by Pat Sharp
It’s been a busy time at the club for many members and we still have A Night at the Races on Friday 26 January from 7pm. As usual members are slow claiming a seat and a supper – 45 is the maximum so hurry and contact Robby Orr to order your fish and chips (£10) or sausage and chips(£8) suppers. We have to have the numbers by next Thursday (25th). You can e-mail your orders to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to sponsor a race, owner, trainer or jockey please contact me or any committee member. This is a great “fun night” and can be profitable for some. The racing is provided by Morrison Photos Ltd.
Last Friday the Friday Morning Ladies had their belated Christmas Lunch at The Hawthorn Inn, Greeba, which had been postponed in December due to the heavy snowfall. Organised by Val Worth and Gill Smith with 26 attending it was yet another good social event. They kept the Christmas atmosphere with crackers, turkey and plum pudding. The Friday Morning Ladies – yes we still say Ladies not women) has been a successful and popular section of Albany since the early 1990s . It was formed as a follow-on from coaching by Bryan Sharp and arranged for mums who had children being coached Playing from 10am – 12noon every Friday throughout the year they have welcomed new residents and others wanting to return to tennis. They don’t just play tennis – several times a year there are coffee mornings or lunches which raise funds for various charities ie Breast Cancer NOW and Macmillan Cancer Support. Some play in The British Heart Foundation annual tournament and all turn up regularly for whatever is on. It’s an ideal group to welcome new residents in to the Manx community and for old friends who don’t play to stay in touch.
The club held it’s annual Sponsors Lunch on Wednesday to say “Thank You” to the companies and individuals who support the club throughout the year. An excellent lunch was organised, prepared and served by Jan Gaskill, Fran Shacklock, Val Partington, Bridget Stewart and Lisa Horsfall – many thanks to them for making it another successful event.
We have the winter league still being played, The Quiz Night in March plus club sessions on Tuesday evenings, Wednesday and Sunday mornings and all junior coaching is underway.
by Pat Sharp
The club has received some very good news this week when Nedbank Private Wealth confirmed a £1,000 sponsorship, with which the club will buy a ball machine.
Club Coach, Ian Watson is delighted and said: “This will be a great addition to Albany tennis to both junior and senior members. It will obviously be a great aid to coaching/training our juniors. Members will be able to use it privately to practice and improve their game. The model hasn’t been selected yet but we intend to have one that will be mains operated in the indoor court and also with a battery facility for wireless use on the outdoor courts. Trailing electric cables are not desirable when playing tennis! It is expected to be put to good use throughout the year”
We will have an official ‘switch on’ and details for that will be announced once the machine is here. The Club is extremely grateful to Nedbank Private Wealth and Cathy Cowin, Senior Marketing Executive, for setting up this sponsorship.
One of our juniors, Charlotte Clarke (12) is forsaking the Christmas festivities and will be travelling to the UK on Boxing Day, to compete in her first National Qualifying event in Bolton. At this level competition is very high but if she can get through qualifying and go into the main draw this will be such a big achievement. No pressure Charlotte!! This is her first opportunity to attempt reaching a National event. I’m sure everyone who knows her will know how hard she trains and works with her coach and will wish her “Good Luck” in the next level of her tennis career. She recently travelled with the IOM Women’s team to play Winter County Cup and won her singles and doubles with Alison King when the Isle of Man beat the Channel Islands.
Our annual Race Night will be held on Friday 26 January and I would like to hear from members who could gain race sponsorship from their very nice bosses and/or will take a race sheet to sell owners, jockeys and trainers. I will be sending out an e-mail regarding suppers, raffle etc next week.
by Pat Sharp
Will all juniors and mini tennis members please note that the last coaching session before Christmas will be Friday 22 December so mini reds your last weekend session is Saturday 16th. Coaching will re-start as from Saturday 13th January 2018.
Please remember that you are members of the club and can play on the outdoor courts during the holiday as long as there is a parent/ adult supervising. The Mini Red sessions on Saturdays at 12 noon have a few places for beginners. Children age 4yrs and upwards can attend for three free sessions. If they wish to continue you will be invited to be a member and your joining fee will cover the cost of the training, All sessions are held in the club’s indoor court. Anyone interested can contact the club coach Ian Watson e-mail email@example.com or me firstname.lastname@example.org. Racquets are provided and soft non-marking trainers must be worn.
Correction to last week’s report the Race Night will be held on Friday 26th January. With John of Morrison’s Photos providing the entertainment. There will be the usual fish or sausage and chips suppers. We will announce the Annual Quiz Night date shortly; this is likely to be in March.
There are leaflets in the club showing all tournaments – both club and IOMLTA – plus social events for 2018. Please take a copy and plan your holidays so that you don’t miss the tournaments. The committee are looking for extra entries next year.
The annual Sponsors’ Lunch will be held on Wednesday 17 January. This is when the club says ‘Thank You’ to all the companies and individuals who support the club, competitions, our coaching programmes and the upkeep of our facilities.
The Island Games Christmas Craft Fayre last Saturday in the club lounge raised £250 for the travel costs of the Isle of Man tennis team travelling to Gibraltar in 2019. It was a little disappointing that more island tennis players didn’t turn up and buy some of the wonderful crafts on sale or at least have a go in the raffle. Whilst most of us won’t be selected we should all support our sport. Hannah and Daphne Snidal work tirelessly on fund raising so let’s support them. I’m sure it’s not too late to make a small donation next time you see them.
by Pat Sharp
The club Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday. The Chairman, Stuart Colligon, reported on the many successes in the leagues, the considerable rejuvenation of the clubhouse and the steady membership numbers. A lot of work has been carried out with the refurbishment of the lounge and staircase, including new carpet and decorating, also new seating. The next work will be carried out on trimming all hedges and cleaning the outdoor courts.
