09 April 2021
When I turned up at the reopening of the club on 29 March I have never seen so many broad smiles on people's faces. The past year has brought into sharp focus how important tennis is to our mental and physical wellbeing. As Chairman I am proud to say everyone at the club has pulled together and adapted to all the measures we have had to introduce to ensure the club is a safe environment for all ages to come and play tennis. If we continue to remain vigilant and to follow the protocols regarding physical distancing and hand sanitising there is every hope we will be able to return to near normality by the middle of the summer. We are welcoming new members, especially people who are returning to tennis, our tournaments are underway, coaching has restarted, we have put in place interim measures for club nights and our recently re-laid grass courts will be opening in May. I feel a wave of optimism flowing through the club and we can look forward to a hugely enjoyable summer of tennis. However it’s important we remember we are still bound by the guidance issued by the LTA, so consequently:
- The clubhouse is closed. Only the use of the toilets is permitted.
- Face masks should be worn when moving about inside the clubhouse
- Players should arrive and leave the club promptly before or after their match and wait in cars if the weather is bad.
- People should not congregate in groups of more than 6 when not playing
- Hand sanitisers have been provided all round the courts and should be used on a regular basis.
- All club members should make themselves aware of the latest LTA guidance. LTA Guidance
20 December 2020
As you will be aware Reigate is now in Tier 4 which means we are only allowed to meet up with one other person not in our household outdoors. The good news is the club can remain open but for singles play only. Doubles is allowed but only between people from the same household/support bubble. If playing singles please only book for an hour to let others have the chance to book a court. We will revert to the system we had in the summer with balls left in the wooden storage shed. The LTA guidance says general indoor access is not permitted even to use the toilets, so once again the clubhouse will be closed unless there is a relaxation of this restriction when the implications of the new guidance have been fully assessed.
Chairman - RPLTC
27 September 2020
As you will be aware on Thursday 24 September the ‘rule of 6’ became law rather than guidance. This means once again the committee has to take action to ensure we are in step with the government and LTA. The latest advice from the LTA states people should not ‘mingle’ in groups of more than six and should avoid interaction with anyone outside their group. With potential fines of up to £10,000 we have concluded with winter approaching and worsening weather, which will discourage people from wanting to congregate outside, we are reluctantly forced to take the following steps to ensure the club can stay open and available for tennis.
We simply cannot adhere to the latest guidance which says pubs and bars can only operate if they ensure people are two metres apart, they provide table service and people wear masks until they are seated. Therefore we have made the decision to remove all the stock and close the bar until the current restrictions are lifted.
The Club House
In order to comply with the government’s rule of 6 only six people are allowed in the clubhouse at any one time and only 6 people on the terrace at any one time.
The Courts and Car Park
Players should also be aware they should not interact with other players beyond their immediate playing group which cannot exceed 6 people. This means people cannot swap courts and play with other people during their time at the club. In simple terms if you book a court: turn up, play your game and leave. Players should not book adjacent courts or start again and play further tennis with other people at the end of their initial court time. This constitutes mixing in which is now not allowed. You must play with the people you have arranged to play with (up to 6 people) then leave. Also if you book a court and decide not to play please remember to cancel the booking.
As people are no longer allowed to mix-in we are going to reformulate Club Sessions. Over the next couple of weeks we will explore how we might introduce pre-arranged doubles games and/or the leagues which were popular during the lockdown earlier in the year. However this cannot happen without your help.
If you would be prepared to get involved in developing some schemes which will maintain social play and encourage interaction between club members please get in touch with me email@example.com A key component of any arrangements will be to ensure new members have the opportunity to join an organised game. Competitions, club matches and coaching can continue under the new restrictions. In the meantime the Club Session time will be opened up for court booking but by Full Playing Members only.
To assist with track and trace we have put up a QR code reader at various points around the club which can be used with a smartphone to indicate you are present at the club.
I would like to thank you all for supporting the club through these difficult times and complying with social distancing and all the other measures we have had to put in place. Please continue to do so as the last thing any of us want is for coronavirus to break out at the club and all that would entail.
P.S. Below is a further copy of Covid-19 Rules for tennis dated 18 Jul 20. This is a reminder as most of the conditions in the note still apply.
18 July, 2020
The good news continues as the LTA and the government slowly relax the restrictions on playing tennis.
The up to date position is outlined below.
Our overriding concern will always be the wellbeing of the membership so please abide by the measures listed below. Before coming to the club please make yourself aware of the latest government advice regarding Coronavirus - click here.
If you feel unwell stay at home and do not come to the club until you are well again. Ultimately everyone should consider their own circumstances and make their own personal risk assessment about when they wish to resume playing tennis. The club in turn will do all we can to ensure the club is as safe as possible. Sanitisers have been be fitted at strategic points around the club and we are providing sprays and sterilising wipes as supplies become available. To conserve our limited supply of liquid refills players are asked to bring their own sanitisers for use on court but please do not spill any of the liquid on the court surface.
Following the recent advice from the LTA in addition to the court booking system we are now able to offer social tennis in a controlled format and club competitions have been revived. If you wish to play at the club please adhere to the measures below.
Measures for playing tennis:
Read the advice for players on the LTA website - click here.
- The courts are open to people who wish to play but this is at their own risk.
- Courts should be booked using the on line booking system only. Booking should not exceed 60 minutes for singles and 90 minutes for doubles or 2 hours for tournament matches.
- If all players agree one set of balls can be used for a match. Otherwise players should serve using their own balls
- Arrive ready to play and avoid congregating after play unless you are in the area of by clubhouse which has been configured to conform to social distancing protocols
- Players should rotate round the court when changing ends rather than everyone using the same side. Players should consider only changing ends after every 4 games rather than 2 or even just at the end of a set.
- Follow the government guidelines on safe distancing
- Beware people will have different anxiety levels about the virus, so be considerate.
Protocol with regard to tennis balls
The communal use of balls is now allowed but players can chose to use their own marked balls when serving if they wish to do so.
Issuing of tennis balls
The provision of tennis balls is included in your membership fee. If you require a sleeve of balls you can collect and sign for a tube in the wooden shed by the clubhouse. Mark you balls and bring them each time you play and take them home with you afterwards. Balls are only available to players who have paid their 2020/21 membership subscription.
In the unlikely event of someone playing tennis developing symptoms of Coronavirus the club will be asked to provide details of the players who were in the vicinity. If you come to the club to play the person who made the booking should also complete the simple record sheet (see the example below) and retain the sheet (or equivalent in excel or word) in case the information is needed at later date. Please erase or destroy after 21 days
|RPLTC – Coronavirus playing record|
|Player making the booking|
|Start and finish time|
Russell has provided revised coaching guidelines in line with the LTA protocol. Please can all parents and players read these before attending lessons – Click Here.
The toilet facilities in the clubhouse are now open. Please follow the hygiene procedures indicated on the door. The bar will also be open on Thursdays and Sundays on a limited basis. Please follow the bar protocol displayed outside the clubhouse and be aware different social distancing rules apply when you are inside or outside the clubhouse.
I appreciate all the above measures are onerous but I hope you will agree, if it’s the difference between playing and not playing its worth a bit of inconvenience until we can get back to some form of normality. . I will provide further updates as we continue to refine playing practices.