Dear <<Firstname>> <<Surname>>,

seasonal greetings to all our members and thank you for all your help and generosity in helping us to keep the club running. My thanks go to those currently playing and attending the club, and also to those who cannot play because their sport is closed or they are distancing, isolating or caring for others. Your membership is still great support. 

As my last communication was a while ago, I wanted to update you on 2020 and our plans for 2021.  

Continuing my opening remarks, I would like to thank you for your support during a very difficult year.  COVID has made it a frustrating year for us all, particularly for squash and racketball members, but the good humour and cooperation of members has made it easier to run the club. Club officers have been working extremely hard to move the club between lockdowns and tiers at the appropriate moment - this work has been tough on many. 

COVID will have affected us all in different ways: losing family and friends, financial hardship, being forced to change our lifestyles and indeed catching the virus itself. Our best wishes go out to anyone who has suffered through COVID. It has also been a far from normal year for our coaches as the rules have stopped their work for a number of months.   

The new booking system has allowed us to use the floodlights in a safe way without using tokens when the clubhouse has either been closed or had restricted access. We have also improved our financial controls with a ledger system. Other notables include the COVID updates being available on the website with other club policies and procedures and the introduction of Sally-Ann, our Administrator. I add she will become more noticeable when it is prudent to work in the clubhouse rather than at home. She is still available to contact on the club phone (01564 400113 or 

We were not able to hold our AGM in March 2020 and will carry this forward into 2021. If we are not able to hold the AGM in the clubhouse, we will use Zoom or a similar platform. 

COVID has, of course, hit the Club’s finances and we are still far from clear of the virus.  We have taken whatever Government and LTA/Squash England support has been available to us. Some routine costs have been saved, but we have incurred some additional costs to open the courts and clubhouse in a COVID friendly manner.  We have been further badly hit by the closure of the bar on at least 2 levels:
  • The bar’s reduced opening and the need to employ bar staff will result in break-even this year rather than a budgeted contribution of £17k.
  • Also, VAT becomes a cost in the current financial year because we cannot offset this expense against our bar income.

Looking forward to 2021

We are hopeful that tennis and then squash & racketball will be allowed to be played through much of 2021 but we do await for sufficient relaxations on S & R and hope that no further lockdowns impact us on Tennis in the early months of 2021. Oh to be able to socialise with our friends at the club!

For the reasons outlined above, we would want the bar to open as soon as it is permitted - if we get to Tier 1 or better.  Further, we would like a small working party to develop options to re-launch the bar (and social functions) and determine how the bar can best run to encourage maximum usage. The need to achieve a favourable income stream is paramount. Volunteers and input are earnestly sought from concerned members so please contact me in the first instance.

Projects in 2021

Although there are a number of potential smaller projects, your Committee has decided to take forward the following major projects. Replacements and renovations are typically financed by the sinking funds, but for 2021 for reasons mentioned earlier, we will need to fund most of the VAT element ourselves as it will not be recoverable. These projects were endorsed by the member survey in 2019.
  1. Replacement of the carpets on Courts 3 & 4.  These are worn-out and have experienced recent flooding
  2. Upgrading the floodlights on courts 3 & 4 to LED – but we need to investigate affordable options
  3. Renovating the floor on Squash Court 1

We would welcome key volunteers to help on the lighting investigation, particularly if you have lighting or project management skills. 

New Committee members

In addition to completing my term of office as President, there are a number of Committee and other roles that will need filling. We will write again in the New Year to identify these vacancies but please contact me if you have any early interest in assisting the club.  

Rebate for 20 / 21 

As communicated previously, a rebate will be offered to members to compensate for the inability to play because of the guidelines.  We will also ask members whether they would wish to waive their rebate as a number have already indicated that they would. The rebates will broadly reflect the length of time that the courts have not been available and unfortunately final calculations may not be possible (because of any further COVID restrictions) much before the current subscription year closes. 

Seasons greetings to all our members, and stay safe.

Alistair Fitton KDRC President 20th December 2020

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Doug Gibson, Communications,

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Knowle and Dorridge Racquets Club · Grove Road · Knowle · Solihull, West Midlands B93 0PH · United Kingdom

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