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Newark Tennis Club reveals how it plans to bounce back from covid-19

A tennis club is hopeful it can continue to grow its membership after returning some of its services.

Newark Tennis Club was one of the first clubs in the town to open its courts following advice from the government.

James Barker and Gary Brickles of Newark Tennis Centre. 190120TV3-9. (27167929)
James Barker and Gary Brickles of Newark Tennis Centre. 190120TV3-9. (27167929)

Club secretary Sara Jackson said the sport’s return was a huge plus for members.

“We have a great vibe going on at the club at the minute,” she said.

“We have a single’s league running until August where everyone will play everyone and earn a point for each game for league positions instead of a win, draw or loss.

“And now doubles play is allowed we will be doing the same with our own doubles league.”

SARA JACKSON (36667778)
SARA JACKSON (36667778)

Tennis, like golf, received a high profile for being one of the last sports to stop, and one of the first to start again.

And, because of that, Jackson said the club had numerous enquires from those who were missing out on their sporting fix.

“We were getting a lot of enquiries, especially from people who couldn’t get back to the gym or couldn’t continue with their indoor sports like squash, so it was great for us,” she said.

“We aren’t exceeding previous years’ membership numbers, but we are positive that with our reduced membership prices we can get people into the club.”

She said a challenge under the current circumstances was the integration of new members, as normally the club would host social nights, however, everything has been done online to keep contact at a minimum.

The latest update from the LTA, the sport’s governing body, saw the introduction of managed play meaning up to four players could play together and share balls.

It also meant coaching of groups of up to five were allowed.

In response to this, the club opened its clubhouse for toilet access but its kitchen and social areas remained closed.

From a competitive standpoint, the Notts LTA declared outside club friendlies could be played later in the summer, subject to the R number remaining stable, but a fixed date is yet to be confirmed.

The Notts LTA Summer League was also cancelled, while the Winter League, which was still ongoing, was postponed.

A final decision is to be made ahead of the start of the next winter season in August.

But, there is no lack of action as players continue to go head-to-head in interclub tournaments, whether it be doubles or singles.

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