Fun day June 1st

We called it our Fun Day and it certainly was fun! We combined special events with a visit from Robyn Moore who has set herself the challenge of hitting 200,000 balls in 30 days, fundraising for the BreakPoint charity with the help of Bright Ideas in Tennis. This was her first day; she had already spent the morning at the Calthorpe Park tennis courts and spent a further 4 hours with us on the hottest day of the year so far. Gosh, that seems like a huge challenge! Good luck to her. Of course, to meet her challenge she needed the help of our ballboys and ballgirls to keep replenishing her ball machine

Around the club, our coaches and Young Leaders were fully occupied running drills such as “hit the bin” challenges. We certainly had at least one winner who was very pleased with his prize of a Bright Ideas in Tennis sports top.


Other parts of the courts were just in use by families having a good time. And of course we had the usual lovely refreshments on sale.

Many thanks to everyone who made this day possible, especially Zana Fletcher (who also ran the Family Tournament in the morning!) and Debra Norton who organised the refreshments and several of the non-tennis competitions such as Guess the Weight of the Cake. Just for the record, the answer was 1250g.


Ball machine


Our ball machine is now available for use. It is kept in the clubhouse and there have been two briefings about its use. Some members have already received a key to access it; others of us will be receiving a key soon. There is a manual left with it. Please look at this! Spinfire_Pro2_ManualFor your convenience, here are three screenshots about changing the settings eg for elevation (how high over the net the ball is sent). I think that the ball machine will retain the settings last used, so if a player much better than you used it last, then you might need to change things!
(Click to enlarge the image)


We passed our LTA Audit – thank you for your help

In September last year the LTA decided to end Tennismark accreditation and required that all LTA registered clubs must meet Minimum Standards in five areas, focusing particularly on Safeguarding and Health & Safety. These Minimum Standards are audited by LTA visits to the Clubs and we had our first audit on 6th February.

Following the audit I am pleased to say that the LTA confirmed that the Club meets all their Minimum Standards and in some areas we exceed them. Thank you to Paul Kemsley, our Welfare Officer for his work in preparation for the LTA visit. If you have any concerns about Safeguarding issues please contact Paul on 07747 105459. To find out more about Safeguarding at the Club click here.

Thank you to all members who completed the LTA survey which formed part of the audit. It was pleasing to note those three little words “well managed club” cropping up frequently in the survey comments and we shall follow up on suggestions made for further improvement.

PS : Paul insisted that I include the following comment from him : “You may also be interested to know that the LTA auditor was very impressed with our website – well done to Katherine and, of course, to Chris Hazell who did so much to give it such a professional look”


Safeguarding update

Members may have seen recent press comment regarding Safeguarding in Tennis. All members should be reassured that Avondale Tennis Club has appropriate Safeguarding Policies in place and these can be accessed by clicking here. If any member has any issue relating to Safeguarding at the Club please contact our Welfare Officer, Paul Kemsley on 07747 105459.


Macmillan Coffee Morning

“Thank you” from Penny :

We made £437 which is very good for a couple of hours. We were very grateful for all the support we received from everyone which once again was fantastic . Everyone is always so kind and generous with cakes gifts for raffle and spending their money !! Thank you

And a bit extra from Katherine :

We might have just spent a couple of hours but Penny and her team of bakers and helpers put in much more effort than that. Well done on a lovely event! This has been running for several years now and we wouldn’t keep coming if it wasn’t so good.


May bank holiday American tournament

The late May Bank Holiday American Tournament on Monday 28th May was again blessed with fantastic weather and a terrific turnout. The draw allowed most participants to take a breather for one round during the afternoon’s play, but for an unlucky few, it was six rounds of eight games on the bounce, with only a brief interval for the usual scrumptious afternoon tea. Kudos for the best overall performances on the day went to Mark Hill and Ailsa Fraser, both of whom showed flair, consistency and durability in achieving an average win rate of just over five and a half games for each group of eight games played with a wide variety of different partners.

Many thanks to Debra Norton and Alison Jamieson for the lovely tea.

The next American-style one day tournament is the Albany Trophy on Sunday 8th July.

To view the photos as a slideshow, click on one of them. Click on the bottom right of the image to view the next one, bottom left to view the previous one and centre to leave the slide show.


Congratulations Jamie!

Today is Jamie’s wedding day -what an amazing day to get married! Looking forward to celebrating your special day with you. It only seems like yesterday that you were that cheeky junior that used to turn up to Saturday coaching with that big smile and mischievous twinkle in your eye! Look at you now! Wishing you all the happiness in the world.xx


Farewell to Bob Butt

More sad news for the club. Bob Butt has died after a long illness which he faced with fortitude. He was described in the local newspaper as “a community stalwart” making a contribution to many aspects of local life, not just Avondale. Bob had been a member of our club since 1970 – nearly 50 years- and had represented Cornwall in his youth.

Kathy Charles, head coach, was quoted in the newspaper as saying “For many years, Bob dedicated hours of his time to helping with junior coaching and club nights. His kindnesses, encouragement and enthusiasm will be greatly missed by all the juniors, both past and present”

His funeral has taken place and was very well-attended, showing how well respected and loved he was across the community. We send our condolences to his wife Chris, also a long-term member at Avondale. It seems fitting that they met on tennis courts while they were employed at RAE.



My tribute to Chris Hazell

It is with personal sadness that I have to inform you that Chris Hazell has died unexpectedly. His name may not be that familiar to you … but his work on the website certainly is. He and I agreed to work on the website about 5 years ago; I tended to do the routine updates while Chris transformed the website into the highly professional version we have today, a website that the club can be justifiably proud of. He came to this with a background in coding but not the necessary html. He worked very diligently to develop his skills and left me far behind. He had a great eye for detail – drove me nuts at times! – but everything he did was motivated by a desire to produce the best possible outcome. He was a gifted photographer and many of the photos on the website are by him.

He was also a personal friend, part of a friendship group which plays every Sunday morning. I cannot believe that I will no longer have to try to return his cunning leftie serves, or to defend against his pesky lobs and I will not be able to admire his amazingly delicate stop volleys . We will all miss him.


We are the best!

The following was taken from a Facebook post by Paul Treacy

“Aldershot & District Tennis League AGM was held at Avondale last night and we congratulate the League on its 70th birthday, it having been formed in 1948. A list of all winners of the various League divisions since 1948 has been posted here: adlta website . The League Committee have analysed this data and proclaimed Avondale as the overall most successful club in the League over the last 70 years. Let’s hope that the next 70 are as successful.”

If you want to see the tables,follow the link above and then use their menu to go to Past Division Winners. It’s really interesting to see how many more teams are now playing. Back in 1958,there were just 2 Ladies Divisions and the Avondale Ladies won Div 1, not Avondale A, there was just the one team. Now we have 5 teams playing in various divisions.


Defibrillator at clubhouse

We now have a defibrillator, thanks to the hard work of Linda Ganter in making this happen. There was a training programme this afternoon (Saturday January 20th). Here’s Zana’s Facebook post about it “Just completed a very informative defibrillator/CPR training course at the club along with 18 others. There are still spaces on the second course on 17 February – definitely worth the two hours. You could help save someone’s life. Thank you Linda Ganter for organising and to the Club for providing.”