The good news from this season is that our teams have not lost a single league match – unfortunately this is since all local competitions were cancelled!
It has been a strange season for tennis as it has for many aspects of our day to day lives. I am writing this in July but you will be reading it in September, so who knows what the state of play will be then? Please bear with us as we set out our plans, realising they might all change with government guidelines etc. Like the rest of the world tennis is in the hands of a tiny virus!
Temporary move to grass courts
Surprisingly tennis has had a bit of a boost during the pandemic, being one of the few sports which has been permitted after the most severe lockdown ended. In Cottenham we were lucky to have the grass courts at the King George V Recreation Ground available to play on June–August. This became our temporary venue as the Village College Sports Centre remained closed until the start of August. We are grateful to the Parish Council for enabling us to use the Rec courts, and particularly to Jo Brook who helped us organise the booking system. Bookings were via the tennis club website and not only enabled anyone to book a court, thereby avoiding having to wait for a court, but also allowed the club to hold social tennis and coaching at the grass courts.
Booking and playing remained free to anyone. We should have reverted to the CVC courts by September, with their slightly more predictable bounce, and the availability of floodlights (of sorts).
As a club we were delighted to see how many people have been using the King George Vth courts during the early summer. We hope that the renewed interest in tennis leads to more club members when we reopen in September. We would also like to give a big shout out to Andrew the groundsman for all the work watering, mowing and white line painting he has had to do.
Since the club could not operate from the Sports Centre, we did not take membership fees in the spring or summer. The LTA gave us a “Covid grant” which helped with the fees paid to the Parish Council by the club to use the grass courts. As a result, there was no need for anyone taking part in social tennis or coaching to become a member of the club. If you enjoyed any of these sessions, perhaps when the club reopens you will be tempted to come and join us.
Half price memberships
When the club reopens in September it will be with a reduced half year membership to run until April 2021. Coaching courses will again be available and any new players who have been going to the grass courts sessions or the children’s summer camps will be most welcome to take advantage of this offer. Membership will be arranged directly with the club in future, rather than with the Sports Centre.
Half price children’s membership
We received a grant from Cambs LTA to subsidise 15 young people’s membership last year, and since this has not been used we have rolled it over to April 2021. We will publish details nearer the time.
Free rackets and balls for teenagers
The club was successful in bidding for free rackets and balls from “Living Sport” and these were given to 6 students from Cottenham Village College, the aim being to get young people active and healthy and engaged in tennis. See photo at top of article. Hopefully this will set them on a journey where they get involved in coaching and ultimately join the club. We would love to see more teens in the club and with half yearly prices at just £12 now is a good time to join.
We were not able to coach the youngest players, age 4-6, during the pandemic but otherwise coaching at the grass courts was very successful, and it was great to see our new adult beginners class start up.
In September we aim to continue our adult beginners’ class and introduce a new adult advanced class along with cardio tennis, adult intermediate, individual lessons and the usual range of children’s coaching for ages 4-16. These will be at the Sports Centre and are likely to be on Wednesday evenings and during the day on Saturdays. Details will be on the club Facebook page as soon as we have them. Other good news is that in the winter, October-March, ages 4–6 will be able to be coached in the indoor sports hall, which will be much more suitable for their age, and allow play even in wet weather.
During August we will have held 2 weeks of tennis camps for children aged 5–16 at the Sports Centre. These will have been a good way to use up some excess energy during the school holidays, play lots of fun games and learn some new skills!
Whether we will be restarting the breakfast clubs at Willingham and Cottenham Primary Schools in the Autumn remains to be seen. We very much hope to do so to get more people in the Fen Edge area playing tennis locally and in schools. Again, details will be published on the club Facebook page as soon as we have firm plans.
All coaching is booked via our head coach Toby Jackson at www.gamesettennis.co.uk, or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 07972 149874
Cilla Hughes has taken over from Benoit Maccon as welfare officer. Any concerns about the well-being of an adult at risk or children should be made without delay to the Club Welfare Officer, whose contacts are on the club website.
Social evenings restarted in July at the King George V fields and were well attended when weather permitted. These will return to CVC Sports Centre when this reopens, hopefully in August.