With over 30 members aged between 6 and 17 (on 1st April) the junior section of Whiteford Road is a thriving organisation. A visit to the club on a Saturday morning will reveal first, coaching for juniors starting at 8.00 am, followed by junior practice.
All those who work with juniors have current CRB checks and make sure that junior members are safe, enjoy themselves and have the opportunity to develop their tennis skills through practice, encouragement and appropriate competition.
Alison Diver is the nominated Child Protection Officer, a member of the club management committee and is responsible for the junior teams. Peter Sherlock is the club coach.
As well as designated time for supervised junior practice and coaching, juniors also have priority court time allocated for playing with friends or parent members. This is every day between 4pm and 6pm on two courts and during school holidays, every day until 6pm. Juniors can also play badminton (or table tennis) on the clubs 2 indoor badminton courts , although there must be an adult present when they are in the clubhouse for safety reasons (and the terms of our insurance).
In 2012, for the first time, we have had 3 teams taking part in the P and D Under 18 league, with the support of Alison Diver and Peter Sherlock.
Matches take place on Sunday mornings between late April and July, and give the youngsters the opportunity to play up to 8 matches against other local clubs. All three teams have done exceptionally well in 2012, with the ‘A’ team winning Division 1 before they had played their last match. The ‘B’ team came second in Division 2 and the ‘C’ team came first in Division 4, an incredible achievement for the players who had never played a match before. Although we will lose our top players (due to impending adulthood) we will certainly have two strong teams for next season.
Fun tournaments are arranged throughout the year and the older juniors play in the senior club tournament and some senior P and D league matches.
Junior members are also kept informed of other local tournaments and events in the tennis world and encouraged to take part.
The badminton courts can be used for tennis coaching in poor weather to reduce time lost and we look forward to offering badminton coaching in the near future.
[Our thanks to Alison Diver for submitting this item.]