A Good Year for Thornbury tennis
Thornbury Tennis Club is celebrating a successful 2017. The club, situated next to the Mundy Playing Fields is heading to 2018 with both first and second teams top of their divisions in the winter mixed leagues and with plans to complete renovations at the club. Brian Jordan looks back at what’s been achieved in the last year.
2017 has been a good year for Thornbury Tennis Club. A wide range of tennis matches have been played from social tennis through to a comprehensive range of tournaments and league fixtures. Several of the club juniors are now challenging for top honours in the club which is a tribute to the strength of the coaching team.
Most of the tennis played at the Club is by members having an enjoyable, friendly game of tennis. The scores of these matches are not recorded and there are no trophies awarded. These are mainly doubles matches with some singles matches and the emphasis is on having a good time whilst incidentally keeping fit. The players range from youngsters through to those well into their eighties.
The Presidents Plate tournament is an established annual mixed doubles tournament for Club members, held in April. This year 14 pairs entered the tournament. In the final, Megan O’Connor & Brendan Wilde ultimately proved too strong for their opponents and won 6-3, 6-2. This was the third consecutive year they have won the tournament.
The Club held its first Tie Break Tens tournament in July. All matches played used a Championship Tie Break format and typically last for 10 minutes. This was a doubles tournament with men, women, juniors and mixed teams competing against each other, with suitable handicaps. Mair Vaughan and Phil Jones were the first winners of this new annual event.
The 18th Annual Cancer Research UK Charity Tennis Tournament was held in September and raised £480 for this worthy cause. Altogether these tournaments have raised a total of £7523.
The Annual Tournament is the main tournament of the year in the Club year. All preliminary matches were played during September and early October with the finals played in October. The strength of the juniors was demonstrated by them reaching four of the five finals. The Men’s Singles final was between 12 year old, Leo Lazarides and Steve Pikett. A thrilling match with every game hotly contested, worthy of the final. The final score was 6-3, 7-5 to Leo. The Men’s Doubles was won by Felix Boyes & Freddie Savage, the Ladies Singles was won by Sarah Hurley who also took the Ladies Doubles with her partner, Jo Hargreaves. The Mixed Doubles was won by Jo Hargreaves and Felix Boyes.
Another new initiative for the club was a series of LTA sanctioned County Junior Open Tournaments being played through the Winter. These are proving to be a popular addition to the club tournament schedule with players mainly from Avon and Gloucestershire but some from much further afield.
Thornbury Tennis Club participates in the Avon Tennis Leagues. There are separate leagues covering different periods of the year with the greatest concentration of matches in the Summer. Throughout the year, these matches have given 80 Club members the opportunity to play competitive tennis against other local clubs. The teams range from those that play very competitively to those gaining valuable experience.
In the Winter 2016/7 Mixed Leagues our first team came second in their division and were promoted. In the Summer Leagues both the Ladies Second and the Men’s Second team were promoted. In the current Winter 2017/8 Mixed Leagues the first and second teams are both currently top of their divisions. The challenge will be to stay there.
Thornbury Lawn Tennis Club is very fortunate to have a strong LTA accredited coaching team that offers a wide range of group coaching for juniors and adults. In addition, they provide one to one coaching where a player wishes to improve an aspect of their game. The juniors range from complete beginners, some as young as 3 years old to those successfully competing in county and regional tournaments.
The club has a great clubhouse, good courts, an excellent location and a great team of coaches. The main focus for next year will be to increase the numbers of people playing tennis – both junior and adult. The club will encourage more people to play who have never played before. It will also encourage those that have played before, but for various reasons have stopped, to return to tennis. Contact with local schools will be improved with a view to getting more young people involved in the sport.
Longer Term Plans
Regeneration of the Thornbury tennis facilities started in 2012. So far £160,000 has been invested and the regeneration programme is almost 50% complete. The Club intends to work with local authorities and the Lawn Tennis Association to complete this programme of work over the next 2-3 years. This investment will provide excellent tennis facilities for at least the next 15 years that will match the forecast increase in demand for tennis facilities. This local demand is anticipated due to an expansion of the local population size coupled with more people becoming physically active.
More information about the Club can be found at www.thornburytennisclub.co.uk