Autumn 2019 Newsletter

Newsletter Autumn 2019 by Marion Nuttall. Secretary @ SALTSC | 24th November 2019

Welcome to our late Autumn Newsletter. The past four months since my last Newsletter have been very busy with lots going on both on the tennis & squash courts and in the Clubhouse.

Dear Members
As the nights are drawing in and we move from the tennis season to squash and table tennis, I am delighted to update you on some Club matters. I will refer briefly to some but my colleagues will give you more details in the following sections of the Newsletter.
We have appointed both a tennis and a squash coach and now have a Tennis Programme in place for juniors, beginners and more experienced players. With our recently appointed Squash Coach we are hoping to establish and increase coaching over time and hope to include more information in our Newsletter next year. Our new Bar Manager, Mark Whelan, is also settling in well, bringing some great new ideas to the running of the bar and almost immediately he arranged for recycling to do our bit for the environment.
I am grateful to Sarah Robson, Safeguarding Officer, who has now almost completed safeguarding training with committee members and bar staff and has been awarded the LTA Safeguarding Certificate.
Financially, the Club is on a much stronger footing now with some money in the bank and hopefully a small profit by the end of the year. Considering the many years of loss incurred previously we are delighted to report this. Membership has increased to 475.
We now have a new Table Tennis team which, for the first few matches was top of the 2nd Division in the Blackpool & District Table Tennis League. Teams consist of between 3-5 players and matches involve 3 singles & 1 doubles. Home matches are on Mondays from September -April. Thanks to Gavin Harris, Team Captain, for setting this up.
Regarding the Clubhouse we recently had our 5-year electrical test which led to some remedial work but, fortunately, not too much for such a large and slightly old building!
Our refurbishment plans have been shared with members and we are well on with raising funds to improve the bar/lounge area. Many thanks to lots of members for their support. We do still need a person to organise and run our social events. S/he does not necessarily need to be a committee member and would certainly have the Committee`s support. If you think this could be you, please get in touch with any committee member.
To finish with three items of GOOD NEWS:
Firstly, most of you will know Alex Goldie who, for several years, has given hours of his time to the Club in volunteering to do repairs and maintenance jobs. We would like to congratulate Alex on winning the `Fylde Sports Volunteer of the Year Award` earlier this month. He will go forward to represent the Fylde in the Lancashire Sports Award Competition in late November. The Club would like to thank Alex for all his work and wish him every success.

Secondly congratulations to Joss Barker who, at the time of writing, has won all of his matches for the Table Tennis Team placing him top player in the Division.
Finally from me, I am really thrilled to be able to tell you that the Club has been nominated by the LTA as `most improved club of the year`. I will let you know how that goes, but simply being nominated feels quite an honour.

Ken Broadbent, on behalf of the Finance Sub-Committee, is pleased to update you regarding the Club`s finances.
Now two thirds of the way through the year the Club is on a stable and sustainable footing and stands to show a profit of over £10,000 through the twelve months to the next AGM in January 2020. The significant loss reported at the last AGM has been addressed largely by streamlining administrative procedures, which has halved the expense of employees wages without adding too much to the workload of the volunteer committee. This reduction in costs has enabled us to do a number of things: [i] the monthly transfer of £1000 to a `sinking fund` to pay for major renewal projects [eg. court resurfacing] as they arise [ii] commencing a schedule of repairs & renewals [iii] appointment of a new Bar Manager.
It is an ambition of the Finance Sub-Committee to gradually reduce the cost of a full membership subscription to bring it closer to that of nearby clubs.
Also from September 2019 a full monthly Finance Report comprising income/expenditure and a short narrative is included in the minutes of each Management Committee meeting (seen on the notice board).

