Committee Meeting Minutes – 4th May 2021

Minutes of Committee Meeting – 4 May 2021

 Present: Marcus Bining (MB) – Chair, Charlie Calderbank (CC) –  Treasurer,  Rachel Richardson (RR) – Junior Secretary, Karen Peters (KP) – Membership Secretary,  Helma Marlow (HM) – Social Secretary, Olly Bonser (OB) – Secretary, Nick Wrigley (NW) – H&S Officer

  1. Matters arising from the previous meeting
  • Most actions had been dealt with
  • Gate to Court 3 still needs to be fixed
  • Club roles and responsibilities need defining – “The go to people” for members
  • Club policies to be read by all Committee members and forms to be sent to RR confirming this
  • Neighbour dispute – letter to be sent to neighbour confirming our final position
  • Court usage stats (OB – WIP)
  1. Membership Renewal Status
    • 152 adults
    • 83 juniors
    • 6 social members
    • 4 honorary members
  • 27 new members
  • A few renewals still trickling in
  • Steady stream of enquiries for new joiners from various sources
  • The new membership@ email address is being used
  • We could end up with c.255/260 members if renewals and new enquiries come to fruition (potential membership revenue of c.£21,000)
  • For next year, we need to consider the option of auto-renewals to make the process more efficient for everyone
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  • The Club currently has a surplus of £35,452 which includes: £16,220 in the 32-day sink fund account; £11,957 in the main account (ending 666); £6,322 in the paypal account; and £953 in the sports and social account
  • This leaves the Club in a healthy financial position, particularly when considering the c.£6k spend on the clubhouse and decking
  • For the sink fund we aim to put in £5,400 each year (as advised by the LTA); we may not manage the full amount this year, but it’s important to note that we are already one year ahead of payment schedule, so this is not an issue.
  • Not clear yet what our junior coaching revenues would be for the year as Autumn term hasn’t yet been booked in, but the Summer term coaching sessions are very well supported, with c.45 people signed up.
  1. Junior Matters
  • As mentioned above, the summer term junior coaching has started and numbers are very good, particularly at the younger end
  • A junior member had asked if they could assist with junior coaching as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Scheme award; do they need to be DBS checked? RR confirmed that no DBS check is required for any volunteer under the age of 16 (as stated by the LTA).
  1. Social Events
  • BBQ on 23 May has been organised and promoted; a few people had confirmed their attendance; we need to get to at least 20 people to make the event viable (maximum of 30 is permissible under government guidelines)
  • Helma, Nick and Olly would attend and represent the Committee, and be on cooking duty
  • Marcus would look at creating links and an easy way for members to RSVP and for them to provide useful information for these events; Helma will send relevant info ration to Marcus for him to create link.
  • Another planned event is a “Bring and Share” event on 25 June; these are usually very popular in the past and are easier to arrange as people bring their own food. Too early to promote this – will do so after the BBQ on the 23 May
  • Summer event – will wait to see what the government says before making any further plans. 
  1. Current status of dispute with Neighbour
  • No further update, but still need to draft and send letter confirming our final position on the matter
  • As an aside, we will need to trim the neighbour’s trees which are starting to hang over Court 3
  1. Health & Safety
  • We’re fully compliant with current government/LTA covid guidelines
  • Once next stage of restrictions are lifted, we will, for example, be able to have 6 people in the clubhouse; notification will be sent to members of what changes will be possible.
  1. Clubhouse and decking
  • New decking and clubhouse maintenance works have now been completed, with just some minor snagging still required.
  • It was a huge effort and many members were involved in helping in some aspect of the works, and it was great to see such community spirit. Thank you to all the members who came to help.
  • Massive thanks to Nick Wrigley for his work, and also to Peter Robertson who went well above and beyond. The Committee also thanked Marcus for his effort and work as well.
  • The whole project came to c.£6k which was what had been budgeted.
  • The Committee would like to gather any photos and create a montage to be displayed on the clubhouse noticeboard
  1. Website
  • There are lots of short terms issues with the website which can be fixed quickly, but there are also longer term issues which need to be addressed with the current site.
  • At present a larger than expected proportion of club revenue is being spent on the website, so this needs to be looked at.
  • Short term fixes have included: various committee members (Marcus, Karen, and also Mike Lynskey) are able to block book courts for various reasons; we have also opened up the bookings system to show who has booked the courts – this is only available to members who have logged in to the website; the committee are now able to send out emails to members directly, rather than using our existing service provider and also allowing us to use the most up to date membership list which can easily be segmented so emails are more targeted (on this point, all emails sent to members will be related to tennis club business, so there will be no issues with GDPR (data protection) rules as all emails will be of legitimate interest to those receiving them.
