Committee Meeting Minutes 15th Jan 2019

Shiplake Tennis and Social Club
Minutes of Committee Meeting 15th January 2019

Present: Tim Dunn TD Chair, Charlie Calderbank CC Treasurer, Rachel Richardson RR Junior Secretary, Andrew Stallwood AS Membership Secretary, Helma Marlow HM Social Secretary, David Channon RDC Secretary


  1. Matters Arising from Last Meeting

– AGM Prep. Done (TD, Q and Di Jones, RDC)

– Continue Monitoring Resurfacing Project. Done (Q and Di Jones)

Q and Di have kindly agreed to continue to manage this project until court painting completed and final payment made this coming spring.

– Emergency decking repairs. Completed (RDC)

Prepare and Install Defibrilator. Completed (RDC). The Committee wishes to thank Peter Robinson for installing and connecting the cabinet.

– Arrange DBS check for Junior Coach. This coach has now left. All existing coaches have been checked (RR)

– Produce Coaching Refund Record Sheets. Done (RR)


  1. Status of Membership and Coaching Renewals

AS reported that 248 members have renewed to date. He indicated that Karen Peters is helping him with the burden of work this causes and the committee wishes to thanks Karen for her continuing commitment in this area.

RR reported that so far she had received 76 junior coaching renewals, about 10% down on last year, and the reception class is down to 11 juniors. She said she will canvass Shiplake Junior School as in previous years in an attempt to increase the numbers.

The preliminary membership renewal figures were discussed by the committee, who regard them as encouraging at this fairly early stage in the year, given the large increase in fees to fund the new sinking fund.


  1. Treasurer’s Report

CC indicated he was unable to answer all the queries at present as authority to run the bank accounts was still in the process of being passed over from Q and Di Jones. However he reported a Paypal balance (all membership fees go to this account) of £21952, healthy at this stage of the season. He also indicated that the cash balance at the end of 2018 was £15,941, of which £6256 is reserved for the final resurfacing payment. He felt that overall the financial position of the club is healthy and that the committee could consider some modest expenditures in the near future (see item 5 below).

HM asked that the balance of income over expenditure from social events be ring-fenced. CC and others indicated they saw no problems with that. CC said he would consider opening a separate account for this.    


  1. Consideration of opening membership and junior coaching to applicants outside Shiplake area

This matter arose as RR had indicated she had had an enquiry for junior coaching from someone outside the area who could not find a suitable provider on a Saturday. She felt that we should allow this. RDC indicated he was not necessarily against this however felt that the committee should be concerned that this would likely set a precedent for future coaching enquiries and indeed possibly for both adult and junior membership enquiries. The geographic restriction had been in place for many years. As juniors being coached are required to become junior members, agreement to coaching juniors from outside the area also means agreeing to having junior members from outside the area.

A lengthy discussion ensued. TD felt that we should not be too concerned to make changes. It was finally decided that, given the shortage of applications for junior coaching this year and the fact that juniors represent the future of the club, we should provide coaching for juniors from outside the area, provided they agree to become junior members of the club and pay the junior membership fee. As regards adults, it was concluded there is no current need to widen our geographic area, however those on the waiting list and within the geographic area (now increased to about 12) would now be allowed to join.


  1. Consideration of Proposed Expenditures

Decking Repairs: RDC reminded the committee that the repairs made in early December were very minor and intended only to prevent trip accidents in a very small area of the decking. However he had now obtained a quote for £650 to make more extensive repairs of about one third of the total decking area, based on an assessment of the extent of the rotten joists, posts and decking made when some decking strips were removed for the emergency repairs. He confirmed that the assessment could not be regarded as completely reliable, given the poor access available at the time. However he felt that replacement of the complete decking would cost several thousand pounds and the committee agreed we are not in a position to agree that amount at present.

The committee reconvened by the decking outside and RDC explained the extent of the proposed repairs and the basis of the quote in detail. HM felt that the area should be coned off, or similar, during the works to prevent trip hazards. RDC agreed he would require this. TD suggested that once all the decking strips required to do the work were removed, a better assessment of the total extent of the rot should be made so we could consider whether the agreed work should be extended. This was also agreed.

The committee unanimously approved the proposed repairs.

First Aid Training: RDC reminded the committee that he had investigated this last year but the item was postponed until it became clear that sufficient funds were available. He had identified a suitable accredited trainer who would provide a course at our clubhouse at a fee of £300 plus £20 per participant. At present there is only one member who attends club sessions or team matches regularly with such training. The course would include use of the defibrilator and each participant would also get a first aid package, manual and certificate.

