Captain’s Blog

By Nicky Read

March 2108


Welcome everyone,
I’m the current Captain of the Kilkenny tennis club (and no, not “Lady Captain”, just Captain – we only have one!). I joined the Kilkenny tennis club around 15 years ago and did a couple of stints on the fab committee, including a year as secretary, before being voted in as Captain in 2016 (the competition was fierce).

I am very proud to be Captain of a club with over 800 members (from age 4 to one who has just celebrated their 21st birthday for the 55th time), that is welcoming, sociable, busy and buzzy. The club has a terrific team of coaches, one amazing administrator (no introduction required – take a bow Rena O’Connor), highly tolerant bar staff, a remarkably industrious team of grounds people (well you’d think so, but actually Joe Kelly is a one man dynamo – as he is on a tennis court) and a fantastic team of volunteers who organise everything from updating the constitution (zzzzz, but someone has to do it) to replacing light bulbs (and the answer is it only takes one – after all, we are tennis players!) and everything in between.

But enough about me and general waffle…what is happening in the club NOW?

SPORTS GRANT

We start 2018 with a Sports Grant award of a very welcome €28,500. A huge thank you to our trusty Development committee who put the grant application together and got us the dosh. They are now going full steam ahead making plans for how best to spend it and we can look forward to exciting improvements.

KBC WINTER LEAGUE

So called because of the generous sponsorship from the newest bank in town, KBC, which I am reliably informed by Rena is an anacronym for Kredietbank ABB Insurance CERA Bank – you learn something new every day, whether you want to or not. And please don’t ask what ABB and CERA stand for, though I’m sure Rena will know. Anyway the winners of the competition after a close final playoff between teams B and G were Team B captained by Emer Casey. The good news for the losers were that they too got the prize of dinner in Rive Gauche (unfortunately not the Parisian one, but the Kilkenny one, which is nearly as good and a lot handier). And a great time was had by all! So, “thank you!” KBC.

FROSTBITE LEAGUE

And there’s no rest for the wicked, the Frostbite League (mens and ladies doubles), kindly sponsored by John Barry of Ceramica on the Hebron Industrial Estate, has started. We had a record entry this year with 212 players and I won’t tell you how many matches in total that is, but suffice to say it’s a lot! So, get your matches sorted early to avoid the queues in the last week. Finals are on Saturday 7th April and play offs and quarter/semi-finals will take place in the week before, so check the relevant dates for your section and don’t book your Easter holidays then, just in case….

GRADING

A lot of work has been put in recently to check every player’s points and grade. This can now be seen on the noticeboard to the right of the bar entrance. Only players who currently have points are up on the board. Please check yours and if you have any queries contact the Tournament Committee.

JUNIOR GROUP

Before Christmas I met with a group of parents interested in setting up a Junior Group to help support and grow tennis club activities for junior members. There hasn’t been a junior committee in the club for several years so this is an exciting and positive development.

Their first task was to organise the Junior Christmas party with a visit from the man in red. It was a huge success with a quiz (apparently a very competitive one, but no surprises there!), darts competition, games and homemade snacks.

At the beginning of February they helped with the Matchplay finals where around 60 juniors took part and parents were drafted in for umpiring as well as providing very welcome drinks and snacks. It was said that the atmosphere was the best for years! So, a well deserved “thank you” to the coaches, Rena and all the parents who helped out.

Anyone interested in helping out with future events please contact Paul Cotter.

ST PATRICK’S TOURNAMENT

On Friday 16th March our regular Friday night American Tournament will be transformed into a St Patrick’s Day Tournament. There’ll be food, fancy dress, spot prizes and of course craic! Sign up on the board now.

That’s it for now folks! Back again soon with new news. Until then, keep up the tennis…