Oakley Tennis Club are a friendly club located in our wonderful villages with members of all ages and abilities from the area of Basingstoke.
Established for over 60 years, CommunityAd caught up with Membership Secretary Fran Martin to find out more about this wonderful club…
Can you explain your own background in tennis and your role at Oakley Tennis Club?
I first played tennis very occasionally with my mother at the local park when I was a young child. I remember she had 2 wooden rackets with square frames over the heads, secured with what looked like butterfly nuts. That shows how long ago it was!! Since then I have had the odd game here and there, especially while on holiday on campsites etc. I have been a badminton player for over 20 years but when I gave up my job in 2018 I had my afternoons free again. A friend who was a member at Oakley suggested I go down and have a go, so I did, enjoyed it very much and joined the club! 2 years ago I joined the committee and took over the role of Membership Secretary.
Mainly this involves the membership renewal process at the end of March each year and processing any new members during the year. I also send out regular emails to the members to keep them up to date with any activities etc. that are going on within the club. I have set up a Facebook page for the club and try to keep it updated!
You have been established for over 60 years, what would you say have been the club’s most memorable moments during this period?
I’m not really sure I can help too much with this as I have only been a member for 5 years! I would say that the club has had men’s and ladies teams competing in the Basingstoke tennis leagues (both summer and winter) for a long time so have always been actively involved in competitions. They have also held tournaments etc. to raise funds for charity. In fact, there was one recently which helped raise money for Sebastian’s Action Trust based in North Waltham.
For any local readers interested in joining, how can they get in touch to find out more or even pop along to training?
We always welcome new members of any age and ability. There are club nights on a Monday and Thursday during summer, then when the nights get too dark they are held at weekends. We also have a regular social tennis session every Tuesday afternoon (weather permitting!). Prospective new members are welcome to come along and see us at any of these sessions. I can be contacted on my email [email protected] or on 01256 781328. You can also find out more information on our Facebook page (Oakley Tennis Club) or on our website.
From a personal perspective, what do you enjoy most about the sport of tennis?
I enjoy the social side of the game as well as the physical exercise! There is a certain satisfaction when the brilliant shot you see in your mind actually happens on the court!! It is great to be outdoors and get some exercise. There is always more to learn however good you are and I have a very long way to go, but it is fun trying to improve. There is always a certain amount of competitiveness involved but in a nice way.
Do you have a future vision of where you would like Oakley Tennis Club to be in the next 60 years?
Personally, I would like to see the club with more members, especially juniors. There would be a regular coach to teach the youngsters and bring them on to become the next generation of great players! This is something we unfortunately do not have at the moment. I would like it to be a focal point of the community with people using the courts on a daily basis, weather permitting of course. To have floodlights would be great too as it opens up court availability over the winter.