Wargrave News

Upcoming Events

Open Day with Pickeball Tennis

Sunday 23rd June

As part of this year’s Village Festival, Wargrave Tennis Club are hosting a “Go for Gold Tennis Open Day” on Sunday 23rd June from 2pm to 5pm. The day will include free coaching and a wide range of tennis activities for all ages and abilities. We are also running a Pickleball Tennis Tournament that will start at 3pm. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America; it’s easy to learn for beginners but can also develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for more advanced players. The open day costs £5 for adults and £2.50 for kids, but this includes a soft-drink and a free burger, plus balls and equipment. For more details, look out for posters around the village.

DON'T MISS OUT - BOOK YOUR ACTIVITIES NOW

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Junior Tennis and Holiday Camp Bookings

Our popular Friday junior sessions have now restarted, with over 80 juniors and parents coming to the first session of the new season. The sessions start at 4.30pm and are free to all junior members. They are designed to encourage children of all ages to get on court and to have fun. Junior members can also get a 15% reduction on all coaching and holiday camps. The next camp is being run over the summer holidays from Monday 22nd July through to Thursday 15th August (with tennis coaching in the mornings and activity games in the afternoon). For more details, contact Katie Hodgkins, our Juniors Coordinator, or Head Coach Ollie Brown.

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Recent Events

Junior Membership On the Rise

We are delighted to report that our Junior membership numbers are on the rise. After just two months of the season, junior membership numbers have reached 131, a 10% rise from last season and our highest for four years. A huge well done to all the work of Head Coach Ollie Brown and Katie Hodgkins, our Juniors Coordinator. Juniors can join our popular Friday club nights that start at 4.30pm, they get a 15% reduction on all coaching and holiday camps, and older juniors can come and play on our courts for free. Fee rates for junior membership are unchanged from last season, with our £55 rate now available for ages 4-11.

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Teams Make Excellent Start to the Summer Season

Congratulations to over 50 players who have played for our teams in the early rounds of the Berkshire Summer Tennis League. There have been some solid results overall, and the men’s 1st team have made a particularly impressive start to their campaign, winning all of their first five matches. In the Team Tennis competition, they are currently top of Division 2, and with guidance from Head Coach Ollie Brown, are looking to play in Summer Division 1 next season. Playing for our teams is open to any member, with team practice sessions run every Wednesday evening.

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May Social Tennis Tournament

Tuesday 16th May

In May we recently completed our second monthly social tournament of the season, with 24 players battling for glory in an individual American format event. After four rounds, the competition was won by Christine Reid with 19 points, closely followed by Sheridan Lewis, Phil Miller and Raman Kapoor who all had 17 points. The players completed the competition with a glass of wine in the clubhouse to toast the winner. Our social tournaments are open to all abilities, and members can also attend our regular social club sessions that are run five times a week.

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Artificial Clay Courts Now Open

Friday 3rd May

Our two new artificial clay courts were finally opened on Friday 3rd May by Club Treasurer, Richard Vertigan. They are now ready for play and members can book the courts using our online booking system. In comparison to traditional hard courts, artificial clay provides a safer playing surface in wet conditions and is a softer underfoot, helping to reduce playing injuries. The decision to move to artificial clay was approved by 85% of members in February. If demand for the new courts is high, we will look at plans to resurface two more courts with artificial clay from April 2025.

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Sunshine Social Tennis Tournament

Tuesday 30th April

With the first glimpse of sunshine, 24 members took part in our first monthly social tournament of the new season. The competition was between two teams, captained by Wendy Franklin and Sue Gutierrez. After four matches of friendly competition, including a round of Pickle Ball Tennis, the team scores were amazingly tied at 85 games each. All players then retired to the clubhouse for a glass of prosecco to toast the start of the new season. Social club sessions are on offer to all members five times a week.

