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Dear Member,
I am writing this newsletter after what has undoubtedly been the wettest and windiest few months for West Sussex in living memory. The good news is that there has been no material damage to the courts, fencing or to the trees adjacent to the courts and amazingly there is no significant sign of moss on the courts despite constantly damp conditions since before Christmas. So the playing surface remains as good as when the courts were resurfaced in 2010!
You may recall that last year we had an incredibly cold winter and late spring followed by a great summer with plenty of opportunity to play tennis. Let’s hope that this summer proves to be just as good.

With spring and summer in mind the committee is planning to organise a number of social/playing events this year which we hope that all Club members will feel able to support in some way. These include the Wimbledon ballot draw, winter mixed doubles final and American tournament including food and refreshments in early May; American tournaments in June, July and August; the Club tournament finals’ day in September which will include a BBQ and a prize draw for a pair of tickets to the ATP World Final at the O2 arena in December; a mixed doubles day event in October; a quiz and curry night in October and the AGM in November.

Members Remembered
It is with great sadness that I report the recent death of three of some of our longest playing members: Stephen Garrish, Alan Wickes and Graham Horley. Stephen and Alan were life members who both served on the committee for many years providing the Club with strong and committed leadership in the 1980s when the Club was first formed. Graham was a current member of the committee and has represented the views of the senior members of the Club since 2009. They will be sadly missed by the Club and on behalf of the committee I extend our heart-felt condolences to their families and friends. In recognition of their contribution to the Club the committee has decided to name a ladies and a gentlemen’s trophy in their memory to be awarded for the individual winners of the monthly American tournaments held over the summer months. The trophy will be called the GWH Memorial shield, an acronym of their surnames.   

Last season the Club had 83 members compared with 91 for 2012. The reduction was primarily due to fewer family membership renewals as teenagers grew-up with no corresponding increase in new younger family memberships. The committee continues to promote the club as widely as possible including targeting the new houses being built in Broadbridge Heath. This should provide a good opportunity to attract new members including young families. Our target this year is to increase membership to 90+. Despite the fall in membership numbers, the financial position of the Club remains strong.

Annual Subscriptions 2014/15
The AGM decided that annual club membership subscriptions should remain unchanged from last year.

Club Information and Dates for Your Diary

  • Court bookings can be made up to 4 weeks in advance on the website.

  • Social tennis sessions have been scheduled this season for men and ladies in addition to our traditional weekly mixed club sessions.  The men’s sessions are scheduled for 4pm on the first Saturday of each month including an hour of coaching over the summer months if there is sufficient demand commencing in May. The Ladies’ monthly sessions are scheduled for 10:30am every first Wednesday commencing in April.

  • Junior (8 years+) joint membership with the cricket club is available - details on application.

  • Pre-Junior (under 8 years) – the committee has agreed to offer free membership to under eights whose parents or grandparents are members

  • Wimbledon ballot including the winter mixed doubles final, American tournament and refreshments – 4th May from 1pm; refreshments will be served from 4pm and the ballot will be drawn at 4:30pm by the courts or if raining in the cricket pavilion.

Wimbledon Ballot

Please note, if you wish to be included in the Club’s annual draw for Wimbledon tickets you must be a British Tennis Member and complete
an application form, returning it to Ann Lines All entries for the ballot must be submitted to Ann Lines by 30th April. From this year the LTA will be directly handling the payment and distribution of Wimbledon tickets, so if you decide to enter our ballot and are successful on the 4th May you will be given a two-week window in which to purchase your tickets from that date. You will be notified of how to do this via email from the LTA and they will post tickets to you just before the start of the Championships. It is important therefore to check that your personal details are up to date. To do this please login to your members’ area, click on 'Manage Account', make any necessary amendments and hit 'save changes'. If you have any problems, please contact Ann Lines

Club Championship
Will commence in May providing plenty of opportunity to complete matches in time for the finals to be played over the week-end 6th/7th September. Details will be sent out with membership renewal packs and will appear on the website. To avoid any last-minute stalemates where matches remain un-played despite players’ best efforts to schedule matches, we are introducing  “Toss-up Sunday”, a solution to this perennial problem widely used by other clubs. The deadline to complete all matches will be 4pm on “Toss-up Sunday” which this year will be 31st August. All un-played matches (provided that players have played at least 50% of their matches) will be decided at 4pm by the toss of a coin at the courts (or cricket pavilion if raining) by 3 members of the committee plus any member who wishes to attend. Each un-played match decided in this way will be awarded 2 points for a win and 1 point if lost. Match Scores for club competitions will be posted on the website.

Finals’ Weekend
All matches are scheduled to be played on Saturday 6th (weather permitting) or alternatively on Sunday the 7th. The finals’ week-end will include a BBQ and prize draw for a pair of tickets to the ATP World Final at the O2 arena in December. Tickets for the prize draw can be bought for £5 each when renewing your membership or £8 if bought at any point after membership renewal.

Club AGM
Engraved trophies will be presented to the Club champions at the Club’s AGM in November.

I do hope that you will renew your membership again this year and will feel able to support the club in any way that you can. I look forward to seeing you on court; have a great season.

Mike Coombs
Club Chairman

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