Election of BLTC New Committee 2016/2017
President (non elected) - Sylvia Stewart
Chairman - John Kamenou
Treasurer - Isabelle Ridgewell
Secretary - Jeannette Cowan
Membership Secretary - Judy Williamson
Ladies'Captain - Su Pryor
Men's Captain - Luke Barker/Danny Williamson
Bar Manager - Sheila Rice
Social Events Secretary - Linda Searles
Social Tennis Secretary - Paul Barkley
Press & Publicity Officer - Colin Fenn
Maintenance Secretary - Martin Dawson
Welfare Officer - Sue Littleford
Chairman’s Report – October 16th 2016
First of all, I would like to extend warm wishes to my predecessor, David Tomlinson, and wish him a full recovery. We remember the service he gave to the Club in his time on committee and as a member. I also want to note the sad death of Ju Li – I believe a number of members were able to go the funeral. Condolence also goes to the Fenn family on the passing of a close family member recently. I am not aware of any other sadnesses of note this past year – and I apologise if I have left anyone out.
I will start by saying that 2016 has been a strong year for the Club. Without the hard work of the members and Committee, this would not have been possible. The running of the Club, outside the work of the coaching team, is dependent on the work of the team of committee members and team captains on the playing side.
There have been a number of notable successes, which I will speak of in due course. There has been much activity again, both on and off the courts, and the addition of a new Social Secretary in Linda Searles has been central in delivering a number of well attended and much enjoyed social events.
As a tennis club that puts voluntary work at the heart of its ethos, I must give thanks to the volunteers and committee members that provide such a wonderful service to the club and have represented the Club well in the last twelve months. I believe we have a dedicated team on committee. However, we must remain intent and focused on progressing the club and improving both playing facilities and off-court facilities and the service we provide. We cannot stand still in this regard if we are to continue to retain members and attract prospective new members. I have a strong vision for the Club and I believe that in the next 12 months, with continued careful management and planning, we can look to replace courts 1-4 and refurbish the main clubhouse area. There must be a balance between the two; new state of the art playing facilities without adequate social facilities to go with it is not a recipe for success, and it is important to be mindful of this as we look to invest.
Finance and Membership
Firstly, I would like to thank Isabelle and Judy for the Reports prepared and their dedication to their respective tasks throughout the last year. These are two areas that we have worked extremely hard at to improve in comparison to previous years. It is most satisfying (though I note the discrepancy, to be confirmed) to see that the accounts show a profit for the first time in quite a few years. Accounts Y.E. April 2014 showed a loss for that year (including for figures of depreciation) of approximately £17,500, reduced down to a little over £5,000 at the time of last year’s accounts. The Club showing a profit of over £7,000 for Y.E. April 2016 is a significant turnaround – and is somewhat of a reward for the hard work put in to improve the Club’s finances. We are going in the right direction but must not rest on our laurels if we are to successfully deliver the new Courts project and oversee other much needed club and clubhouse improvements. We must also understand that to improve the Club’s finances, while careful management is key; we must also invest in order to make the Club a more attractive one, and thereby continue to make our profits and finances appear rosy. A cost-benefit analysis is key to each of the areas that require significant investment.
In summary of our financial position for the current year, we have had a better better financial year than the last year, and the year before that – with present bank account figures totalling approximately £77,000 across all accounts (correct as at September 21 2016). This position is also much healthier than earlier in the current year owing to various factors listed below. At the July committee meeting, I presented some figures to committee that showed the success we had financially with subscriptions from new members since January. I hope that this trend will continue into the next year and we also improve membership retention.
Some of the financial strengths noted over the last year –
- Solid membership year – new members and better overall membership stats including a better response to the Early Bird offer (marketing drives for new members and G.B.T.W. were successful – over60 new members gained since January in a relatively short time frame).
- Reducing the loss incurred for Men’s and Ladies Nights to around £100 (down from almost £1,600 loss for the year before.
- Avoiding any hefty court maintenance fees for this year – where there was an outlay of almost £5,000 the previous year on re-crumbing of the courts and general court maintenance.
- The Bar (with Sheila in place as ‘official Bar Manager) appears to be doing better and the money in the till monitored, regularly emptied in the safe and amounts recorded.
- More Social Events with a new Social Tennis Manager (Linda) has also helped bar takings and the overall attractiveness of membership.
- Going forward, we now have better terms on our electricity supply contract – with a 12 month contract about to start; N Power offer a more competitive prices to include night and weekend rate. Thank you to Richard Laciny for highlighting this particular point previously.
The circa £77,000 in our account (correct as at 21st September 2016) bodes well for new tennis courts 1-4 in the next 12 months that everyone on the committee seems to want. It is also a healthy figure given the fact we have refurbished the Men’s and Ladies Areas, installed a new sub-floor to the affected side of the clubhouse (£1,650) in February/March and re-bulbed the floodlights on courts 2 & 3 (just over £2,000). We have recently had new picnic tables (thank you to Martin & Bob) which should help bar takings in the warmer months.
I am hoping in the next 12 months to improve the clubhouse with painting & decorating works and changing the floor to a smart, wood finish, which I believe will make a big difference to the attractiveness of the Club as a whole. Early plans to build a small outside house as a disabled toilet to solve the issue of members not having access to that basic service, if they are not a key holder and the clubhouse is locked, will also be further explored and quotations taken.
The Committee will prioritise the project to deliver new tennis courts. It must remembered that we are not a wealthy club and we are hoping to deliver the project two years than earlier forecast for 2019 in Steve Bird’s 20 year Financial Plan for the Club. A meeting in recent weeks with the Chiltern Group advised that extensive sub-ground works appear to not be necessary for courts 1-4. If this is further verified and confirmed, this would significantly reduce the overall cost of the project by £25,000. Chiltern stated that they could not justify a spend of this amount after inspecting the courts and the current state of the tarmac, which is good news. Play tests have been undertaken – and we are yet to make a judgment on exactly which new surface will be laid, but economic constraints will of course have to play a part in that decision.
Maintenance & improvement works
Martin Dawson, with the trusted help of loyal and long serving honorary member, Bob Price, has performed well and worked hard to ensure that ‘maintenance’ remains high on the agenda of the club. Sincere thanks for all the hard work put in – and I hope that Martin will be just as willing to serve on the committee in this post next year. It is an unenviable role but a crucial one for the club. A big thank you must also go to Martin for the successful running of the Quiz Night last weekend.
The role of Bar Manager, which had been vacant for some time, has been undertaken for the last year by club stalwart, Sheila Rice. Sheila has once again performed diligently and thank you to her for all the time she puts into the role. It is a key area for social activity at the club, before and after tennis, and important to the club’s success.
Linda Searles has performed magnificently in her new role of Social Tennis Manager and has brought enthusiasm, energy and drive to this area with such events as Casino Night, Wine Evening (thank you also to Alex lake), the recent Pie & Pint Evening, Family Bingo, with the upcoming Pumpkin Evening still to come. They have been worthwhile and popular events and provide a much needed outlet for social interaction and enjoyment amongst members. The Club can only benefit from holding these events and the new social calendar Linda has created and put in place, with the kind and generous help of her husband, Mike. Sincere thanks to Linda and the support team around her.
Club Website, Publicity and Communications
This area continues to be a strong part of the Club. Thank you to Jackie Czuprynski for the monthly newsletter which is important to publicising the events and happenings at the club. It has proven a popular format and a ‘go-to place’ for club members on the club website – I am happy that she will continue to write for the Club.
Sincere thanks to Geoff Arnett for overseeing the Club website and being ever ready to make changes and alterations.
Coaching & Competitions
Thank you to John Hall for the Report made today. The club continues to thrive in the aspect of coaching and competitions and is better for having him in the role. John Hall’s coaching programme continues to attract good numbers of children form the local Barnet area, and its popularity is evident when attending the club on weekend mornings. Its success bodes well for the next generation of club members and players, and performance standards.
The Club tournaments run in the summer and autumn are an important attraction for club members, and John’s experience in the role has ensured another successful year, with some good tennis on display yesterday (BLTC Autumn Finals) for those in attendance.
I am also pleased with the success of the LTA ‘Lofty Lofts’ tournament and the continued sponsorship by Dean Barker.
LTA and The Great British Tennis Weekend (G.B.T.W.)
The G.B.T.W. held in May was very successful. It proved to be well organised, well marketed and publicised, as well as well attended. Thanks go to Jackie Czuprynski for running the event on the day and work of the sub-committee in preparations for the weekend. We attracted 75 visitors to the open days and the sessions held across the weekend in May. Many of them were children, gaining fourteen direct new members, as well as sign ups to coaching sessions - a very good return. Thank you to the G.B.T.W. team.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all those that have supported me during the past year and made the job both an enjoyable and easier one. I once again look forward to an even better year ahead, working as a team; and a year where we can look forward to real improvements at the Club.
Head Coach Report – October 16th 2016
The weekly adult and junior courses have mostly been well attended throughout the year, and we’ve had to make waiting lists in some groups. Men’s and Ladies‘ Nights had a similar level of attendance to last year, but they weren’t helped by quite a lot of bad weather which broke up the momentum. We haven’t got an adult beginners group at the moment, and our holiday camps could do with more players so these are areas we want to target for the future. We do have some other initiatives in the pipeline too but I don’t want to say what they are yet as they need developing and logistics worked out.
I’d like to thank Doug for his excellent work with both junior and adult players, and his support day to day with the coaching programme. We also have some excellent young coaches including John Michaelson, Stephen Williams and Matthew Feldman. It’s also great to have Luke back with us. He’s going to be doing some work at East Barnet School, and hopefully we are going to link up to help both Luke’s programme and the club’s coaching programme and membership.
The 2 main competitions, the Club Championships and Autumn Championships produced very good entries once again, and we held our Autumn Finals yesterday. I’m very proud of these tournaments and think there can’t be many, if any, clubs in Herts or Middx with such a great number of entries spanning across such a broad range of abilities.
The mini tennis element of the Junior Club Championships took place in the summer, and I’m looking to run the older age groups now during half term as there weren’t enough entries to run it last week alongside the adult events.
Our Junior Open Tournament was once again sponsored by ‘Lofty Lofts’ and produced a good entry, although I think slightly down on last year. I think that was a general trend, so we are hoping to gain more entries next year.
Earlier in the year another successful charity tournament, the Margaret Littleford Cup, once again raised lots of money for ‘Children in Need’.
Two tournaments which are currently taking entries are the Team Tennis and Singles League events. You can enter both events either by the sign up sheets or on-line via thewebsite. but there’s not much time before closing dates.
Our junior teams did well in the junior leagues, although I don’t think any of them quite managed to win their divisions. Thanks to all parents who helped by acting as team organisers. A number of our mini tennis players have also been very active and successful in external tournaments, both girls and boys. I’m intending to set up a lot of friendly matches over the autumn and winter, and we actually have one taking place right now at Vicars Moor.
We have a particularly strong group of 8 and 9 year olds who are working in a squad with Doug, Luke and me. We have got a sponsorship of over £500 from Coversure Insurance for free squad clothing thanks to one of the parents, John Harley.
Next junior events coming up are half term camps, the Junior Club Championships, the Singles League, hopefully some junior matchplay days, and also Luke is going to be running another children’s Christmas Party in order to make full use of the Father Christmas costume he bought 2 years ago.
Finally, thanks to all members who have supported the coaching and/or the competition programme during the year. Please keep giving us feedback of any kind so we can keep improving.
BLTC Director of Coaching
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY REPORT – October 16th 2016
2016 has been a good year for membership. A total of 352 signed up – an increase on this time last year when that figure was 317.
The breakdown in terms of adults/juniors is:-
223 adults (an increase of 22 on last year’s figure of 201);
113 juniors (14 more than last year’s figure of 99); and
16 social members (as opposed to 17 last year)
Our membership covers all ages from 4 to 80 years old and it is very pleasing that the club attracts such a wide range of people. We have a particularly strong junior section with 58 mini tennis members (aged 8 and under). This is mainly thanks to our team of coaches, led by John and Doug, who continue to attract the youngsters by making their coaching sessions both fun and challenging.
The committee feel strongly that we should make every effort to attract new members to the club. It is inevitable that we lose some each year but to counteract that, we have tried out a number of new initiatives this season, with some measure of success. Posters are displayed here at the club and 2,000 postcards advertising a seasonal membership deal, were distributed to houses in nearby streets by some of the level 1 coaching assistants. On a Saturday and Sunday in May we hosted the Great British Tennis Weekend here, as a result of which we gained 14 new members.
A while ago John Hall noticed that another club was offering a new category of membership to the parents of children aged 10 and under and we decided to try this out at Barnet. This gives parents and their children the opportunity to practice together but is restricted to non-busy times i.e. not Saturday and Sunday mornings. We have 18 new members in this category and, although the rate they currently pay is quite low, it is hoped that as their children grow older they may upgrade to a more lucrative family membership. We also have a membership referral scheme where current members can get £10 off their subscription fees when introducing a new adult member to the club.
All these initiatives have helped to increase our numbers but our main attribute is the club itself and its members. Who wouldn’t be impressed seeing all the courts so busy at the weekends and many weekday evenings. Our website is easy to find and gives lots of information about the club, thanks you to Geoff who keeps the website up to date for us. I regularly receive enquiries from prospective new members who have noticed us either when passing or by looking us up on-line.Having attracted these new members, the trick is to keep them. We hope that our social sessions on a Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, along with the all year round tennis programme, are sufficient incentives to stay. We should look again at introducing a “Buddy” scheme where we ask existing members to include new members when arranging social games. One or two of you already do this for us and we may approach some others to help with this objective.
BLTC Membership Secretary
LADIES CAPTAINCY REPORT – October 16th 2016
The Ladies have had another very solid year – again fielding teams in the Middlesex leagues and the Herts 3 pair, Hot Rackets and Seniors leagues – 10 teams in total.
Overall, we achieved one promotion (Ladies 2 Mdx summer – captained by Su Pryor) but also one relegation (Ladies 2 Mdx winter – captained by Su Pryor). However, Ladies 2 have ended up back in the same division this winter – presumably because teams above have withdrawn.
Middlesex Floodlight league: Captain:
- Ladies 1 East Div 3 6th of 8 W3 D1 L3 Suzanne Petrou
- Ladies 2 East Div 4 7th of 8 W0 D3 L3 Su Pryor Relegated
Hertfordshire Winter Ladies Seniors league:
- Over 40s Div 4A 2nd of 6 W4 D1 L0 Sheila Rice
Good season finishing runners up, but only top team gets promoted in this league.
- Ladies 1 East Div 1 4th of 8 W3 L4 Suzanne Petrou
- Ladies 2 East Div 5 2nd of 8 W5 D1 L1 Su Pryor Promoted
- Ladies 3 East Div 7 3rd of 8 W3 D1 L3 Lesley Seaborne/Wynn
All teams did well finishing in the top half of their divisions, with the 2nd team finishing runners up in theirs and so gaining promotion to Div 4.
Hertfordshire 3 pair:
- Ladies 1 Div 1A 3rd of 7 W4 L2 Judith Madejczyk
- Ladies 2 Div 4A 6th of 6 W1 L4 Julie Power
Following promotion to Div 1A, the 1st team, captained by Judith Madejczyk, had a great season - finishing third of 7, with 4 wins and 2 losses, so they comfortably kept their place at this high level. The competition was tight however, with 4 matches being won or lost with a 5-4 scoreline.
It’s fair to say the 2nd team struggled this year, finishing bottom of Div 4B. Over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to get teams out for the Herts 3 pair leagues, as many members find the 6 set format too long, and Julie Power found this season particularly hard in that respect. A few years ago we dropped the 3rd team – replacing it with a Hot Rackets team. We should consider doing the same with the 2nd team next season. As it stands, the team will not be relegated, as Div 4B is the lowest in the Ladies league – a reflection of the number of clubs that have moved teams from 3 pair to Hot Rackets in recent years.
Hot Rackets (2 pair) leagues
- Ladies 1 Div 1A 4th of 7 W3 L3 Jane Crowley
- Ladies 2 Div 4A 4th of 8 W4 L3 Jeannette Cowan
Hot Rackets is gaining in popularity – year on year the number of teams and divisions are increasing – enjoying the shorter format and different rules – including a final set shoot-out that comes into play to force a winning result.
There was good attendance at Ladies’ nights, with players continuing to meet and play after the coach led sessions had finished – helped greatly by the introduction of the Whatsapp tennis group.
My thanks go to everyone who participated in Ladies’ tennis at Barnet, especially all the team captains who put a lot of time and effort into running a team – it is very much appreciated.
Finally, special congratulations go to Nicky Fenn who successfully defended her Ladies Singles title in the summer and completed a season double by winning the Autumn club championships yesterday.
Mixed team summary
The mixed teams had a very successful winter season with 2 teams winning their divisions and a third also gaining promotion by finishing runner up.
Barnet 1 East Div 2 2nd of 8 W5 D1 L1 Aran Mustafa Promoted
Barnet 2 East Div 5 1st of 7 W5 L1 Jackie Czuprynski Promoted
Vets 1 East Div 6b 1st of 5 W2 D1 L1 Geoff Arnett Promoted
Vets 2 East Div 8b 3rd of 7 W2 D3 L1 Lesley Seaborne
BLTC Ladies Tennis Captain
MEN’S CAPTAINCY REPORT – October 16th 2016
It has been a tremendously successful year for Barnet’s men this summer. As many of you know, I will be stepping down as captain this year. My job as captain has been made very easy due to the commitment shown by the players at the club across all levels. A special thanks goes out to all the team captains that have assisted me over the last two years. It has been a pleasure working with you all. It has been great for all those involved in competitive tennis (especially where we have so much success). There is a great buzz around the club with regards to the team matches. Long may it continue. I hope to continue to be involved in captaining teams at Barnet but one thing I am certain of is that Luke and Danny will do a great job as the new Men’s Captains. Good luck to them both.
Summer results -
Herts 1 – captained by Aran Mustafa – 2nd in the Championship – the flagship team once again highlights that our men are amongst the best in the county
Herts 2 – captained by Aran Mustafa – mid table in Division 1 – playing mainly first teams, Barnet once again show their depth compared to others
Herts 3 – captained by Doug Morley – 3rd in Division 3 – very solid performance
Herts 4 – captained by Danny Williamson – 1st in Division 6 – 100% record this year, flawless season
Hot rackets 1st team – captained by Geoff Arnett – 1st in Division 2 – flawless campaign, Geoff will be relishing next year’s challenge I’m sure
Hot rackets 2nd team – captained by Nick Madejczyk – mid table in Division 4 – solid year and one again used the largest pool of players of any team
Aegon 1 – captained by Greg Kraushar – relegated from Division 1 – wrongly promoted in the first place but showcased some of the highest quality opponents Barnet has ever faced
Aegon 2 – captained by George Eldred – 2nd in Division 3 – once again outperforming many first teams
Middlesex 1 – captained by Aran Mustafa – mid table in the Intermediate division
Middlesex 2 – captained by Aran Mustafa – mid table in Division 1
Middlesex 3 – captained by Albert Durbal – mid table in Division 5
Middlesex 4 – captained by Adrian Stewart – mid table in Division 8
BLTC Men’s Captain