Newsletter November 2015
Welcome to our latest Autumn newsletter. A collection of items that will hopefully inform our members about current issues and bring you up to date. Please see foot note regarding feedback.

Membership News
We are very pleased with our current level of both senior and junior membership level following the September new club year renewals. We are in a better position for both adults and juniors than we have been during the past 2 years at this point.  We have no worries about maintaining our numbers and increasing them with the current increase in house building starting in the parish. The future is quite promising for us!
Keep spreading the word. 

Club Nights
Senior and Family Club Nights are up and running again after the Summer break so please drop in and support these night. Senior is normally first Friday of the month with the Family night being the third Friday. A mix in of squash and racketball in a social atmos. These are good evenings laid on for all members and guests.

Club Website
We have been giving our website a bit of a freshen up to make it look a bit more user friendly and up to date with the information on it and to include our new club logo.  Our website is currently our most effective way of getting our message out about our club, at the same time as hopefully being useful to our own members. Nearly all of our new member applications appear to be coming via the website.  We have added links to the team fixtures among a few other things. This is ongoing work so we are happy to consider any additional material to be added. By designing and managing our website ourselves we can save a lot of of our money better used for other things!

Car Park
Our car park is now sporting some very swish new black railings which I am sure you have noticed. These were supplied and fitted by our Parish Council which was very nice of them! Please take extra care pulling out as the view is now non existent up and down Campbell Way which makes it a bit tricky and there is often little people whizzing down the hill on bikes. 

We also thought it time to sort the weeds out so our cleaner tasked her husband Mick to get on the job. Well done that man. Much tidier now.

Club Maintenance
Our courts are now looking a lot better thanks to the work carried out by our specialist contractor Marc Williams. As you know it didn't all go to plan with the damp discovered behind the plaster on Ct 3 seen only once removed and this caused some issues with the drying out process, but all sorted now thankfully. We are now looking at other areas of our club that need work undertaken and a plan has been drawn up for discussion at the next committee meeting. Two of the area's still be looked at are the heating system and the lighting which could possibly be renewed under a grant system from the local authority. Quotes are being obtained. More on that when we know more.

Lottery Bid
We finally had notification that we were not successful in our bid for lottery funding, along with thousands of other bidders across the UK. We were told that 39 million pounds was bid for a pot of only 7 million pounds available and reading between the lines squash is very much out of favour at the moment with Sport England, who have recently cut the grant for ES&R. We always knew it was a tough call and the chance of a grant was slim, but we are still glad we went through the process. If nothing else it has provided us with some focus around where we wish to go as a club over the next 5 to 10 years. It has also provided some great opportunities for partnership working which has already proved successful. This includes a grant of £5,000 granted from Hampshire County Council for developing our club including our junior section! Nice.

Club Flyer Goes Out!
To raise awareness of what a great club we have, our marketing plan is starting to take off.  You have probably noticed the 2 banners on the building walls, certainly the one facing Campbell Way, but for those who always drive to the club you wouldn't have seen the other facing the playing fields?

We are also sending out 4,000 colour flyers to all houses in Fair Oak with the Parish newsletter and you may have seen it already? You can see above. This was a very cost effective way of getting the message out into the community.  We have some spares which can be found in the club hallway. Please take a few and pin them to work noticeboards or anywhere you think it could be spotted. Click image to see larger version.  

Mentioned on the flyer is a new initiative to attract more senior residents to the club encouraging them to take up a gentle session of social racketball on a Friday morning suited more to beginners over 60.  We have no idea what the take up will be but this has proved very successful in other clubs so we think it is well worth pursuing.

Our new club logo can be seen at the top of this page which will be included on all club documents in the future. A new club sign is being ordered and the website will be adjusted to reflect the new design.

