Canterbury Tennis Club
Annual General Meeting, 2020
Good evening everyone. Welcome to our COVID-19 special AGM – streaming live to you in the comfort of your own home. I’m pleased you could all attend this evening.
I especially would like to acknowledge our life member in attendance this evening: Chris Thompson. Another two of our life members – Sue Constance and Kevin Bolton – has sent their apologies for this evening.
Eleven months ago, I joined the committee and nominated for president. The club was in excellent health and continues to be now. Demand for competition tennis and coaching thus far has been undiminished by a lack of a proper clubhouse and by COVID-19 restrictions. With the introduction of “attendance registration” due to COVID-19, the club now has a record of how much social tennis is also thriving. Previously, we could only make educated guesses about the court utilisation outside of coaching and competition.
The club continues to have an excellent financial position. The operating surpluses created by previous committees has allowed us to:
In the near future, the surpluses also allow us to:
Last year then-president Stephen Liu noted that it had been a particularly trying year for the committee. These past 11 months were less trying – very much because of the hard work the previous committee had put in on the coaching contract, and convincing and cajoling Boroondara Council to build us an appropriate clubhouse. Less trying this year, but no less busy thanks to the clubhouse build and the impact of COVID-19.
Lets now discuss the new clubhouse. The build started a few months later than expected, in January. However, that seems to have been the only delay. The build has stayed on track. We’re expecting the clubhouse to be available to us by the start of September. I thank the committee for their time spent thinking about the floorplan and Boroondara Council for being accommodating where they could. It’s a very exciting time for the club. We will be looking to see what kind of events the club can hold to celebrate the opening of the clubhouse – COVID-19 pending.
On that note, we would like to form a sub-committee to focus on putting together an annual calendar of events and organising these events. If you are interested, please contact Andrew Taylor.
The club championships were held in September, and we were very lucky with the weather. A great weekend of tennis ensued. The ladies champion was Di Williams, defeating Meg Batrouney in the final. And the men’s champion was Andy Bhardwaj, who defeated Justin McNeany. I hope that we can hold club championships this year – COVID-19 pending.
Looking ahead, planned developments for the next year:
Boroondara Council and Tennis Australia will jointly fund the introduction of Tennis Australia’s Book-a-Court system. This system will allow the reservation of courts by members, and non-members alike. Non-members will have to pay their visitor fees as they do now. There was much thought put into this decision by the committee. In introducing the system, we will need to provide appropriate support to those members who may be uncomfortable in using a website to make court bookings. I’m confident, for three reasons, that members will like the system:
It’s not yet known when Book-a-Court can be installed, as Tennis Australia is currently renegotiating contracts with their equipment suppliers.
At last year’s AGM, it was announced that LED lights had been investigated, but not going to be installed. Why has the committee reversed that decision? Primarily because LED lights work better with the Book-a-Court system. LED lights can be immediately switched on and off, without any associated warm-up and cool-down time. This works very well with the automation within the Book-a-Court system. Secondary reasons include: improving the illumination of courts 1 and 2, reduced electricity usage, and reduced maintenance costs.
During the year the committee began the project of producing a 5-year strategy document to help us identify the objectives of the club. Primarily this is about enjoying playing tennis, but also addresses the club’s financial and compliance responsibilities. We also need to ensure that Boroondara Council is aware of, and, impressed by our contribution to the local community. More information will be forthcoming about this project next year.
Since the kindergarten was painted last year, several members and visiting opponents have remarked on how much glare there is when playing night tennis on the top courts. The committee has raised this with Boroondara Council. Whilst they don’t seem to be rushing out to repaint the kindergarten, repainting is one option. The other is to strengthen the fence, so that it may support some shade cloth to block out the Kindergarten. Expect to see one of these options taken up this year.
On to coaching – Nima has not had the ideal start to his coaching business. The devastating bushfires across the summer caused the cancellation of classes due to smoke. And then, as we’re all keenly aware, COVID-19 sent everything including tennis into lock-down. Nima has calmly navigated the challenges and has been able to build up his business to have 3 coaches, including himself, and book out classes in term 3. I personally appreciate his adult clinics and the focus on doubles play in these clinics. Nima’s business complements and enhances our club.
Finally, thank you to the committee for their work and patience throughout the year.
Other non-committee help during the year we’ve had:
Without the volunteer efforts of all these people, the club would not be as successful as it is, nor function as well as it does. And while all these people have done an excellent job, the club is always in search of new volunteers. This is to not only replace existing personnel but to continually reinvigorate the committee with new opinions and ideas. The committee is a welcoming group, and we will gladly help you settle into a role and be successful.
On this note, Richard Moore has indicated that he will be retiring from the committee at the next AGM. This illustrates the club’s need for volunteers never ceases, and it’s always good when there’s overlap between the old and new volunteers. Please consider this as we elect committee members for the coming year.
I look forward to the coming year at Canterbury Tennis Club. Hopeful that COVID-19 can go into remission. Excited to get settled in our shiny new clubhouse. Eager to follow through on new projects. And very keen to start playing night tennis competition again.