In our 2014 survey, we asked our membership a few simple questions regarding the Stapleford Tennis Club. We’d like to thank those of you who responded and take a moment to convey the results, including how the Stapleford Tennis Club Committee has acted on your replies. For information, 90% of respondents belonged to the club via a Family Membership, with over 60% having been members for three or more years, which we took as a good sign; our members keep coming back.
Members overwhelmingly stated they prefer playing socially, either with family, friends, or other members at Club Sessions (as opposed to playing in competitions), and modesty ruled the day with 75% rating themselves as Beginners or Out of Practice, though 42% use the courts on a weekly basis.
The question of floodlights came up, with 29% in favour, 29% against, 33% as firm Maybes, and 9% who simply didn’t know enough about it to decide. At the moment, the STC Committee has decided to “park” the question of floodlights, but your responses have encouraged us to keep it in consideration for coming years.
Another question, regarding investment in the club, was to do with the purchase of a Tennis Wall, whereby members could “play against themselves” without another player present. Again, opinion was divided: 38% said Yes, 33% said No, and 28% were undecided. We have investigated various types of walls, plus associated costs, and will let you know our conclusions.
On the question of coaching, we were surprised (but delighted) to see 76% of you stating you’d enjoy group coaching for Adults. As a response to this, the Committee plans to bring back Club Sessions, this time with a professional coach in attendance, to work with our membership on a weekly basis. We might need your help with this, though, so it would be wonderful to hear from anyone other than the lone respondent who said Yes to Question 5–Would you be willing to be on a rota to facilitate Club Sessions (e.g., arrive early to set out balls and racquets, clear up after session)?
Please do consult our website after the Easter holidays, when we plan to have details available.
As for your favourite and least favourite aspects of the club, it is clear that members appreciate having access to tennis so close to home, enjoy the friendly, relaxed nature of the club, and that court time is regularly easy to obtain. On the down side…well, let’s just say that no one is a fan of the ball-gobbling lleylandii hedge.
Lack of toilet facilities was mentioned; we have worked with the Parish Council and were able to provide access to the Pavilion facilities during the Junior Coaching sessions over the summer. We hope to continue this arrangement for Junior Coaching and Club Sessions in future, but have yet to find an effective solution in terms of providing individual members with access to the Pavilion facilities.
One respondent asked why we are not registered as a CASC. We don’t actually know why not (as we were new to the Committee), but one of our members is currently exploring this possibility.
Another respondent suggested having something in place where people can sign up for games to play against other members—again, this is being looked into, and would probably manifest itself on our website, if anywhere. Keep an eye out for further news.
A poignant comment stating that it’s a shame the Club has to charge membership fees as it would be wonderful to be completely inclusive. This might surprise some of you, but we have discussed this very thing in Committee meetings! It is a strong goal of this Committee to get as many people playing tennis as possible. The bottom line is that membership fees are, essentially, our sole source of regular income, which is necessary to maintain the courts and facilities. While we try to solve the problem of maintaining courts with no income, we are organising a series of Open Days/Weekends during which the lock will be removed from the gate and the courts will be open to all, free of charge. It is a baby step, but we hope it can be of some benefit to the residents in our community.
Finally, we would very much like to meet the person who believes we have a “rubbish court surface” and introduce him or her to the person who praised our “good quality courts”, simply to enjoy the ensuing debate!
Many thanks again for your responses.