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Season Starts with Membership on the Rise

Monday 1st April

Our new membership year started on the 1st April and we are already delighted to welcome 27 new members. This is one of our best starts to a new season, and with strong membership renewals, we have reached nearly 90% of our annual target after just one month. Our objective as a Club is to grow membership to around 450 by improving playing facilities; providing good opportunities for both social and more serious match play tennis; and by increasing the focus on juniors. New members can “try us for free” at one of our weekly club sessions.



Team Success in Berkshire Winter Leagues

February

Congratulations to our Men’s 1st team who convincingly beat Bracknell 4-0 in the final game of the Berkshire Winter League. This important result secured our position in the County’s 1st Division for another season, and together with our new clay courts, will help attract even more players to the Club. For other results, our men’s 2nd team narrowly missed promotion from Division 3, with the 3rd and 4th teams ended up mid-table in their leagues. For the ladies, the 1st and 3rd teams both finished a respectable mid-table in Division 2 and 5, although the 2nd and 4th teams were both relegated. While all three of our mixed teams had solid results to hold their positions in Division 1, 3 and 5 respectively. A total of 66 members played for our teams this winter with Gary Westwood and Bev Birkett coming top of the list for most matches played. Playing for our teams is open to any member, with team practice sessions run every Wednesday evening.

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Members of the Men’s 1st Team (Chris Brimms, Head Coach Ollie Brown, Josh Aston and Jeremy Morgan) who beat Bracknell 4-0 in the final game of the season.


Bobble Hat Tennis Tournament

Tuesday 26th December

Great fun today at the Bobble Hat tennis. Team Holly were the final winners….beating Team Ivy 76 games to 73.


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Team Tennis - Summer League Results

Congratulations to the 71 Club members who played for our 17 adult teams that were entered into this year’s summer league competitions. This included participation from several new members who have joined us since April. Overall, a total of five teams gained promotion, with three topping their respective leagues. We also had some very good individual results against leading clubs such as Windsor, Maidenhead and Bracknell. Playing for our teams is open to any member, with team practice sessions run every Wednesday evening.

TeamBerkshire LeaguePosition
Ladies 1Team Tennis Division 21st (Promoted)
Mens 1Team Tennis Group 14th
Mens 2Team Tennis Group 32nd (Promoted)
Mens 3Team Tennis Group 44th
Ladies 1Summer League Div 16th
Ladies 2Summer League Div 3A2nd
Ladies 3Summer League Div 6A2nd (Promoted)
Ladies 4Summer League Div 6B3rd
Mens 1Summer League Div 25th
Mens 2Summer League Div 4B1st (Promoted)
Mens 3Summer League Div 5A4th
Mens 4Summer League Div 7B5th
Ladies +40 1Summer League Div 21st (Promoted)
Ladies +40 2Summer League Div 34th
Ladies +40 3Summer League Div 46th
Mens +45 1Summer League Div 15th
Mens +45 2Summer League Div 33rd

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Mens 1st Team who won 3.1 vs Caversham Park: From right to left: Ollie Brown, Michael Ilott, James Mcllwraith and Freddie Brady

Club Finals Day

Sunday 24th September

We had a very successful Club Finals Day on the 24th September, with around 80 competitors and spectators attending throughout the day. In the morning, Jeremy Cooke and Raman Kapoor were the top two players in our fun social morning competition. In the afternoon, the main finals matches took place, together with a highly successful under 9 regional junior competition. All the finals matches were closely fought with Elliott Kemp our overall men’s champion, and in a match played earlier in the week, Liz Hindley was the overall women’s champion. For the juniors, Finley Hodgkins was the winner of the Under 14s competition and Kabir Khurana was the winner of the Under 12s category. Full results are listed below together with some photos from the day. Many congratulations to all the finalists and huge thanks to Tom Lewis, our hard-working Tournament organiser

CompetitionChampionsRunners Up
Men's SinglesElliot KempJamie Hosie
Ladies SinglesLiz HindleyBev Birkett
Men's DoublesElliot Kemp & Jamie HosieRob Knight & Charles Freeman
Ladies DoublesRebecca Salisbury-Beard & Men AldridgePippa Mcllwraith & Steph Aston
Mixed DoublesJulia Howes & Kieran Martin-DavisLiz Tripp & John Evans
Juniors Under 14Finley HodgkinsWill Copland
Juniors Under 12Kabir KhuranaJosh Hodgkins
Social CompetitionJeremy CookeRaman Kapoor

