Our first 2 days, since our reopening, have worked well, and I have received nothing but positive feedback from both members and coaches alike – there have been a lot of smiling faces on court!
Thanks to everyone for all your support during these challenging times for which the Committee and I are extremely grateful.
We are now fine tuning our implementation plan for returning to tennis, which you received in your last Member Alert, and we are tweaking our Covid 19 Risk Assessment that will appear on our website in due course.
We are also exploring further signage, which is as unobtrusive and tasteful as possible, to ensure that our tennis activity is meeting social distancing guidelines.
Our updated and full set of guidelines are below, we ask members to please respect and follow:
- Pre book your court online. Allow a buffer period of 5 minutes between court bookings to allow players to leave before next players arrive.
- Please stop playing at least 5 minutes before the end of your booking, quickly collect your own balls and possessions and leave the court swiftly but safely.
- Each player must bring their own balls on court which are marked in a way that is readily identifiable. Using both sets of clearly marked balls, one for each player, alternate them for serving, so that each player only ever touches their own tennis balls.
- Use your racket or foot to pick up balls, which are not yours, and hit or kick them to your opponent or return them to another court. Avoid using your hands to pick up any balls that are not yours.
- When leaving the club via the alleyway, in line with social distancing, please do not pass by people who may already be in the passage. If in doubt, those entering the club, from the street, have priority.
- Keep in small groups, with a maximum of 2 players, unless you are from the same household.
- Play is limited to singles only in line with social distancing. The only exception for doubles is if playing partners are from the same household.
- Avoid touching your face and try not to touch any surfaces.
- Keep a safe distance of 2 metres between each other and consider wearing gloves or using your personal marked tennis balls when serving.
- Players are advised not to change ends during play.
- Ensure that there is no physical contact at all between players.
- Play should take place during daylight hours. Floodlights should not to be used until further notice.
- No other unnecessary extra-curricular or social activity should take place. In practice, this means that the clubhouse should only be used for essential activities (a maximum of 10 minutes per person). Essential activities include hand washing, accessing toilet facilities, accessing first aid equipment, disinfectant and purchasing new balls.
- All players and coaches, including juniors, should wash hands before and after a tennis session (or use an alcohol gel).
- Clean and wipe down equipment, including rackets, cones and tennis balls, which can be sprayed with disinfectant.
- Do not allow racket sharing or use of communal rackets.
- Consider using new balls, where possible, and consider using a small number of balls for a lesson, so fresh balls can be used for each session. We will put new cans of balls on the bar with an “honesty book” for members to write down how many cans they have taken (£5 per can of balls). We will take payment at a later date.
- Adaptations to drills will be needed, furthermore, it is recommended that only coaches touch the balls and players avoid touching the balls.
- Once play has finished players should leave the club promptly.
- If a player becomes unwell after playing they should first contact their GP and then inform the club.
We have decided, for the time being, to keep the Wednesday and Friday morning court bookings available for our weekday players, which include a number of older members, who are reorganising themselves to ensure that specific partners, courts and times are agreed before they arrive at the club for each session.
We are monitoring court usage during these times and may release courts and/or court time if they are not all fully needed.
I am delighted to say that our members who are over 70 years of age may now choose to be back playing with us and we look forward to welcoming them back, albeit at a distance!
If you have any questions or concerns, please do let us know.
Thanks again and, please, do stay safe.
Jon Elwes, Chairman