Stuart Masheter writes:
First and foremost we welcome to the Club a new Head Tennis Coach, Michael Cartmell, whom some of you know as he has been coaching at the Club this summer in a temporary capacity. He will be supported by Imran Aswat as a valued member of the coaching team which is already receiving positive feedback. Imran is currently available for coaching intermediate/advanced level adults on Thursday evenings.
Both Mens & Ladies Teams enjoyed mixed results this summer.
In the Fylde League-Men-- the 1st team [captain Michael Brown] finished 2nd in Division 1; 2nd team [captain Stuart Masheter] finished 3rd in Division 2; 5th team [captain Ian McGuiness] finished 6th in Division 8. Both the 3rd team [captain Dave Lucas] and the 4th team [captain Ian McGuiness] finished bottom of Divisions 4 & 5 respectively but luckily avoided relegation due to the two teams that pulled out of Division 1 this season.
Ladies` Fylde League--1st team [captain Sarah Barraclough] finished bottom of Division 2 and the 2nd team [captain Maureen Pemberton] finished 4th in Division 4. Promoted last season to this Division the result was a creditable mid-table position as some of its players moved up to the 1st team to replace players lost from that team. Closer inspection of the results of the 2nd team show that, unbelievably it played 13 championship tie-breaks--some lost & others won---indicating how close the matches were and suggesting the focus for practice next season! Maureen says a big `thank you` to everyone who played, the spirit in which they did so and the teamwork both on and off the court. Twelve players contributed to the overall result --Helen Bond, Carole Booth, Eva Graham, Rachel Green, Orelle Gibson, Ann Hewitt, Helen Ikin, Pauline Ledford, Marion Nuttall, Margaret Rawstron and Zoe Williamson. As last season, a good time was had by all at a meal out at Tiggi`s.
The Ribble League Team retained its place in Division 1 and the Junior Team [overseen by Sarah Robson] finished the Fylde League.

The Club Tournament had 28 entries for the Men`s Open Singles----the highest number for a few years. Sadly only one lady entered the Tournament!
Matt Snowden produced a superb performance to win the Open Men`s Singles for the first time with the Open Men`s Doubles being won by Michael Brown & Greg Whitehead and the Mixed Doubles by Clive & Shelagh Parkinson, also first time winners of this event. The Handicap Singles & Doubles were won by Greg Whitehead and Lloyd Uy/John Alex Barraclough. Stuart Masheter won the Consolation Singles. Cups and prizes were given out at a successful Presentation Evening in early November.
Successful half-day tournaments were held in June and in the middle of Wimbledon, early July.
A Tennis Sub-Committee consisting of Stuart Masheter, Maureen Pemberton, Ian McGuiness & John Alex Barraclough and if you have any suggestions/ideas about tennis events please contact them.

Many of you will have met Michael Cartmell who has been coaching at the Club for several months and we are delighted that he has now been appointed as Head Tennis Coach. Michael is an experienced Level 3 Tennis Coach having coached at all levels and at a number of places including Performance Centres at Bolton and Wigan; David Lloyd Warrington and at Edge Hill University. He has also worked at Wimbledon and in America. Currently he coaches at Tennis Clubs in Hambleton, Goosnargh and Garstang as well as the first and second Ladies` & Men`s Teams at Lancaster
University. He is also a qualified referee and line umpire
Off the court Michael has been just as busy studying and, following his graduation in Sports Development, successfully completed a Masters degree in `Mental Health & Sport`---a very topical subject at this time.
I caught up with Michael shortly after he flew to America to watch the US Open and asked him about his ambition for the Club. It is `To have many children and adults playing and enjoying tennis regularly at the Club and improving technically through lessons, club-nights, matches and ladder competitions.` He also spoke about his short-term plans to attract new members .
Details of Michael`s availability are on the noticeboard and anyone wanting to book a lesson or interested in setting up a group for coaching please call him on 07523866116 or e-mail He also regularly posts tips to help people improve their game on his coaching page https//