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Men's singles finalists
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Men's doubles finalists
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Ladies doubles finalists
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Mixed doubles finalists
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Junior singles finalists
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Social competition entrants
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Social competition winners
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Spectators

July Open Day

Sunday 23rd July

We ran another successful Open Day in July with over 40 guests enjoying a range of activities, including free coaching from Ollie Brown and Pete Bresnen. The day was part of a national event sponsored by the Lawn Tennis Association, to encourage more people to give tennis a try. From the 40 who attended, we were delighted to welcome 10 new members to the Club. In July, our membership was in line with our growth in 2022, including a record number of adult members. Our plans are still to encourage and grow our membership, with an objective of reaching over 400 members by 2025

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March Open Day

Sunday 26th March

Over 70 people braved the weather to enjoy some fun tennis and free coaching at Wargrave Tennis Club’s Big Tennis Open Day on Sunday March 26th. The afternoon was all about having fun for the whole family, with 54 guests meeting Club members and Wargrave’s new LTA coaching team, Peter Bresnen and Ollie Brown.

A range of free coaching sessions were offered for juniors and adults, including a high energy cardio tennis work out. A few kids played with the Tennis Factory equipment and two adults even tried their hand with the automatic ball machine. To date, 15 of our guests have now joined the Club.

The open day kicked off the new tennis season at Wargrave, and new members are always welcome. The Club has eight high-quality all-weather courts, and in 2022 we installed new competition standard LED floodlighting on all courts. Every season the Club enters up to 15 teams in the Berkshire Leagues; runs an active singles box league; offers 5 weekly social tennis club seasons; and supports a thriving section for junior tennis.

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Adult guests just about to play cardio tennis
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Coach Peter Bresnen with junior guests
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Coach Ollie Brown with junior guests
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Ian Hardie-Gleed with children Cruz and Wellie
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Teresa Chow with Tristan and Kriste
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Matilda Wooton (our youngest guest + new member) with coach Pete Bresnen


Winter Season Team Resaults

March 2023

Huge congratulations to all our teams for some outstanding results in the recent Berkshire Winter Leagues. I am delighted to report that five of our eight teams came top of their divisions, including the ladies 2nds, 3rds and 4ths, together with the men's 2nds and 3rds. Our men's 1st team narrowly missed top spot, but are now promoted to the 1st division for next season. This is a fantastic achievement for the Club and for all players involved. Fingers crossed for similar results in the Summer leagues.



Annual General Meeting and Membership Survey

Tuesday 15th November

Our Annual General Meeting was held on the 15th November. A total of 35 members attended the main meeting (22 at the Cricket Club and 13 via ZOOM), with a further 82 members providing feedback and votes via an online survey that was run for 8 days. In the voting, 99% of members approved the 13 committee appointments, and 80% supported the 7% fee increase recommendation from 1st April 2023. In the membership satisfaction survey (results below), 93% of members said they “enjoyed being a member of the Club” and 90% said “they would recommend the Club to a friend”.


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View the AGM Minutes

October 20/20 Competition

Thursday 17th October

A merry band of 16 players braved blustery winds, to play in October’s 20/20 Social Competition. It is a fun format with players competing in three separate doubles matches of 40 points each. The top four players in October were Bev Birkett (78 points); Nick Wright (73 points); Jake Butterfly (66 points) and Sue Gutierrez (64 points). This year, 50 members have taken part in five social competitions, with winter events being played under our new LED floodlights. Based on results from all competitions, the leading players this season are Alex Bishop, Lawrie Frew, Bev Birkett and Liz Tripp. The next competition is on 27th December (starting at 11am) and is open to all members, plus their family members and friends.

