Welcome to the second edition of Usk Tennis Club’s Newsletter. We plan to produce a regular communication keeping members and friends informed of events within the tennis club and the wider world of tennis, we hope you enjoy reading it and would welcome ideas and contributions for future editions.
Although the weather has hardly been ‘tennis friendly’ the days are now getting longer and the tennis year is definitely up and running. Stanislas Wawrinka’s surprise triumph in the men’s Australian Open Championship is a reminder that anything can happen in sport. Even more amazingly, as I write Great Britain are on the verge of beating the USA in the Davis Cup to reach the Quarter-Final stage for the first time in decades. The scene is set for an exciting summer of tennis. I’m sure Usk tennis players are ready for the challenge and who knows we might be celebrating Andy Murray winning Wimbledon again this year!
After the flood at Christmas the courts are currently rather slippery. We are arranging for them to be professionally cleaned within the next few weeks in preparation for the new season which we plan to kick off with a new format club tournament in March organised by club coach Matt – further information to follow.
I hope you have all wintered well and look forward to seeing many of you on court in the coming months.
All members should have received an online survey link recently, if you haven't filled one in yet please take a few moments to do so. UTC SURVEY
Feedback from the survey will help the committee find out what you would like to see happening at the tennis club going forward and what you value most from your club membership. The committee is open to new ideas, so help us think outside the box! We're also interested to understand how, in different ways, you might be able to contribute to the running and development of our club.
Head coach Matt Brown explains the role of the server's partner in doubles play
A common theme that appears within coaching sessions time and time again is that of the position of the server's partner within doubles. Here a few quick tips on what your role is and how you can become more involved in what many quality doubles players (and I) view as the most fun position to be in!
Positioning - Put yourself in the middle of the service box front to back, and the middle of the service box right to left. Any closer in and you invite the easy lob, and further back and you invite the return down to your feet.
Movement - Your movement is dictated by the returner. Be dynamic and ready to move. Look at the returner and move with them - if the serve drags them wide, you go wide to cover the line. If they are dragged to the middle, move across and look to cut the ball off with a volley. If they pass you down the line from the middle of the court, applaud them. It won't happen often!
Vision - Look at the returner. Not the server. Rather a ball in the back than the eye!
If you stand in the tramlines looking scared, you are telling the opponents that you are not comfortable being at the net volleying. Even if you aren't confident, lie and try to look like you are!
Most of all, get involved. Don't spectate.
Head Coach Matt Brown
SOUTH WALES WINTER LEAGUE
Usk men entered the South Wales Winter Vet’s (over 45’s) competition for the first time this year and immediately felt at home. After Round 7 the team remain undefeated and joint top of Division 3. The squad has enjoyed a more level playing field in terms of power and skill on court following a difficult summer season and coped brilliantly with the challenges of blindingly low sun and driving rain during a number of matches. Keep it up boys! - JB
Following a very successful winter season last year the ladies were promoted to Division 3. Halfway through the season we have beaten Bridgend and Llandybie. Several other matches have been very close involving the dreaded third set tie breaks, struggling to convert.
Our target is to stay up in this division by achieving a couple wins from the remaining matches.
Many thanks to the squad for their time and commitment to the cause. - RH
The Mixed team has had a challenging but enjoyable season so far this winter. We are currently sitting in the middle of the bottom half of the division, however, with 3 more matches to play, we hope to finish a little higher! We have endured torrential rain playing away at Merthyr Mawr and Radyr but the highlight of the season, so far, has been Rowan's cake - a hit with the opposition too! Thank you to our loyal and committed players - MD
INDOOR WINTER LEAGUE
Men Even with the time slot of 8-10pm on Friday evenings, we have managed to fulfil all but one of our fixtures and have produced a couple of good victories, the most memorable of which was against Penallt when we won by one game (Walter still hasn't recovered from that one!). Many thanks to all of the guys who have sacrificed their Friday evenings for the team. - RD
Always a good League to play in as you are guaranteed a match indoors. A successful season to date, with only Allt yr rn proving too difficult for us.