  • We are also taking more active control of the various club email boxes (eg “membership@” or “bookings@”) so that there is a trail of any such emails, and that emails relating to club business aren’t lost over time – previously many club related emails have been dealt with by personal email addresses. The committee will decide who will take responsibility for checking the various email boxes and responding on behalf of the club – this will include a secondary person in case the primary contact is unavailable for any significant period of time. MB and OB to finalise the list of email boxes and the primary and secondary people responsible for those email boxes.
  • For the long term, we will research the LTA Clubspark web platform which is designed for small clubs like ours to manage membership, court bookings, renewals, etc. Other local clubs are using this platform and they all seem to like it. Later this year we will assess our needs and identify whether the LTA platform would meet these needs; this could be a far more cost effective solution than our current arrangement on a number of levels.
  1. Championship update
  • Everything seems to be up and running nicely – the draw was successfully made, matches have been played and results have been sent in using the QR codes provided.
  1. AOB
  • One of the Committee had been asked by a member whether notices could be put up on the Club notice board promoting local businesses. The Committee agreed that, as much as it would like to support local businesses, it was not appropriate to do so as the noticeboard is there for club business. Karen was having a big clean out of the Clubhouse over the next few days, so she would tidy up the noticeboard and remove any non-Club/tennis related materials. The member who had asked the question would be advised of this decision.
  • The loo seat needed replacing – we would contact the relevant person to dal with this.
  • All our members should be strongly encouraged to become LTA Advantage members (the new version of the BTM (British Tennis Membership)). This would help the club and members for a variety of reasons – membership numbers are required of those playing in inter-club matches and also membership numbers are required for people to enter the Wimbledon ballot (when it re-starts next year) – if all members have joined the LTA Advantage scheme, then there won’t be a rush to do it when either playing for the club for the first time, or they want to enter the ballot; there will also be other benefits to joining. OB to identify what these are then will contact the membership to encourage everyone to join.
  • Club Sessions are now getting very busy and there is a considerable amount of time hanging around waiting for games to finish, especially if all 8 games go to deuce or just take a long time due to the nature of the play. Several options were proposed, but it was finally agreed that we should trial playing four games (so everyone has one service game) and if the score is 2-2, a tiebreak is then played; Committee member to speak to Mike Lynskey and have a trial run at the next busy club session. We also need to speak to Mike about when a host should and shouldn’t play at the club session they are hosting.
  • There is a charity garden party on 27 June and we have offered our services to host a tennis competition – fastest serve. The club has a radar gun which measures service speed, but we weren’t sure if we still had this, and whether it still worked. Karen to investigate further. It was also noted that this could be a good opportunity to raise profile and get some new members – Nick and Helma were attending so they would promote to people they spoke to.
  • There had been a request relating to the Tuesday morning club session (9.30am – 11am): could this session be promoted to the membership; it was agreed that this would be done, along with any other messages we wanted to send out (eg BBQ reminder, lifting restrictions, etc,)
  • A new padlock is required for the locker in the clubhouse as match balls were disappearing.
  • “Shiplake Tennis Club” and “Shiplake Tennis and Social Club” were used at different times. We need to promote the “Social” aspect, so anywhere the name doesn’t mention “Social”, this needs to be highlighted and changed. We will review the logo in due course.


  1. NW to oversee the fixing of the Court 3 gate
  2. OB and MB to create list of roles/responsibilities re email boxes
  3. All committee members to review policies, sign form and return to RR
  4. MB/CC to liaise with solicitors to send appropriate letter to Mr Evans
  5. NW to identify permitted activities once lock down restrictions eased further and then communicate to members
  6. KP to liaise with member re notice board
  7. NW to liaise with maintenance person re loo seat
  8. OB to investigate LTA Advantage membership and encourage members to join
  9. MB/NW to liaise with Mike Lynskey on Club Sessions: 4-game trial and host playing
  10. KP to investigate speed gun
  11. NW and HM to attend garden party to raise profile and encourage new members
  12. HM and MB to liaise re membership comms on: Tuesday morning club session, BBQ, etc..
  13. NW to provide new padlock for locker
  14. OB to provide court usage stats

Date and location of next meeting:

  • Thursday 8 July; location TBC