July 2020 Newsletter

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BLTC Newsletter July 2020


Dear Visitor,


I hope you are all well and enjoying tennis in the sunshine when it appears and I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new members.


We have a few upcoming changes to our bookings system and to court access for non-members, outlined below.


Court bookings


Although there have been a few teething troubles with the ClubSpark booking system, particularly for Juniors, we have been reasonably happy with how it has worked and it is nice to see a healthy number of bookings coming through each day.


We are planning to introduce a bit more flexibility into the system in the next few days by moving to booking slots of 30 minutes instead of the current 90 minutes. The plan is to allow members to book court times in multiples of 30 minutes, with a minimum of 2 slots (60 minutes) and a maximum of 4 slots (120 minutes) per booking. We will increase the maximum total time that members can book to 8 hours (ie 16 x 30-minute slots) per 7-day period.


The benefits of moving to 30-minute slots are:

  • More flexibility for players to book 1 hour, 1 ½ hour or 2 hours within one booking
  • Makes it easier to incorporate different time slots for individual and group coaching
  • Makes it easier to incorporate the traditional social tennis times into the schedule

The potential problem of moving to this system is that we could be left with unused 30 minute slots scattered through the schedule if people are not careful to book times considerately in a way that avoids this happening as far as possible.


When this is introduced it will not look much different to the current booking method: you will pick your start time as normal and pick an end time from the dropdown box that appears.


When we make the changes, we will try and ensure that existing bookings are carried forward correctly and there is as little disruption as possible. However, please be patient if it goes a bit wobbly for a while!


Guest access


Members may now bring guests to play on the courts again, at the normal fee of £5 per person per booking. The fees for this will be collected via ClubSpark but this must be done through the ClubSpark webpage and not the app. When booking to include a guest you will need to:

  1. add the name of the participant in the “Make a Booking” section, then [save]
  2. highlight that the participant is a guest in the drop-down box under their name, [continue booking]
  3. on confirmation of the booking you will be asked to pay £5 by card

Non-Member Access


We have been strongly encouraged by the LTA and Tennis Scotland to support their current advertising campaign to persuade more people to take up the sport, and to open our courts to some level of Pay & Play. Now that we have a working booking system available this is much easier to manage, and to change very easily, at the push of a computer key. The experience of other clubs is that this is the best way of encouraging people to try out your club and potentially become a full member.


Initially, we propose making Court 2 available for Pay & Play, bookable 3 days in advance, avoiding busiest times (mid to late morning). Members can continue to book these slots up to 7 days in advance. The fee per court will be set at £15 per booking.


As this is our first step into opening our courts for Pay & Play, we will obviously keep a close eye on how it works and make any changes necessary.


Covid-19 Measures


A big thanks to everyone for continuing to abide by the safety measures which have been put in place. As we get more guidance from Tennis Scotland on how to implement changes in practice, we will let you know. We are hoping for some further relaxation this week around junior coaching now that under 12s are not required to socially distance outside. As soon as we are able to restart some level of group coaching these classes will be advertised on the ClubSpark website. Only junior members booked through this site will be able to participate in classes.


At the time of writing, the clubhouse remains closed apart from emergency access to the toilet and first aid box. Doubles pairs must be from the same household. The guidance regarding only touching one’s own tennis balls during play has been lifted; however, it is obviously important to continue good hand hygiene on entering and leaving the courts and to avoid touching your face.


Planned Maintenance


The courts are unavailable from 13:00 on Thursday 9th July for the second part of court moss removal and cleaning. New sand will be applied as part of this process so do be aware that this could make them a bit more slippery. They will be open as normal on Friday 10th.

Best wishes


Arlene MacFarlane
BLTC President