This item was also discussed in detail. The concept of holding this training was agreed and that the basic £300 cost would be met by the club. However it was felt that it was not reasonable for the club to pay the £20/person costs unless it was clear that the participants would be in a position to apply their knowledge while a good number of club members are present on court. It was finally decided to restrict participation to those who either attended club sessions and/or club matches regularly, and given that at present it is impossible to assess how many may be interested in attending the course, it may be necessary to further restrict the number qualifying for these subsidies on a similar basis. RDC agreed to draft an email to all members for the committee’s consideration.

Championship Equipment: RDC read out the email Howard Poll sent to TD last October indicating various items of equipment requested by the Championship Sub-Committee. RDC reminded committee members that on behalf of the committee he had emailed Howard at that time indicating his suggestions would be reviewed this year.

There followed a detailed discussion of the various items proposed.

As regards the umpire’s chair, RDC distributed a quote he had received for £55 to mend it. This was approved. As regards the other items (chairs, tables, court displays, podium, banners, ground pegs), it was recognised that the tables and podium would require storage that the club no longer had, especially following the recent demolition of the rotten lean-to. As regards the chairs, the club purchased many new chairs last year and there didn’t seem to be a problem seating those that required it at the championship last year. As the championship was for the sole benefit of existing members, it was felt that a banner was not appropriate. It was noted that the tables  and podium were only needed once a year and could be borrowed nearer the time, e.g. CC suggested in might be possible to borrow from the Binfield Heath Flower Show and RDC suggested from the Memorial Hall. A stool or similar could be borrowed to provide a podium. The oncourt displays will be considered later.

Hook Racks: The committee promised to consider this in the new year at the December AGM. Expenditure on three racks of brass hooks, mounted on hardwood backing and a means to attach to the courtside netting, was agreed.  HM agreed to investigate possible purchases and make a proposal to the committee. 


  1. Preliminary Planning of 2019 Social and Tennis Events

HM briefed the committee about the Social Sub-Committee’s plans to hold the following:

– A Curry Club to be held roughly once a quarter in a suitable local venue. Participants to bring contributions of food and beverages. This item was enthusiastically agreed by other committee members! HM proposed  that the first one be held on 8th March and this was agreed.

– A junior knockout tournament. Parents would be invited. Dates after the end of the spring coaching season were considered. Sunday 14th April was the date agreed, at 1pm, after the end of the club session.

– A BBQ to celebrate the final completion of the court resurfacing, after the court painting is completed. 12th May, again after a Sunday club session, was tentatively agreed for this.

TD felt that the correct procedure was for the Social Secretary HM in future to bring recommendations for events proposed by the Social Sub-Committee to the main committee for consideration in advance of each proposed event. This can be done by email if no committee meeting were expected soon. This was agreed. It was also agreed that HM is authorised to put out a ‘save the date’ email via David Bell, to all members advising them of these events.

After discussing various alternatives, 8th September was agreed as the Championship Finals date this year. Every date considered clashed with one thing or another but this was felt to be the best compromise.

Wimbledon Ballot and Draw: RDC pointed out this year’s LTA dates relating to the Wimbledon Draw. It was agreed that he would send out the usual reminder to members to opt-in nearer the 22nd February deadline. He must provide the club’s ballot results to the LTA ahead of their cut-off date, which this year is 24th May. Up to two weeks is needed before this to arrange alternative allocations when necessary. HM suggested a BBQ to support the draw on 12th May after the Sunday club session. This was approved, with the draw to take place at 2pm.

RDC indicated that the amount of work generated by the draw last year was phenomenal, with so many tickets being rejected and passed through a succession of others on the waiting list, eight members rejecting in the case of one pair. He said he was reluctant to spend this amount of time this year and suggested that, as a compromise, he was prepared to continue to run a reserve list but if the winner and the member on the reserve list both rejected a ticket option it would be returned to the LTA. This was agreed.


  1. Junior Matters

RR reported there had been no significant issues or complaints from parents etc. and no safeguarding issues.


  1. Health and Safety

RDC reported there had been no injuries since the last meeting or indeed since the new surfaces were laid: a great improvement on the previous year.


  1. AOB

The committee considered Janette Verrall’s request at the recent AGM that the names of those booking courts be posted on the booking section of the club’s website, so that they could be approached if it were necessary to ask them to modify their booking to make way for a match. The committee did not feel this is a good idea as it raises data protection issues and in any case matches always follow either coaching or club sessions, the timings of which cannot be modified.

The committee noted that a response had been made to those who raised concerns at the AGM regarding the price paid to Henley Sports for our balls. RDC had responded that we pay only £4.11 per tube of four, a very good price.


  1. Next Meeting

This was agreed as Tuesday March 12th at 7.30 pm in the Clubhouse

Actions before next meeting

CC – Consider opening a separate account for social committee expenditures

RR – Organise Junior Championships
– Approach Shiplake Primary School to encourage junior coaching applications

HM – Arrange various approved social events
– Source Hook Racks for Courts

RDC – Supervise decking repairs
– Arrange First Aid Training