Steve Hayball
It is well over 4 years since we lost our dear friend Steve which also means this year will be the 5th year of the Steve Hayball Challenge, which is the well supported and now established club racketball championships. The finals night will be held on Friday 13th November and we want this to be another great night at the club so please support this and drop in for a drink and watch some hard fought games of big ball.

The Ash Now Sitting High
Dear old Chris Ash has done nothing but moan about the bar stools being too low at the club, so finally the pub landlord has relented and acquired a couple of high stools for the old fella. Of course he will now will look ridiculous with his head 3 feet above everybody else's! Nobody make fun of him please!

Front Door
What about the darn front door we hear you ask!? Well can we please ask nicely for our members to not prop the front open as firstly it presents a security risk with anyone being able to wander in help themselves, also the fire extinguishers used as door props have been damaged by the door shutting on them and we had to replace two of them at all of ours expense! The door bell has been fixed so we can just let people in as required. Also please make sure the lock clicks over when leaving the building as closing it ultra softly to avoid noise at night can leave it insecure and we don't want nasty people coming in do we? Just give it one last hard push.. as the actress said! Please also turn off all lights before leaving at night and save us all some lecky money! Changing room lights are often left on.

Water Machine is Brown Bread!
Our water cooler has finally ceased to be unfortunately. We have been trying to fix it but now having discovered that the fault is not one that can be repaired and it will now be taking a little trip up the recycling centre. We are now looking at what is the best way forward is. To replace these are expensive, when we do have a few taps nearby. Let us know what you think?

Getting Involved?
Are you growing a tash this month to support 'Movember'? If so please let us know and get a photo of your top lip before you remove it please! Last year we had a few members sporting some odd looking facial hair so why not give it a go this year?

This is a great initiative to raise awareness of men's health issues and to get people moving every day to keep fitter, plus many raise money for charity. More details are HERE

Next newsletter will be the Spring edition in March


Member Focus
This month our long time member Dilip Chakrabarti is featured in our 'member focus'. Dilip has been a club member since the age of 13 and who recently celebrated his half century milestone birthday with a party in the club bar. He is married to Sarah and has 2 children Soreen (14) and Jana (12). We asked Dilip a few questions about himself and this is what he told us;
  • Where do you work? Virgin Care (Richard Branson’s move into the NHS and social care services)! 
  • Fave food? Fillet Steak 
  • All time fave film? Tough call between Top Gun and Gladiator! 
  • Hobbies? Squash / Canoeing / Lego!!! 
  • If you had a lot more money what would you treat yourself to? Porsche 911 
  • Something we may find surprising about you? Not a lot… You tend to get what you see! 
  • Why you like FOS&RC? It’s been a big part of most of mine and my family’s life. It kept me ‘focused’ as a kid growing up in F.O, and I helped lift the RSJ in the lounge between courts 2 & 3 when the club was extended. Basically I love the club and also playing the game(s)! 
  • What pleases or irritates? I hate untidiness and disorganisation! 
  • Proud of anything? My children 
  • 15 mins of fame? I hosted Tony Blair during a visit to NHS Direct in front of the countries media (2001 election campaign). Subsequently invited to No 10!
Recently Dilip has been assisting Paul Finch with the new junior section. Nice tidy new junior noticeboard mate!

Junior News
Our new junior section is taking off with flying colours.
As mentioned already junior numbers are up on the same time last year with more enquiries coming in to get involved each week.

We are trialing a new restricted £25 junior membership which allows only Saturday play and entry into club junior tournaments. This will allow some juniors a bit more time to make up their mind about the game.  Our Saturday morning sessions are growing each week and the feedback we have been getting has been excellent from the kids and parents.  Please help to spread the word with family and friends about the opportunity for our kids to have a great time at Fair Oak.  The Saturday is split into 3 groups starting off with beginners going through to the final group for the better players. Elite training is also now on offer.

