players took part in at least 1 event playing a total of 174 matches