A Festive Message from the T&RA

22 Dec 2020

A Festive Message from the T&RA

Best Wishes for 2021 - a New Year awaits

After an extraordinary 2020, we hope the festive season will bring some fun, joy and laughter with a real sense of promise and hope for Real Tennis and Rackets in 2021.

From the T&RA Team  
Dear All,

As 2020 draws to its inexorable last few days I want to pay tribute to both Tennis and Rackets communities for pulling together and reaching this point. It has been a long and difficult year in many respects, unprecedented for the stop-start activity we have seen, but everybody has worked hard to implement new measures and safety procedures. We have lurched through lock-down, release, tiers, lock-down 2, more tiers; with the hope of the vaccine being tempered by virus mutation – all in nine traumatic months!

None of us could have prepared for what has happened in 2020. We have needed to react to what it has thrown at us, both personally and professionally.

Throughout this period, the T&RA has been working with its fellow National Governing Bodies to exert pressure on government policy. We have made some gains, such as the recent concession to permit Tennis singles in high risk areas (Tier 2); other areas have proved more difficult to influence. It’s been a year more than ever for collaboration and understanding, so a sincere thank you for your support. I pay particular tribute to our Members reaching out to their local MPs, all working towards a common goal of keeping our sports healthy. Equally, the volunteers who have marshalled clubs through the difficult period of change, implementing new policies to keep everybody as safe as possible.

A special mention to schools who have been permitted to continue to operate with their schoolboys and schoolgirls, the future of the games – and an enormous tribute to the professionals of both sports who made this possible. This is another area where the government listened to reason and policy was changed.

In order to remain progressive, we have also recently changed our emphasis from Restart to Rebuild, recognising the evolution we have seen. We will now be working on regenerating the games in 2021, picking up the pieces from one fractured season. It has been encouraging to see some activity, mainly Under 18 Tennis, but also a Rackets exhibition evening by our top amateurs at Wellington. Well done to all involved!

Through this tough time we have also seen some great opportunities to make some progress which will bear fruit in 2021. In Tennis, the Investing in Professionals programme has gained huge traction, again supported by a small army of volunteers; once clubs are able to re-open then the programme is ready to roll out, and there are some great candidates ready to embark on new careers. It is also intended to reach across to Rackets and implement some of the principles to rejuvenate the young professionals’ programme.

We are also seeking better ways to interact with our members and reinvigorating both the website and RTO (and its associated functions), as well as using social media to showcase our games. The virus may have temporarily stalled the country, but we see this as an opportunity to move forward.

Alan Rickman, as the Sheriff of Nottingham, once infamously cancelled Christmas; the government advisors are promoting a similar message. But let’s have a moment of reflection that we have made genuine progress and that we should all look forward to the new challenges which 2021 will bring, and I include getting back on court and restarting normal competition!
I hope you manage to find the time to switch off and enjoy a restful and safe Christmas break.

Chris Davies
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