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October 20/20 Group Photo

Wargrave Tennis Finals Day

Sunday 18th September

After a break of three years due to covid restrictions, Wargrave Tennis Club held its annual Finals Day Competition on Sunday 18th September. Over 50 spectators and finalists enjoyed the September sunshine and a day of high-quality competitive tennis.

The day started at 10am with a Juniors Tournament organised by Bev Birkett. The nine finalists played some spirited tennis in a timed singles format. The overall winner was Robert Jones, beating Oliver Nazzarri in a close and well fought match. This was followed at 12 noon by a timed adult’s doubles competition, with 16 players playing in two separate box leagues. Bjorn Odenhammar and Richard Knight were the overall victors, winning the final 6-3 against Chris Copeland and Stephen Stewart.

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Some of the finalists at the Wargrave Tennis Club Annual Finals Day

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Finalists in the junior competition, won by Robert Jones (center back row)

After a pause for a BBQ lunch, the main singles finals got underway. In the ladies competition, Liz Hindley was the winner, beating Denise Peet, with her range of strong and consistent ground strokes. In the men’s final, Tim Janisch won a closely fought battle against Kieran Martin-Davis, saving 3 match points to win a tense championship tie break 12-10.

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Ladies singles final, won by Liz Hindley

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Men's singles final, won by Tim Janisch

The day was concluded with our two doubles finals. In the ladies event, Sue Gutierrez and Jenny Harding came from behind in tight match, winning a championship tie break to beat Elizabeth Hindley and Rebecca Salisbury-Beard. The men’s doubles final was equally close, with Tim Janisch and Kieran Martin-Davis recovering from their exploits in the singles competition, to beat Chris Brims and Jon McCarthy in two sets.

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Ladies doubles final, won by Sue Gutierrez and Jenny Harding

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Men's doubles final, won by Tim Janisch and Kieran Martin-Davis

Congratulations to all the finalists and many thanks to the spectators and other members for supporting this important event in the Club’s calendar. Special thanks to Tom Lewis for organising the main competitions and for the overall day; to Bev Birkett for running the Junior Competition; to Jack Cleveland for running the BBQ; to Annie Moore for awarding the prizes; and to all the members who brought along such delicious cakes and brownies!

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Finalists of the Adults Timed Competition

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July 20/20 Competition

Thursday 28th July

We had 24 players competing for the July 20/20 cup, playing under our new flood lights for the very first time. The winners of this month’s competition were Alex Bishop and William Fisher, winning the final 21 – 16 against Chris Reid and Richard Etheridge. The other semi-finalists this month were Catherine Mun-Gavin, Nick Wright, Chris Belton and Nicola Chand.

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July 20/20 Group Photo

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July 20/20 Finalists

Wargrave Big Tennis Day 2022

Sunday 18th July

Great weather for our Big Tennis Day, with over 100 guests attending. See video below for highlights.


School County Competition - Silver Medal Winners

Saturday 2nd July

Congratulations to the Silver-medal-winning Robert Piggott team after their performance in the school county competition at Bisham Abbey yesterday! They played really well to beat 7 other schools in Wokingham borough and then 8 teams from the rest of the county. All Wargrave tennis club players!

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June 20/20 Competition

Thursday 23rd June

Congratulations to Wendy Franklin and Lawrie Frew who won June’s 20/20 Tournament, winning a closely fought final against Lizz Tripp and Nicola Chand. The event was the second of four monthly tournaments designed to encourage fun and competitive play for players of all standards and ability.

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June 20/20 Group Photo

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June 20/20 Finalists

May 20/20 Competition

Thursday 26th May

Congratulations to Sue Gutierrez and Christine Reid who won our inaugural Thursday Night 20/20 Club Night Tournament, winning a closely fought final, 21-16 against Denise Peet and Richard Vertigan. The event was the first of four monthly tournaments designed to encourage fun and competitive play for all standards of players. Everyone was randomly drawn with a partner, and then played three short 40 point matches. The top 8 players qualified for the semi-finals while everyone else had a glass of wine!

