Sidmouth Tennis Club members back on court and enjoying every minute of it!

PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:00 20 May 2020

A sign which depicts the 'new norm' as tennis cubs reopen after the easing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Picture; STC

A sign which depicts the 'new norm' as tennis cubs reopen after the easing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Picture; STC

Archant

Sidmouth Tennis Club members have been able to ‘stay in tune’ with some inventive ways during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, writes Vici Topping.

A sign which depicts the 'new norm' as tennis cubs reopen after the easing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Picture; STCA sign which depicts the 'new norm' as tennis cubs reopen after the easing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Picture; STC

With brothers Greg Shipp and Jed Ionov-Flint able to keep up their playing skills, albeit in the confines of their back garden, other club members also came up with innovative ways of keeping fit and keeping in touch with their regular playing groups and playing partners.

The camaraderie has been amazing! From taking part every day, individually or together, with Joe Wicks or Mr Motivator (our club spans all ages!) and, with Zoom meetings of regular groups (our ladies’ Friday morning cohort swapped their regular after court coffee for Zoom coffee at home), along with the constant WhatsAp messaging, checking in on each other and generally, sharing the pain via social media, the sense of mutual support has been incredible. Thank goodness for technology!

However, technology can only go so far in replicating sport/fitness and in sustaining relationships so we were all, as everyone involved in sport is, desperate to get back out there, away from our computers, iPad’s and phones.

So, when our courts reopened last Thursday (May 14), under strict LTA guidelines, it was no surprise that members were keen to get back to their sport...

Sidmouth Tennis CluB's Peter Clark and Mark Heywood socially distanced as action returns to the club courts following the easing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Picture: STCSidmouth Tennis CluB's Peter Clark and Mark Heywood socially distanced as action returns to the club courts following the easing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Picture: STC

It was perhaps no surprise that brothers Greg and Jed were first on court swapping the back garden and back wall, for awesome backhands and sneaky volleys once again!

Greg, who assists head coach Sue Wiltshire with coaching at the club said: “I have certainly missed my ‘second home’. The social aspect of tennis has been a huge miss as has such basic tennis actions as knocking a ball around in some singles, playing some friendly league matches or getting everyone pumped up for cardio.”

Brother Jed said: “The thing I missed most was the feeling of hitting a ball and just to be able to do something I love.

“I’m now more appreciative than ever to be able to do that and it’s nice to have some normality back in these tough times.”

A member of Sidmouth Tennis Club back ready for action following the relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown restriction. Picture: STCA member of Sidmouth Tennis Club back ready for action following the relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown restriction. Picture: STC

Other players quickly followed the boys onto the court, in spite of, or maybe because of, the very strict guidelines, which include:

Only members can play and only singles (doubles allowed if you’re all from the same household.)

Only two courts are used, leaving a middle one free.

Members use only their own initialised balls.

Sidmouth Tennis Club member Mary Bray, back in action at the club following the relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Picture: STCSidmouth Tennis Club member Mary Bray, back in action at the club following the relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Picture: STC

Hand washing before and after play is a must.

Social distancing of two-metres at all times also a must. One thing that has been so very noticeable is how much smiling is on show as members get back to playing after weeks of no tennis, and fully accepting and indeed observing all the restrictions, happy that this is a small price to pay in order to be able to play the game they love.

Marlene Maynard back in action at Sidmouth Tennis Cllub following the relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown restriction. Picture: STCMarlene Maynard back in action at Sidmouth Tennis Cllub following the relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown restriction. Picture: STC

Sarah Van Heck back in action at Sidmouth Tennis Cllub following the relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown restriction. Picture: STCSarah Van Heck back in action at Sidmouth Tennis Cllub following the relaxing of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown restriction. Picture: STC


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald