Last year was extremely challenging for all of us, and recreational sport was heavily impacted by Covid-19. Like everyone else, we shut up shop so to speak during the first lockdown and it was with a very heavy heart that I took down the nets, locked the clubhouse and padlocked the gates shut, not knowing when we would be allowed to re-open them again. But thankfully that period was relatively short-lived, and we were soon allowed to re-open, albeit with restrictions in place in terms of social distancing and numbers. We quickly got into the routine of checking the published guidance on a daily basis and making changes wherever and whenever was necessary, learning lessons along the way, especially resorting to players using only their own marked balls in order to minimise the risk of ‘test and trace’ self-isolations.
There have been many positives coming out of the 2020 experience, notably the on-line court booking system has been well received , the WhatsApp group arrangement for organising games has worked extremely well, and surprisingly we have seen more use of the courts that we would have done if we had not been forced to make changes. As with wider business, some elements of the ‘new normal’ will probably be retained as we transition out of the pandemic. Also notable is that we managed to play all our senior tournaments within the government and governing body guidelines. It therefore gives me great pleasure to confirm the following Club Champions for 2020:
Open Singles Champion – Oliver Paton
Ladies Singles Champion – Linda Bonnar
Vets Singles Champion – Henry Murray
Mens Doubles Champions – Ewen Campbell / Ross Ives
Ladies Doubles Champions – Gillian Brennan / Anne Wallace
Open Doubles Champions – Oliver Paton / Louis Crickmar
Mixed Doubles Champions – Kerry Horsburgh / Mike Seal
Senior / Junior Doubles Champions – Oliver Paton / Louis Crickmar
I’m also delighted to confirm the following recipients of President’s Awards for 2020:
Social Tennis Player of the Year – Andy Menzies (for embracing the new arrangements)
Arthur Ashe Player of the Year – Stuart Crickmar (for Most Improved Player during lockdown)
Overall Player of the Year – Oliver Paton (for being ‘Simply the Best’ consistent all-round player)
As we prepare for the 2021 season, it is hopefully against a backdrop of more optimism, knowing that we can continue to offer safe tennis opportunities for all, so long as we are permitted to do so. We will of course always have to adhere to any changing guidelines and circumstances, but having been allowed to remain open during the 20/21 Winter, and with the progressive roll-out of vaccines into the Spring and Summer, then I think we can be more confident about fewer restrictions on our tennis in 2021 than we had in 2020 – and having missed out on any silverware myself this year, that is enough to motivate me to keep playing, keep practising and be more hopeful of improving my game in 2021!
Hope to see you all on court very soon.
John Brennan – Club President