Monday 29th June 2020
An exit from lockdown
The plans for our gradual exit from lockdown continue apace.
Facilities opened to date
The tennis dome came down on Thursday 25th June to release a further three clay courts for use by members. Over 4,800 of tennis hours have been played by over 430 members since opening the courts.
Cricket nets and practice on the outfield continues in groups of six. Since re-opening, more than 750 juniors have enjoyed coaching. There have been over 2,000 bookings for the nets. The hope is that senior cricket will start on 11th July, with league matches commencing on 25th July.
Hockey started to be played again on our pitch at Raynes Park High School on 23rd May. The playing area is divided into eight sections in which groups of six are permitted. Some 450 juniors and 50 adults have enjoyed our structured coaching programmes so far.
Regrettably not yet open
I regret that the squash courts, gym and sports hall are not yet open for members to enjoy. We are hopeful that this will change in mid-July. On a much brighter note, the opportunity has been taken to spring clean and improve the squash courts while there is time to do more lengthy and disruptive jobs. New energy saving LED lighting, rectified playing surfaces and improved fittings should make for one of the sport’s best playing experiences in the south east and beyond.
As with all indoor sports facilities, our gym can’t open yet either. However, from next week, a limited number of cardio training machines and free-standing weights will be available in the open air in the corridor between the gym and tennis courts, under the balcony. Gym and squash members will be able to use this facility and will receive an email with a link to a booking system and instructions on use.
From Monday 29th June, the downstairs toilets can be accessed via the fire exits to the men’s (at the front of the clubhouse next to the main entrance) and ladies’ changing rooms (at the rear of the clubhouse by the first grass court). External and internal doors will be propped open between 10am and 5pm. We will look to increase these opening hours over the coming weeks.
The plan is to open the clubhouse for refreshments from Saturday 4th July. Beforehand, a deep clean and “fogging” with a virucidal cleaner will be completed. Cleaning generally is being geared up to meet more stringent protocols. All cleaning, bar and catering staff will be temperature checked daily.
We are required to keep a register of all customers served at the bar and catering facilities for 21 days, so we can contact you in the event of a member of staff or customer coming down with covid 19. Please ensure your membership card is registered and the name and phone number of any guest is supplied when ordering drinks or food. Obviously, we hope this will be unnecessary.
A one-way system will be suitably marked out taking in the service area situated at the far end of the bar, behind a Perspex screen. All transactions will be cash free either by adding to your club card (minimum reload is £20 and the maximum is £45) or by using tap and go.
Discounts gained by showing your club card have been increased to 20% on drinks. The cards will need to be shown to buy drinks and food.
Food will be available initially only at weekends from Sunday 5th from 9am. One of the aims is to serve tempting favourites made from simple quality ingredients. I have heard bacon butties mentioned on Sunday mornings, and a small selection of sandwiches during the week, though there will be a limited supply until we assess requirements.
Suitably spaced tables and chairs will be on the balcony and in front of the garden room. You will see our outdoor furniture has also enjoyed a spring clean. We would ask you to continue to observe social distancing and try and maintain the 2m distance rule especially inside. You will need to queue for the bar and kitchen, with a maximum of 2 people ordering at the bar at any one time. We encourage you to enjoy your refreshments outside so would be obliged if you leave the bar area as promptly as possible once you have been served.
Please bear with us while procedures are worked through. We may not get it right at the start, but we will try hard. The safety of members and staff is paramount.
Committee work continues
I am grateful to my many colleagues on various committees who continue to assist in running the club. A great deal of progress has been made. So far since lockdown, the General Committee has met on four occasions via teleconference (23rd March, 13th April, 4th May and 22nd June). A considerable amount of time has been dedicated to plans relating to the pandemic as well as to the programme already in place with its rules revisions, financial strategy and plans for the future. There will be a presentation to members before the end of this calendar year.
Keep well and safe