President's Report 2020

Welcome to the Annual General Meeting for 2020.

As indicated on our website and emailed to youthe Annual General Meeting for 2020 will be held on Wednesday 19th August at 7.30 pm at the Clubhouse. Please come and contribute to the running of your Club. The Club needs new Committee Members and is under-represented with competition players. If you can participate as a Committee Member, please contact Clair Dupont, Brian Chauncy or myself before the AGM.

We are now in a more fortunate position , administratively, to keep members up to date on activities through the industry of your Cub’s secretary, Clair du Pont, who adds items of news/interest to the website as they occur.

Hence the Annual Report will be mainly a precis of activities of the last topsy-turvy year.

With the online membership and court booking system, Membership continues to be less than desired. Fees have increased minimally; and we continue to see an increase in casual player fees via the book-a-court system. There are still some frustrations with the now not-so-new system, but thanks to the effort of our Membership Secretary, Brian Chauncy, individual problems have generally been resolved. Should you have difficulties with the online booking or registration system, please contact Brian.

The Committee has, and continues to liaise closely with, ACT Tennis on the future of tennis, and participates in their regular forums and information sessions.

As we all know this year has been a year of unpredictables. The virus, bushfire smoke, vandalism, court resurfacing, lighting upgrade, grounds and fence improvements, and court maintenance have provided a large workload for several Committee members.

Our collective appreciation goes to Geoff Kotz for his role in organising loans, grants and work on the lighting upgrade to LED lights with contractors that have caused much angst and effort, the resurfacing of courts 5-8, plus his normal load in keeping the Club’s finances going.

The resurfacing took place fortuitously during the pandemic, but the sanding and final levelling cannot be addressed until spring and warmer weather.

Also, with a lot of diligence, discipline and his own time and effort, Graeme Rossiter was able to keep the Club at least partially open. Together with Tim Harris (who had his paint compressor and kit stolen by vandals) their efforts on the fencing and the grounds, are very much appreciated.

With all the day-to day changes and other activities, our diligent Secretary, Clair has kept all members informed on the state-of-play.Your Committee hopes the next year will be much more stable than the last year, on many fronts.

We are still concerned for the serviceability of the Club roof as it continues to leak into the ladies toilet on wet occasions, but we are unable to locate where the water comes from. If we were sure that the roof itself leaks then we would replace it, but there is no assurance that it is the problem.

Also, we are very conscious that the fences are old, rusting and more importantly sliding down the poles and turning up along the base, creating holes and sharp wires. However, we do not have the finances to replace them. Hence Graeme

Rossiter has made a big effort to spray the fences black to enhance their appearance and life. We have been advised on how to repair the turned up wire and straighten the bent poles and Graeme, Geoff and Tim will work on that over the next 6 months.

Committee Members have also attended numerous ACT Tennis Forums, held mainly at night, but also, more lately with the virus, online; this has been less, than satisfactory but better than nothing.

During the virus, competition tennis has been suspended, but is now starting up again.

Finally, and not the least important activity, has been children’s coaching. Mark Walton and his team have been able to conduct limited coaching despite the restrictions, but some of his activities have of necessity been suspended. However, it is good to see that most normal activities have resumed for the present, and that players are again enjoying “the game for life”, and the associated social aspects.

Despite the foregoing, your Committee has not lost focus on tennis itself. Tennis wise, the Club is again open and welcoming to all the community, and the level of activity, even in winter, indicates tennis remains a very popular sport. Juniors, competition, social and casual play is well supported, however, like all Clubs, there continues to be a paucity of players in the 20-40 year age group. There are a number of Tennis Australia and ACT Tennis programs aimed at bringing back those who stopped playing after their initial involvement. While many children receive coaching, this does not translate to those children continuing to play or to them joining the Club. This continues to be a nationwide issue for many sports.

We continue to have two sponsorships for which we are most thankful. The Canberra Southern Cross Club (CSCC) continues the present 7.5% of ‘card swipes’ at the CSCC venues. We ask all members and their friends, who are members of the CSCC, to “sign up” when they visit any of the CSCC Clubs, and then swipe their CSCC card when they buy food or drinks. (Please note: One does not need to be a member of our Tennis Club - this is relevant to parents of children and any friends).

The Rebel Sports support is also of great benefit in that 5% of “Rebel” purchases are returned to the Club through purchases at any Rebel store. For this system to benefit, any person with a Rebel card and directly identifies our Club , or whose card is annotated “Weston Creek Tennis Club” who makes a purchase and swipes the card adds 5% to our credit without any penalty to their purchase . The Club uses funds to purchase Club needs – balls, nets, etc- to help reduce the cost of playing. But Rebel does not have sweepers, so the Committee continues to look for better sweepers that last longer and are much less costly (present sweepers are about $300!). The Rebel cards are available from Mark Walton, Brian Chauncy and myself.

Please support our Tennis Club by participating when you, your family and friends go to either the CSCC or a Rebel Sports store. Please note: The Club does not contribute to private groups or individuals whose play is not open to the community at large. 

While our financial position is sound on a yearly basis, planning and implementing a longer term sinking fund which provides for new courts, fencing, and a new lighting system and other items, is far from precise. To resurface courts 5-8 required that we obtain a loan from the ANZ bank for $70K, repayable over 5 years. The remainder of the $150K needed to ‘do’ the courts was taken from our bank balance, which is now not looking as rosy.

As all will appreciate, the Club has existed now for almost 50 years and all the major components of our Club – Courts, lighting, fences, Clubhouse, electrical and water systems and grounds, need a major “makeover”. As you have read from the above,

4 courts(5-8), lighting, fences and grounds’ deficiencies have all been addressed, but ensuring your Club can progress facilities’ improvements further, will need substantial government assistance. ACT Tennis and executives of numerous tennis Clubs are addressing this wider issue now.

Your Committee believes that most members want the Club to continue to operate as a Club rather than as a commercial centre; we will try to keep the need for survivability, commercial, viable/Club-like and open, in balance. Affiliation with ACT Tennis brings several benefits, such as competition organisation, player insurance, support expertise in running the Club, and news on various Tennis trends/activities.

Each year I conclude the Report with this reminder - most importantly, Tennis at our Club is a game for all to participate in and enjoy. Your Committee will try to keep it that way. There is little doubt that playing tennis at all ages contributes to our physical, mental and social well-being, which in turn enhances our quality of life-AKA happiness.

Remember to keep up to date on activities through the Tennis Australia Weston Creek Tennis Club web site /– www.tennis.com.au/westoncreektc/ where you can book a court and pay as a casual or member, gain access to coaching, and generally keep up to date with all our Club activities.

Last but not least, I believe all players owe many thanks to the Committee Members who have contributed so much to the operation of the Club in the last year.

Refer to WCTC AGM 2020 Agenda & Reports for more information.

Stewart Back

President

 

Last Updated 4 August 2020