In my note of earlier this week, I stated that Wetherby Castlegarth Tennis Club (WCTC) would respond to new advice as the current situation develops. We now need to advise you of further changes for those wishing to continue to play tennis at Wetherby.
Following the Government’s announcement of yesterday (Friday 20 March) that social spaces such as pubs, gyms and leisure centres must close, and following LTA advice, all tennis clubhouses and similar social facilities should be closed as soon as possible.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has specifically advised us however that tennis is one of the best examples of social distancing in practice, and so we should be encouraged as long as the guidance permits to continue playing.
Guidance with regard to advised social distancing measures (defined by Public Health England as spending no more than 15 minutes and not within a 2-metre distance talking to someone) is provided on the Government website. On this basis, Courts can remain open for use to help ensure people remain active, subject to strict social distancing and hygiene practices being employed.
In practice for WCTC this means:
- Closure of all social spaces at a venue, including changing and toilet facilities
- Use online booking for courts and sessions where at all possible
- All sessions to conclude 10 mins before the end of the hour for players to leave the court and the car park
- Players are advised not to change ends during play
- Coaches to avoid close proximity when giving feedback, or when players are resting
- Ensure no physical contact between players during warm-ups or games
- No extra-curricular or social activity should take place
- Club social tennis and other organised events are suspended at this time, but please feel free to use the courts as members to organise singles or doubles matches.
Furthermore, we are requesting that members adopt best practice in relation to hygiene, especially before and after training sessions, including but not limited to:
- Washing hands before and after a tennis session without exception (or use an alcohol gel if washing hands is not possible). Members are to provide their own soap or gel and use the outside tap.
- Clean and wipe down equipment, including rackets, courtside benches, cones. Do not allow racket sharing or use of communal rackets
- For tennis balls, use your own tennis balls, and consider using new balls where possible. Separate arrangements will be made by the coaching staff for balls used in lessons. Please contact Angela Crossley (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information on the provision of tennis balls, and adaptations of drills at coaching sessions.
- Avoid touching your face during and after tennis play
Of course this guidance is liable to change at very short notice, and we will do our best to provide the best information to members at this time, such that you can continue to enjoy playing tennis with risks mitigated to the best of our collective capability.
Thanks again for your understanding.
Steve Jones (Chairman) and the Wetherby Castlegarth Tennis Club Committee.