Congratulations to Frankie McIndoe our September player of the Month who only took up the game in July and made tremendous improvement and has a great attitude, well done!  
Well done to Alex Broadbridge, winner of the County Closed U11. This is great but even better considering he was playing up an age group. (Picture left) Brooke Williams gained 3rd place in the County Girls U17 which is great result in that group. Well done Brooke. To add to that she also won 1st place in the Southampton University Girls U17 Championships. (See picture below)  Kyle Finch won the boys under 19 to make him the County Junior Champ!  Brooke, Kyle and Soreen Chakrabarti all represented the County in the recent County Championships.  This is of course great for our club.  

Our players Aaron Morant, Aiden Botting, Alex Broadbridge and Will Dunford together with Brooke, Soreen and Kyle all played in the Hampshire Junior Leagues.  Paul Finch is sending out regular junior updates so if you are not getting this and want it, please email him on (note 2x L's) 07809 9544196

Natalie Morant and Matt Merriman are now qualified level 1 coaches. Thanks to all our adult team helpers who are coming in and getting on court with the kids. If you want to get involved let Paul know.

Late junior news...
Kyle Finch retains the British U17 title!
Sunday 1st November in Manchester, Kyle won the final of the British Junior Champs and beat fellow Fair Oak player Tom Walsh 3-0. This is a fabulous achievement for Kyle on his continued path to the very top of the game. The fact that we have both finalists as players in our first team is something that we can be very proud of. Well done to both players for reaching the final and a special well done to Kyle for keeping the British crown.

New Member Mentoring
It is so important that we look after our new members and Natalie has the role to co-ordinate this, however we need as many of us as possible to play new members and settle them in in both league and friendly games. There is a revised list of members happy to do this, so please add your name to it if it is not already on there.

Day Time Playing?
Do you fancy a daylight knock around, but can't find a partner? Then stick your name down on the list on the board and you could do just that. We are looking at ways to get the courts used during the day, but actually using them for what they were designed for would be good! There must be a few people we can get matched up for some day time games. A 'Club Lunchtime' has been suggested as a way of getting a few people who can be available to form a regular group. Thoughts anyone?

Squash & Racketball Teams
The squash season has only just started so it is a bit early to report on how our teams are doing but we have had some good wins already. More on that in the next newsletter with a full report from our club captain Dave Brierley.  The racketball season has been delayed in starting but we will soon see two teams competing in the Hampshire RB Leagues up until Christmas.

Club Leagues
Our box leagues are now being run by our dynamic duo John Cole and Pete Hesslewood.  If you don't play in them, please consider entering as it is a great way to ensure you are getting enough games and play new players. They have gone all hi-tec and are sending out leagues via the new leagues email address. New racketball leagues will be going up on the board soon. If you want to be involved, let John or Peter know.

If you are considering improving your squash game at all by receiving some coaching, Paul Finch is available Monday and Thursday evenings each week. Please contact Paul direct by email to arrange this. See the coaching page HERE.

Did You Know?
..that squash or racketball will burn off around 600-1000 calories depending on how hard you play and for how long. Not bad eh? The recommended intake is 2,500 for men and 2,000 for ladies, so play 3 times a week and you can make up around a whole days calorie intake! Yipee. Hang on how many beers is that?

Give Us Your Feedback!
We are always thinking about how effectively we can communicate with our members, but we want it to be a two way process! This newsletter obviously takes some time to put together but if members are not reading it or much care either way, we will look at alternative methods. Please let us know what you think. We can track how many clicks we get but that only gives us half a picture.

Thanks To Our Sponsor
R&N Carpentry (AKA Nigel Lush) has kindly agreed to sponsor our teams again this year. Thank you Nigel. The website for this company can be found HERE. We are open to other forms of sponsorship so if you have any suggestions please let us know.

Kids Party?
If you didn't know our lounge area is open for any member or family to hire as a kids party venue which can include a court as well for soft play. Cost is only £10 per hour plus any additional courts required. For available dates please email us. Event needs to be supervised by a full member.

Ed - D.M. - Nov 2015.