As this will be the final newsletter for 2023, we want to share with you some of our thoughts for the future development of our club. Tennis as ever is at the core of our thinking. In 2024 we aim to continue to develop initiatives across the club’s tennis and social programme. We will also be working to improve the club’s facilities to enhance the members’ experience and present the club in the best possible light.
Tennis: We have a strong coaching team, and we have great courts for playing social and competitive tennis. The junior membership is very important for the Club as it is an investment in the future. We want to increase junior engagement and more of a feeling of connection to the club through running an increased number of junior initiatives and events, plus better communication of what’s happening via the junior newsletter and other media.
Our academy programme has been very successful and we hope to encourage talented junior players to develop and to remain with us. Key to this will be a desirable pathway into adult tennis and to the adult teams.
Building up team tennis is also important, as we try to put ourselves on the map and compete with some of the big names in the Surrey leagues. We also want to reach out to those who don’t have the chance to play through a developing schools programme, building on the successful pilot this summer, and funded by our healthy relationship with the local independent schools.
Finally we want to establish the 2 week club championships format, bringing the club alive for a 2-week festival of tennis and socialising: the 2024 Tournament will run from 8-22 June.
Facilities: The Clubhouse should be the centre of social life at Old College but it is no longer fit for purpose. We plan to turn it into a place that you want to visit and enjoy. This will cost money and that may constrain what we can do. We will be making a presentation on this to members in the new year.
Image: The Club needs to present itself better. We have been trying to improve the grounds, and to strengthen our ability to maintain courts, netting, the perimeter and so on. In addition we have now created a paid post of website editor; the website and our social media will be changing, and will begin to carry more news and photos of life at our club. In addition we want to change the motif of Old College with a crest that reflects our long history, our superb environment, and our location as well as our sport.
Again, we will give a presentation to members to explain our ideas.
Conclusion: We hope that all of these changes will carry the Club forward and strengthen it. Next year we celebrate over 140 years of Old College, making it one of the oldest Clubs in the country. So there should be plenty to celebrate.
Nigel Thorpe, Chair OCLTC and Alex Heath, Head Coach