The indoor court covering is also due for a good clean. It does well considering it is 23 years old. We are running a tombola to raise some funds toward this cost. It’s in the club house, there are 12 nice prizes and tickets are £2 each or 3 for £5. It will be drawn on Saturday 16 December whilst the mini Red tennis is on. The club has short term and medium term plans to carry on improving the facilities.
David Bufton, the Treasurer gave a concise report on the club’s finances and stated that he was happy with the income versus expenditure and the plans for the future. The club’s Vice Presidents were re-elected en bloc. Membership fees will remain at last year’s level with the usual discount offered if paid by 31 March 2018.
The committee was elected as follows: President Bryan Sharp, Chairman Stuart Colligon, Secretary/PR Officer Pat Sharp, Treasurer David Bufton, Club Facilities manager Bryan Sharp, Membership Secretary Jan Gaskill, Club Captain Jackie Russell, Welfare Officer Clare Skelcher, Committee member Rob Orr. Social Secretary – this role is currently vacant and we are looking for a volunteer. The W K Dale Trophy was awarded this year to Club Coach Ian Watson.
A date for your diary – Race Night Friday 26 January at the club with the usual format – racing provided by John of Morrison Photos Ltd and a fish/sausage and chip supper.
Following the news last week of Aswin Lizen’s visit to the White House to meet President Trump,
I now have an update on Billy and Katie Harris who are also pursuing tennis careers. Katie has settled in well at Arkansas Tech and is really enjoying the tennis, She has played in several tournaments this term and she will have more competition after Christmas in the Collegiate league. Meanwhile, brother Billy has played a lot of tennis in Europe and improved his ranking from
1000+ to 653. He has just travelled to Thailand for three Futures tournaments. Both are due home for Christmas and it will be good to see them back at the club – we’ve missed them.
Don’t forget to support the Christmas Craft Fayre on Saturday (2nd Dec) which is being run by the Snidal family and helpers to raise funds for the IOM tennis team’s costs of travel to Gibraltar in 2019. There should be plenty of items for Christmas gifts plus a cake stall. If you can’t attend then a small donation sent to Daphne Snidal (or leave it with me and I’ll see she gets it) would be greatly appreciated.
Finally a reminder that the club sells used tennis balls suitable for dogs (or children) at £5 for a bag of 20. Contact me on 861497 if you want some.
by Pat Sharp
From “Albany to The White House!” and “Have Racquet, Will Travel” spring to mind with the latest news I received this week concerning one of our former juniors, Aswin Lizen.
Aswin (21) is in the USA on the 3rd year of a scholarship at Virginia University having obtained a place in the McIntyre Business School. He joined the University tennis team, was made Captain, and the UVA tennis team were 2016-2017 champions. This resulted in the UVA tennis team being given a reception in The White House, a tour of this famous building and the photo with President Trump. Aswin is the young man standing behind President Trump’s right shoulder and the man with the yellow tie.
You can read all the results on the following website links: www.virginiasports.com/sports/m-tennis/recaps/102417aaa.htm1 and on www.virginiasports.com/sports/m.tennis/spec-rel/103117aab.htm1 This will show how well he is doing in Virginia and how tennis can lead you to a great career and travel.
Albany’s AGM is next Wednesday (29th November) at the club, start 6.30pm. Unfortunately, our Social Secretary, Kirsten Hall has had to resign due to being a very busy lady with a young son and working. So, we need one volunteer to take on that role which involves taking bookings for hire of the lounge, promoting club events and updating the club website events details. All the other officers have agreed to continue working for the club so you don’t need to worry about being coerced in to a task. However, it would be encouraging to see more members attend and let the committee know if all is well!
A Christmas Fayre is being held on Saturday 2 December in the club lounge from 1pm – 4pm. It’s in aid of Island Games travel costs for 2019 (Gibraltar) and there are still 2 tables available for hire (fee £6). Maybe you have a favourite charity you’d like to raise money for it be it gifts, Good as New, cakes. If so contact Hannah Snidal – email@example.com. There should be plenty of customers about as the Albany Mini Red coaching is on at the same time. I hope our members will support this event as we will almost certainly have members selected for the team.
by Pat Sharp
One of our older juniors had a nice surprise at the Mini Red coaching on Saturday . Angelo Go (15) – known to everyone as A J arrived as usual to help club coach, Ian Watson with the 1pm Mini Tennis Reds session and was told to “wait a minute”.
The 12 o/clock group plus the 1pm players formed a group and Club President, Bryan Sharp, presented the club’s Junior Silver Award to a very surprised A J. I’m told he thought he’d done something wrong! The award goes each year to the junior who is considered to have done the most for the club both on and off court. A J started helping Ian as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award but has continued to be there every Saturday to assist by hitting with the young players.
Albany stepped in at fairly short notice to host the Isle of LTA League presentations in the club lounge. Hastily but expertly arranged by the IOMLTA new Secretary, Jackie Russell and assisted by Chairman, Stuart Colligon and Robby Orr the evening went well with over 40 attending. Everyone enjoyed fish or sausage and chip suppers. Ron Sibthorpe, League Secretary, did an excellent job with the presentation of trophies – seven of which went to Albany teams – plus medals for everyone who had played league tennis. Daphne and Hannah Snidal ran a raffle with many lovely prizes. I don’t yet know the total raised but it will be used for the Island Games team to travel to Gibraltar in 2019. They will be having more fund raisiers in the future so if you can support them please do.
A reminder that the club’s AGM will be held on Wednesday 29 Nov in the club lounge starting at 6.30pm. The official notice has been sent out and anyone requiring a copy of the minutes of last year’s AGM should contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Gaskill and I are running a Christmas competition with several nice seasonal prizes. Look out for the chart and put your name on a square.