Tim Davies writes....
The Club has 3 teams entered in the North West Counties Squash League 2019-2020 season: the 1st team in Division 2, 2nd in Division 3 and the 3rd in Division 5. In preparation for the start of the season, the squash courts were given a thorough cleaning during the summer by Alex [Goldie] & Tim [Davies] who could be seen in very fetching pink marigolds [!] scrubbing away at the court walls over a number of weeks. Team matches started on Thursday 19 September and at the time of writing the 1st team has won 4 matches and lost 2; the 2nd has won 2 and lost 4 and the 3rd has so far won all 5 of the matches played. The teams have undoubtedly benefited from the recent arrival of the `squash-mad` Williamson family comprising dad, Andy and his two highly promising sons. Josh & Jamie, all of whom are now playing for the teams. Matches take place on Thursday evenings and supporters are always welcome.
The Committee is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Squash Coach, Kiran Parmar, who is available for both squash and racket ball coaching and can be contacted on 07726 737679. Kiran is an experienced coach with a L2 coaching qualification and has been tasked with promoting squash to juniors and female players particularly. Details of group coaching sessions are available on the Club website.
The squash court booking system has been replaced by an on-line booking system overseen by Mark Whelan, to whom thanks are due for setting it up. The new system has the dual advantage that you no longer have to come to the Club to book a court and booking is now free! If you have any questions about it, please contact Mark.
Racket ball [aka squash 57] ---which is a cross between squash and tennis played on a squash court---is a sport rapidly gaining in popularity. it is a `fun game` played with a bouncy, hollow rubber ball [57mm diameter] and a racket which is a cross between a squash racket and a tennis racket. The Club has started an internal racket ball league and it is now into its second round. Anyone interested in joining is requested to sign up on the sheet pinned to the squash noticeboard. If you haven`t played racket ball and would like to give it a try, please contact Tim and he`ll be happy to give you a hit.

A number of events have taken place.
In late July over 50 present and past members enjoyed a `Coffee and Cakes Afternoon` organised by Barbara Reynolds and her team of helpers. Delicious home made cakes and scones were available and over £300 raised for the refurbishment fund. A similar amount was raised by a `Ladies Evening` [fashion & make-up] organised by Olivia Ball, whom many of you know from her work behind the bar. The Committee would like to thank everyone who contributed to the organisation and success of these events.
In mid-August 13 of us went to Werne for a week to catch up with friends and exchange stories from the previous year. In perfect weather they enjoyed tennis, visiting places of interest, swimming in the newly refurbished and designed open air swimming pool , eating and wine tasting and a countryside game of `Bosein`. Alvin Perkins, who with Chris Brown, organises the trip could tell you more about this but suffice it to say that it involves teams, each of which has to roll a ball [about the same size/weight as a crown green bowl] for about 3Km along narrow country lanes trying to avoid ditches on both sides. The team with the lowest number of rolls from start to finish wins. To make things easier the competitors pull a cart filled with beer, wine, schnapps and sausages!!! Our team just won.
The real sporting event was playing for the Blau-Weis-St. Annes Tennis Shield which the latter had previously won twice consecutively. Blau-Weis won 5-0 but all went to tie breaks. Too many beers and sausages??

Friends from Germany will be at the Club next year 25th-26th July---1st/2nd August. Alvin has e-mailed about a meeting to discuss plans and an itinerary. It is important to stress that this meeting and visit is open to all members, families & friends and further information can be obtained from Alvin [07855 515778 ] or Chris [07851 790207 e-mail].
If anyone is going away at that time and would like to make their house available for renting for Orelle Gibson & friends from Germany please contact Alvin or Chris. Four bedrooms are required. Guaranteed responsible tenants.
The Club`s Christmas Party will be on Saturday 14th December 2019---tickets are available from the bar.

Looking ahead, the AGM will be earlier next year--Tuesday 28th January 2020. If anyone is interested in being on the Committee please see Sarah Barraclough.

A bit early I know but I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Marion Nuttall