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Our First 20/20 Finalists (Denise Peet, Richard Vertigan, Sue Gutierrez and Christine Reid)

Easter Tournament

Monday 18th April

Well done to all the players who took part in our Easter American Family Tournament. We had 24 players in the main competition, initially playing three “12 game matches” in three separate groups. After a break for cake and prosecco, the top eight players took part in a “fast-4” semi-final and final format, with Charles Freeman and Wendy Franklin the overall winners. In addition to the main competition, ten junior players had some fun games and drills with Johnny Combes, one of our excellent Junior Club Coaches.

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Club Members Go Green with LED Lighting

Tuesday 1st March

Over 70% of all adult members have recently taken part in a 4-week EGM voting process to consider three potential investment options for the Club to follow this coming season. This included “no investment” (option 1); investment in modern LED floodlighting on all eight courts (option 2); or to replace two of our existing eight asphalt courts with all-weather artificial clay (option 3).

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To help make the final decision, members were given two votes. In the first vote, 100 members (72%) voted in favour of proceeding with either LED lighting or artificial clay courts. In the second vote, 79 members (61%) voted in favour of proceeding with new LED lighting, supported by a 6% increase in annual fees. This compared to 50 members (39%) who voted for the artificial clay.

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Other News

Junior Tennis Update – Busy Club Nights and Teams

Katie Hodgkins, our new Juniors Co-ordinator, has been hard working with our coaching team to support the growing popularity of junior tennis at Wargrave. We now have teams entering all age groups in the Berkshire Leagues and there are a number of junior tournaments planned in the diary for the rest of the year. This includes a parents and kids competition and a fancy-dress Halloween Tournament in October. We are also running some lively junior club night sessions every Friday (in term time) from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. To find out more, please come along on a Friday afternoon and give the session a try.

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Wargrave Juniors Go Top of the Table

Wargrave’s under 10s mixed team played some stellar tennis this winter, winning all their matches to finish top of the Berkshire Junior National Winter League, Division 1 (Group B). The team, picture below, included Eddie Copland, Kabir Khurana, Georgina Gubbins and Jess Beard. They are now practicing hard and looking forward to the summer league along with five other Junior teams covering six age groups from under 9 to under 18. If you would like to know more about junior tennis, please contact our head coach Chris Ovenden.

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Friday Night Junior Club Sessions Resume on 4th February

The Committee are pleased to announce that the Friday night junior club sessions will resume on the 4th February from 4.30pm. The sessions are supported by our coaches and are free to all our junior members. Our hope is that if attendance is strong, we will be able to support these sessions throughout the year, even on cold Friday evenings in the winter months.


Courts Deep Cleaning

We're delighted to report that five of our eight courts (1,2,3,4 and 8) have just had a DEEP CLEAN plus moss treatment. Courts 5,6 and 7 will be deep cleaned and treated in early January (the contractor was unable to do all 8 courts before Christmas). In line with guidance from the contractor, we will carry out court deep cleaning every 4 years and moss treatment annually. Update on LED lights and the potential for two artificial clay courts to follow in the New Year.


Six Teams Fighting for Promotion (27th October)

All our Wargrave teams have made steady progress in the Berkshire Winter Doubles Leagues. This season we are fielding 14 teams, including 5 mens, 4 ladies and 5 mixed teams. At time of writing, 6 of the 14 teams are in strong contention for promotion, with our Mixed Doubles 1st Team top of Division 1 after some excellent wins against Maidenhead and Windsor. Team practice sessions are run every Wednesday evening and are open to all members who want to play competitive team tennis.


Members Vote for New Lights and New Courts (11th October)

An online survey was run with all members of Wargrave Tennis Club from 22nd September to 10th October 2021. The objective of the survey was to ask members to evaluate a range of potential ideas, that could help to advance the sport of tennis for residents of Wargrave and the surrounding area.

