On behalf of all of us at the club we hope you and your family and friends are keeping well in these challenging times.
We are pleased to be able to communicate that the latest government announcements allow us to reopen commencing play on 29th March 2021.
It is currently our intention (subject to final clarification from the Government and LTA) to open as follows:
- Monday 29th March – Reopen the site for Tennis. Indoor use to be restricted to toilets and essential facilities
- Monday 12th April – Reopen the Bar for takeout. Refreshments can be consumed outdoors remembering that there is no gathering indoors and the rule of six will apply outdoors
- Monday 17th May – Bar and Clubhouse open for Indoor use remembering that the rule of six will apply indoors
- Monday 21st June – Party night and a visit to the Nightclub!
We are very much hoping that we can then enjoy a full summer free from restrictions. More precise details including court booking arrangements will follow in due course.
The majority of our Tennis Member subscriptions are due for renewal in March and April. Membership fees for the year 2021/22 will be frozen at the 2019 level and therefore will remain the same as the last two years. You can find the current membership fees on the club website. Your memberships subscriptions will enable the club to continue to improve club facilities and pay its employees.
The Club has been very prudent in its financial management and is pleased to announce that we are hoping to make several major investments in tennis facilities over the next couple of years.
- The School Courts. We are close to reaching agreement with Highgate Wood School to upgrade the surface of the School Courts to a porous tarmac similar to the main courts. We plan to carry out the works in the school’s 2021 summer holidays.
- Court 5. We are investigating the continued subsidence on Court 5. We will either patch and resurface this court as we have done before or if funds and our assessment of the site permits, we are considering installing a flexible artificial clay surface.
- We have advanced plans to upgrade the Brookside site. The likely surface is an artificial clay one. This will include floodlighting and will mean the Brookside site can be used year-round. This project is subject to planning, members approval and will require some fundraising.
- High Netting – We are in the process of replacing the netting above courts 1 & 2 providing protection from cricket balls. Additionally, we will be putting up similar netting between Ferme Park and the School Courts. Our objective is to complete this work in time for the cricket season.
We hope that these projects will deliver better facilities and more court time for you all.
MEMBERSHIP OFFER MADE IN 2020
The club is extremely grateful for your support over the last year. Due in no small measure to this support the club has survived the effects of Covid-19 with its finances intact.
A year ago, we wrote to members offering the following offer:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR MEMBERSHIP
For those members that are on automatic renewal your membership fee for the coming year will be taken from your bank account in accordance with the notice sent to you in advance of your renewal date. In recognition of these extraordinary times, the club will offer a 14-day period whereby a member that has paid by automatic renewal only, can apply for a refund of your membership fee. This period will run from the date funds leave your account.
To further recognise these extraordinary times, any cumulative period in the membership year in excess of 30 days of Full Club Closure (or such circumstances that the club announces an amount to a Full Club Closure for this purpose) will be added to the membership year without further charge. This is not mandatory but will be processed if you tell us that you wish to take advantage of this.
THE CLUB’S REVISED OFFER TO YOU
We are very much hoping that 29th March will mark the end of the Lockdown Era as far as the playing of tennis is concerned.
In the last year the club has been fully closed for the following periods:
- Spring 2020 – 52 days
- Autumn 2020 – 27 days
- Winter 2021 – 83 days
- Total – 162 days
This means that members that had a continuous membership across this period and are renewing their membership those members will be entitled to compensation for 162 less 30 days = 132 days
For all members that joined part way through this period a pro rata refund less the 30 day qualifying period will be made.
This is on the following basis:
- Members must opt in to obtain this refund by e-mailing within 28 days of their renewal payment date or for members that have already renewed within 28 days of the date of this letter.
- You will receive a calculation of the amount due which you can opt to take in whole or in part.
- Once your membership for the year is paid you will receive a rebate by either Gocardless or BACS. We will need your bank account details to be able to process this refund.
Please note that your membership must remain continuous for this offer to be made. However, if your circumstances have changed please email us and we will do our best to accommodate you.
I am sure that you will understand that we have to limit the time available for this offer as the club needs to be able to plan its finances going forward.
DO I HAVE TO TAKE THE REBATE OFFERED?
Some members have already contacted us saying they played a lot of tennis last year despite the lockdown and are happy to waive their entitlement to a rebate.
Other members have volunteered to split the difference between themselves and the club. They have opted to split the compensation equally with the club. (50:50).
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO DECIDE?
Within 28 days of your renewal payment date or for members that have already renewed within 28 days of the date of this letter.
WHY ARE YOU ADMINISTERING THE REFUND THIS WAY?
This is due to the constraints of our current Club Management System. This method will allow flexibility to enable members to claim a refund.
MORE INFORMATION ON RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP
We understand that these are difficult times for some. In the event that your personal financial circumstances prevent this please feel free to get in touch.
You can check your payment renewal date from the My Account tab found on the top of the club website which takes you to this link or check your inbox for the email you would have received from GoCardless at the time the direct debit was set up.
Select ‘Membership/Packages’ from the menu bar on the left to find the ‘Purchased’ date, this is the date that your membership subscription will be renewed.
As an exception for 2021 we are allowing a cooling off period for adult membership renewals. Any member that gets in touch with us within 14 days of their payment date will be entitled to a full refund.
There is currently a membership cap in place as we want to give a strong message to members that we are prioritising you and want you to get the best out of your membership. We currently have a waiting list of people wanting to join the club. If you decide not to renew your membership and then would like to re-join in the future your name will be added to the waiting list.
Given the anticipated demand for courts we are also continuing our no visitor policy so please do not bring guests – potential new members can book a place on a drop-in group session if there are spaces available.
We look forward to seeing everybody back on court in a few weeks’ time.
Very best wishes
Highgate Tennis Committee