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Forty and Roundabout Article

MANY HAPPY RETURNS!

CHOLSEY TENNIS CLUB (CTC) was founded nearly 50 years ago, through hard graft by a small group of dedicated villagers, after the main contractors went bust taking locally raised funds down with them.

This time last year, the members of CTC were celebrating another successful season with great results from our league teams.

Despite all the ongoing pandemic difficulties in 2020, the Club has enjoyed a late summer of competitive social tennis, and an annual Club Championship, in the absence of any league matches, which have only recently restarted. All of course within Government/Lawn Tennis Association guidelines, which are subject to regular updates.

As a surprising silver lining to the COVID cloud, CTC has a FEELGOOD story to tell! Membership numbers have increased to 175. The regular Tuesday Club Night now provides well matched doubles tennis for an average of over 30 adult players each week (compared to about 12 previously). In addition, an extra club night has recently been introduced on Thursdays, to cater for Rusty & Wannabee Groups, all under the watchful eye of our senior coach, Damian Gange, who currently has 5 Training Groups ranging from beginners to league players. We have also resumed junior coaching, which is well attended by a weekly average of 45 children, supervised by two experienced (but still youthful) coaches, Jason Harrison, and Ollie Tims.

The current members cannot pretend to match the physical graft by the founder members (a generational thing!) in laying three courts, but 20 years ago, CTC managed to raise £120k to finance the construction of a fourth court, as well as major improvements to the clubhouse, general resurfacing and installation of full flood-lighting.

Furthermore, we are this autumn embarking on Project 2020, which will involve expenditure approaching £30k (assisted by a government grant of £10k), with the incorporation of a grassed spectating area, new fencing and landscaping, plus repainting of all four courts.
We are grateful to Cholsey PC for their support in granting a new 25-year Lease of the extended area.

These significant improvements carried out over the years, have enabled what is essentially still a “village” club to compete in the top divisions of both Berkshire and Oxfordshire leagues, with regular promotions by our newly introduced teams, supported by top class coaching at all levels.

In short, CTC has a history to be proud of, and in a year beset by bad news, it is great to be able to report a success story. We continue to welcome players and newcomers of all standards. Damian Gange offers a FREE half hour introductory hit to anyone interested. Please refer to our website: www.cholseytennisclub.co.uk for more details about our thriving Club! What’s not to like about stimulating outdoor exercise, plus socially distanced FUN……clearly good for physical and mental health when both are most needed…..

Adrian Hatt
Chairman CTC

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