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Of the ideas tested, five ideas had “significant appeal” based on a response from 47% of all members. The five winning ideas included:

1. ALL WEATHER ARTIFICIAL CLAY COURTS (50% All Members / 67% Team Players)
If costs allow, to introduce all-weather artificial clay on up to 2 courts. Artificial clay is an LTA approved surface that is used by many clubs in the area e.g. Windsor, Bracknell and Maidenhead. It has many advantages over tarmac: 1) playable in wet conditions; 2) reduced injuries to knees and joints; 3) extends life of tennis balls; 4) attract new members; 5) more variety for teams etc.

2. INSTALL MODERN LED FLOOD LIGHTS (40% All Members / 48% Social Players)
If costs allow, to install new LED lights on all our courts. LED lights save money on electricity versus current lights and offer the benefit of “instant on“ (avoiding the warm-up time). And positioned correctly, they can provide a clearer light for night-time play. Wokingham Tennis Club use these types of lights.

3. GET THE RIGHT COACHING SUPPORT (32% All Members / 47% Junior Players)
Look at the current coaching arrangement and see how this compares with clubs of similar size and aspiration e.g. offer free tennis drills for new members; weekly cardio session; offer the right level of team coaching support; online coach booking via new Club website; review and update arrangements with GDT etc.

4. MORE SOCIAL AND FUN EVENTS (32% All Members / 48% Social Players)
Find and appoint a Social Secretary and offer a regular program of social events and fun tennis days that would appeal to current and new members of all ages e.g. annual Christmas party; tennis fun open days with speed serve measurer. Idea to include regular monthly social tennis on the first Thursday of every month with a theme e.g. Pimms and Pizza, Mulled Wine and Mince Pies, Halloween All Ages Tennis etc.

5. GREATER FOCUS ON JUNIOR TENNIS (32% All Members / 76% Junior Players)
To appoint a committee member to work with the coaches to ensure that we have a dedicated focus on kids / junior tennis. To include support for kids competitions both internally and with other clubs, and to encourage junior players to make the move up to adult teams and adult play etc.

NEXT STEPS
Thanks to all members who voted in the survey, and for such a good turnout (which was higher than the 43% who voted in our last local elections!). Based on the results, the new committee will now focus on progressing the top five ideas (in addition to their other duties). For potential new lights and new courts, we will be running a detailed feasibility study over the next three months, with the aim of presenting a proposal to the membership by March 2022.


Junior Tennis and the Emma Raducanu Effect (20th September)

Junior tennis continues to grow at Wargrave and our two LTA coaches (Chris and Steve) are already starting to see the “Emma Raducanu effect”, with the courts filling up after her incredible success at both Wimbledon and the US Open. We currently have over 100 junior members and in the Summer, we entered 5 teams in the National Tennis League from under eight to under 18, in both girls and boys. The free junior members club night has re-started on a Friday evening from 4.30pm and will run until the October half-term.

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Photo from the Lawn Tennis Association

Outstanding Team Results Summer Season 2021 (5th September 2021)

Congratulations to all our teams who delivered some excellent results in the highly competitive Berkshire League and the National Team Leagues. The ladies run four teams, with both the 1st and 2nd teams achieving promotion. Of the five Mens’ teams, the first team came second in their league, while the 2nd and 3rd teams were both promoted. And towards the end of the summer, our five mixed teams had strong performances, with promotion for the 2nd and 3rd mixed teams and the mixed 1st team being promoted as champions with a final win against Peppard. The club also fielded two mens and three ladies vets teams, with the ladies Vets A team gaining promotion.


New Committee to Build on Success (1st September 2021)

Following the July AGM, a new committee was appointed to build on the tremendous success achieved under the leadership of Dave Smith. Over the past ten years, the outgoing Committee has helped to transform the facilities of the Club. We now offer our members (and potential new members): eight high-quality flood-lit courts; an upgraded club house; 14 teams in the Berkshire League; regular club nights and social tournaments; a thriving competitive box league; and a growing juniors’ section under the guidance of our two LTA club coaches.

Over the next three months, following an online survey with all members, the new committee will be pulling together a plan of future improvements. In developing this plan, our objectives will be to encourage and support both current and new members, of all ages and abilities, to play better competitive or social tennis in an environment that continues to be fun, safe and inclusive.