Many thanks to the dedicated squad, especially for playing so well on those cold, late evening slots 8-10pm! - RH
The Ladies B team have experienced mixed results in the Dome this winter, from only just losing to Cwmbran A, to being thrashed by Allt yr Yn and a very convincing win over Caerphilly. Currently our position is mid league with just a few more matches to play. Congratulations to all the ladies who have been turning out on cold winter nights to play from 8 to 10pm. - SS
Ladies C The C team have put in a great effort so far this season against some challenging sides in the new bigger division. All good experience for improving your competitive play and enjoying your tennis in a team environment!- CH
Meet the committee member
Sue Shaw was a very keen squash player until her fifties when she decided that tennis might be kinder on her knees. After a period of participating in social tennis sessions and coaching she was asked to play team tennis and is currently captain of the ladies B team.
She worked in the steel industry for the majority of her working life and officially retired in 2001. On retirement Sue was asked to continue as a consultant for a trade organisation which she still does today, alongside managing a holiday cottage and occasionally helping to look after her 6 grandchildren. Sue has also recently undertaken two stints as Chair of her local Community Council.
Sue took over from Kath Badran as the Membership Secretary in March 2013. With Kath’s help she has now got to grips with this role. As Membership Secretary she sees the challenge as reversing the decline in members over the past couple of years and to encourage more fresh faces into the club. This is particularly important for the future financial stability of the club. If you know of any prospective members get them to contact Sue at email@example.com.
The tennis club is not just about the physical benefits of playing tennis but also for social interaction. This is why the committee are keen to establish members’ needs, so come along to the AGM and share your views with us.
As many of you will know, Leni Donaldson moved to Somerset in January.
Leni has been a club member for a few years and was a regular team tennis player who also enjoyed taking part in the annual club tournament. We wish Leni and her husband Olly and their children Rosie, Maggie and Arthur good luck in their new life near Yeovil and hope that they will pop in to see us if they visit Usk in the future.
Game, Set and match
That's it for this edition, we hope to have another newsletter in a few months time. If you would like to contribute any news, announcements or other items please let us know and we will do our best to include them in the next edition.
The Annual General Meeting of the Tennis club will be held at 3.30PM on Sunday February 16th with a fun American Tournament open to all from 2.00pm. The results of the current member’s survey will be shared at this meeting and decisions taken that will determine our key goals and activity over the coming year. The Tennis club will be stronger and able to offer more of what members want if you, the membership, are actively engaged so come along and have your say.
Although our membership is relatively small it is also talented. Perhaps you could bring your talents and experience to our new club committee and consider filling one of a number of vacancies on the committee for the forthcoming year? This is vital, behind the scenes work that ensures that we all have a club facility and regular club events to enjoy. Please contact Caroline Hughes if you want to find out more.
Club membership details are available from Sue Shaw,
on 07921 711637
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Goran Ivanisevic is the only Wimbledon champ whose name goes consonant-vowel from start to finish.
Player Name:Oliver Rudall Age:9 Ranking:Orange 1
Latest Results: This season I have played 24 matches in competitions and managed to win 21 of them. In my last match I played against a Orange 1* and lost by one point in the deciding set.
Why do you play tennis?
I play Tennis because it a great sport and it keeps me fit. I can play it in the summer and the winter and I like playing with different players from other clubs as well as from Usk. I play other sports that I also enjoy but Tennis my No 1!
Tennis Weapon (Favourite/strongest shot): My favourite shot is my slice serve
What are you currently working on improving?
I am currently working on my flat serve
Tennis Hero: This is easy its Andy Murray of course and I was lucky enough to meet him recently. (see above)
Tennis Dream :
I want to beat Matt at Wimbledon in a final !!!
SAVE THE DATE
to be announced
RUN GEEZER RUN!!
One of our members, Grant "Geezer" Turner, will be running a half marathon in Newport on 2nd March.
Last October some of Grant's work colleagues took on the Princes Trust Wales Million Makers challenge to raise over £10,000 through a series of fundraising activities and Grant has donned the lycra (not a pretty sight!) to train for this event and hopes to raise £1000 towards the target.
The Princes Trust works with young people facing some really tough challenges and, through its programmes, provides a mix of confidence building, basic education and practical skills. The goal is to get them into education, training or employment.
Please help Geezer reach his target and visit http://www.justgiving.com/Grant-Turner1. to make a donation.