Tennis in Tanner St park

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GC
Monday 17 July 2006 4.50pm
Can anyone enlighten me about the tennis courts in Tanner St. Do you have to book or is it a 1st come 1st served situation? Is there a set amount of time you can play. There was someone advertising last year as a coach -are they still around or is there someone else that can be recommended?
Monday 17 July 2006 7.59pm
GC

Unless things have changed since April its first come first served. The courts are not regulated and it is up to everyone to share this quite remarkable free facility. Although I didn't play, the convention seemed to be that 1 hour on a court was enough for any normal person.

The tennis coach was offering an unregulated service which was not sanctioned by Southwark Council. He also didn't have any permission to monopolise the courts for his private use. They are a public facility which is, or should be, available to everyone.

Get volleying.

Niall
Tuesday 18 July 2006 9.47am
quite agree, the courts are free, and first come first served, one hour is usually the norm, if other people are waiting. The coach there doesn't have priority, and shouldn't be charging for his time - but unfortunately, because he coaches kids, he gets away with it. Someone should realy bring it to the attention of the authorities (probably southwark council - unliscenced trading maybe...)
Tuesday 18 July 2006 12.48pm
JonR wrote:
quite agree, the courts are free, and first come first served, one hour is usually the norm, if other people are waiting. The coach there doesn't have priority, and shouldn't be charging for his time - but unfortunately, because he coaches kids, he gets away with it. Someone should realy bring it to the attention of the authorities (probably southwark council - unliscenced trading maybe...)

and if he is teaching children, has he got a child protection policy and all that goes with it?
Thursday 3 August 2006 5.32pm
The gentleman in question, Dennis McMillan, held a license to trade as a tennis coach up until 12th March 2006. Currently the Parks department is deliberating whether to grant a new license.

He is fully insured in terms of public liability and an enhanced CRB check was carried out - so there are no issues regarding his working with children.

Once a decision has been made regarding coaching at these courts The Council Parks department will put up a notice giving guidelines for use of the courts. They will also consider free tennis coaching for kids in the future.
Monday 7 August 2006 3.01pm
As a regular on the Tanner St courts I can tell you there is abuse of the 1hr time zone, especially at week ends. I've seen some courts occupied for 2 hours and, if there's a group playing, even longer than that.

The wait time gives a chance to socialise and take bets on who's coming off court next; but the mood can tested by the unreasonableness of other players.

Why not post an hourly on the hour change over?

If people arrive before or after the hour their time is limited to what remains and they take their chances in the queue after the change over.

Dennis is a good coach.
Monday 7 August 2006 3.26pm
My 12 year old Nephew tries to play regularly and often complains about so called "adults" who ignore them when they are waiting and try to push in. So those of you that do play and do push in front of the kids or intimidate them to get them off the courts don't be bullies and wait yor turn.
Monday 7 August 2006 3.51pm
The person responsible for the Tennis court's issues is Katie Nicholls from Southwark's council (Katie.Nicholls@southwark.gov.uk). She is aware of some people not following the basic/civilised standards of 1 hour play (no matter the number of individuals within the group), so they are taking into account all matters and will come with a solution (next Year?). Also mentioned that at this present of time, nobody has the grant from the council to coach for several hours, therefore, everyone has the right to use all courts. Probably a good idea if you contact Ms Nicholls for speeding a solution of the actual problems.
Monday 7 August 2006 5.33pm
I've been told by a regular at the courts that Southwark Council has paid a visit to the courts and they've asked people whether they feel the current unregulated system works.

The general consensus is that it does. And I would agree, for the time being anyways... On occasion, some assertive diplomatic persuasion is required :) Anyways, as a result of the official questioning, the council has apparently decided to keep it a free facility.

However, it was added that the council will monitor the situation to see if the system is being abused.

The system is occasionally abused by some, especially during the weekends, and it's generally with people who can't even hit the ball, who talk statistical tennis and federer vs sampras etc. So, it just makes the wait even more painful. To be forced to watch their panzee dance.

Many people do question the validity of Dennis, the coach's permission to use the courts, as he's never shown anybody any proof. Well, none that I know of. A LOT of people complain about him, but not to him directly as he's told me himself that nobody ever complains to him. So I guess they just mumble to others on the bench  Everyone knows who he is. But yeah, he can be on there for hours in the weekends.

The summer weekends have in particular been very bad. The groups who horde the courts and alternate with their friends (all crap players I might add).... do push their luck.

In most cases, I feel people only have themselves to blame, as it's a cultural given that British people don't complain about anything. To just sit and patiently wait in life for something to happen doesn't make anything happen, unless you make it happen yourself.

All it takes is to politely ask people how long they're going to be and they'll usually give you a time. If they don't, get them to give you a reasonable one. If they're unfamiliar with the unofficial rule of 1 hour on and off... again, it doesn't take much to let them know, as it's only fair on everyone, especially if there are a lot of people waiting. Maybe I should print and laminate these wise words to then stick it on the court gates haha.

You'd think its common sense, but 90% of people don't say aaaaanything. And when someone does take the imitative to say something, then a bunch of people come up to you in stealth ninja mode and argue to say they're on before you when you have no idea where they've come from. Why the hell are you hiding in the dustbin or under the grass covered trap door then? Stupid people.

I've asked people why it is that they think people don't say something. In most cases people fear being either verbally abused or want to avoid the risk of kicking off an argument. Those people will sit and wait for hours and hours. Cue Louis Armstrong.

Some have reported seeing loud verbal fights kicking off... yes, unfortunately it does occasionally happen, but it's rare. This is only as a result of stupid people who say stupid things.

Stupid people hiding, stupid people not coming off, stupid people not saying anything, stupid people everywhere. Stupid :)

As for people who push in front of kids, uh oh, more stupid people.. They deserve the same. Or have their heads stuck into the doggy litter bin. It can be arranged :) Theres a young brother and sister who play there regularly, they've had problems too.

If I'm waiting, and you've been on for more than an hour, either me or my friends will be kicking you off in one way or another muhaha.

You do get your freaks who do some weeeeeeird things though. Eg. I've had people try waiting ON my court whilst I'm playing and climbing up and down the fence to ease the boredom (peopel in their early 30's,not kids). To then throw a strop when I ask them to go sit on the bench outside, then they refuse to leave. If it takes a 110mph+ serve accidentally coming toward your forehead to get you off the court, then so be it :)

I wonder how public liability insurance is worded for death by tennis ball?

Happy tennis everyone :)

Mr Poo

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