Ready to Rally

Over the winter of 2016/2017 our Ready to Rally Reward Cards kept our loyal players turning out in all weathers! Now that the sun is shining, most of us have collected our 15 stamps and got our t-shirts - and boy aren't they looking so cool!


The trustees of Atlantic Racquet Centre are pleased to announce the recent appointment of Patrick Wilson as Community Club Coach. He has joined the team on a part time basis and will work closely alongside Head Coach, Tom Vinall.

Having coached in a variety of environments including a busy coaching programme in Plympton and several seasons abroad for Neilson Holidays, he will assist in further expanding the successful tennis programme Tom has established in local schools and at the facilities here.

He will take the lead on the launch of our disability tennis programme at ARC. Having received special training from the LTA, Pat's first few weeks will be spent meeting with local disability centres and groups in order to tailor our programme to suit their specific needs. He will then focus on securing grant funding to deliver a targeted disability outreach programme in the new year with a view to creating a sustainable weekly disability tennis programme here at ARC, aimed at all disabilities and special needs.

Pat is currently coaching a variety of the sessions on our weekly programme and will oversee the organisation and running of the annual grade 4, 5 & 6 competitions at the centre and encourage our many junior players to enter local tournaments.

If you wish to get in touch with him regarding individual lessons or any of his upcoming projects at the club please find his details here...

The annual Report of the Chair of Trustees


AGM – 7th December 2016

St Margaret’s School

Significant progress has been made this year toward achieving the final vision for ARC. The construction of the building envelope began late spring and will be complete early in 2017. We will then be able to start internal works to develop the sports facilities. However, this work cannot commence until funding is in place to enable us to engage with the various specialist suppliers. We estimate our current funding gap to be in the region £400,000, with a total project cost of £2.75 million. Our emphasis now is to raise these funds through the following four strands:

1. Buy a brick – Build a legacy. This is accessible through our website The minimum donation is £100 per brick and in return supporters will have their names on our ‘buy a brick build a legacy’ wall in the new centre. It’s easy to do, simply fill out a form and enclose your donation indicating whether a gift aid claim can be made. Each gift aid donation allows us to recover an additional 25%. This is open to anyone who wishes to donate and I’m pleased to say that half the funds raised so far are from non-members.

2. Corporate sponsorship – we are currently working on opportunities to engage with local businesses in effort to gain their support in return for pre-determined packages.

3. Partnership with local authorities – we are developing our relationships with all local authorities to maximise the opportunities that are available to us. Following the publicity of the Davis Cup Trophy Tour the profile of the centre has been raised significantly with members of local authorities showing their support.

4. Grant applications to National Sports Governing Bodies and identified funders.

Clearly there remains a huge amount of work to do, the bulk of this falls to the trustees, who have worked tirelessly this year to get us where we are, I do thank them for all their efforts. We often talk about the need to increase our capabilities through the introduction of people to support the trustees. While we have had a good range of skills we are lacking in marketing abilities and clearly would benefit from any assistance with our fund-raising activities. With the number of new members joining there may well be support and skills available that we are unaware of. If anyone is interested in assisting us, please speak with me or one of the other trustees.

Apart from the obvious need to raise funds next year will see the trustees working closely with the directors of ARC Tennis and Sports Club as we begin to look forward to additional sports coming to ARC. There are details we will need to formalise such as memberships, subscriptions and community access. We will continually look to see how this centre can benefit the local communities through the promotion of sports and active lives as we look to achieve our vision which has been described in our new business plan as:

Atlantic Racquet Centre has an exciting vision: to provide a community orientated multi sports complex for recreational, sporting and leisure use with over 1000 users per week by 2020.

Use of our current facilities over the past year continues to increase. Tom’s work with the coaching programme continues to be a great success. During the summer 196 people per week were receiving coaching; even now there are 176 people a week being coached. Coaching takes places either on the
ARC courts or at schools through the excellent outreach programme. Tom has been so successful we have now employed a second coach, Patrick Wilson, to provide a consistent level of support to the programme. Patrick’s employment means that we will now be able to progress, among other things, disability tennis, this has been one of our aims for some time and will be good to progress.

2016 has seen ARC make remarkable progress which we are determined to continue into the foreseeable future – however, I imagine the question on most people’s minds is “That’s fine, but when will all this be finished?”. It is very difficult to give a definitive answer, however, the trustees objective, subject to funding, is to have the tennis hall up and running by late summer 2017 to enable the delivery of indoor tennis, badminton and table tennis by autumn 2017. While acknowledging, there is a lot of work yet to be done it does feel like we are in ‘touching distance’ to achieving what has been the dream of many people for a long time.

Having thanked the trustees for all their work and support I have, once again, to thank Andy Lobato, who is not a trustee, but continues to work on this project devoting a huge amount of his time and providing support and guidance to the trustees. Finally, I must also thank Ginette Berry, who is not a member of ARC. Ginette provides administrative support to the trustees, attending all our meeting and taking the minutes, it is no small task but one Ginette has always cheerfully undertaken.

Martin Morris - Trustee

Davis Cup Trophy Tour Day

The Davis Cup Trophy came to visit us at Atlantic Racquet Centre on Sunday 4 September...

What a day. Figures suggest over 800 people attended the event with almost 200 volunteers working together to make it happen. Bideford, we absolutely smashed our Davis Cup Trophy visit and it's all thanks to you! Now, lets get people playing tennis!

Photos by iData iMage @andypixs



Tennis For Kids is an LTA nationwide initiative inspired by Team GB’s historic Davis Cup win last year. The aim is to introduce to tennis 10,000 children, aged 5 to 8 - all new entrants - giving them a free 6 week course of coaching. If the kids attend all of the sessions they receive a FREE Babolat racquet to keep.

As a result of the great promotional videos they produced, two of our coaches, Andrew Hearn and Tom Vinall, were in those 1000 coaches selected to go on to take the training at various venues around UK. Andrew and Tom went to Bath University, where they met Leon Smith and Ann Keothavong.

Tom’s video was so well received by the LTA that it has been used as a demonstration at similar training days throughout the UK and was even picked out by Leon Smith as the “best video he’d seen out of all 1250 coaches who applied” – We’ve got the great coaches, now all we need is you!!

ARC be running two courses - with 10 children in each - on Mondays 4-5pm, and on Fridays, 4-5pm. These will both be starting the week commencing 6th June, and be held for the following 6 weeks.



Alex Completes Tennisathon

ALEX GRIGG – a member of our Junior club, recently undertook a fund-raising project at his School, in aid of EDUKID; this is a charity dedicated to children’s education, in Cambodia, Palestine and Uganda.

As part of this he played a 6 hour tennis marathon, at ARC, on Saturday 9th April, from 9am to 3pm. He was joined by several other ARC juniors in short stints to help him cross the line. These included: Kyle Tubbs, Martha Macdonald, Ollie Luxton, Ben Seaman and of course his Mum &Dad, Dan & Lynne Grigg.

In total Alex managed to raise £101.03 for Edukid which is a fantastic result! Well done Alex!

Triumphant Alex at the end of his 6 hour tennisathon!

Triumphant Alex at the end of his 6 hour tennisathon!

New Adult Sessions!

The adult coaching programme has been totally re-vamped just in time for summer, and now has new and extra sessions, which it is hoped will reach all ages, abilities and tastes. These include:


Look at the ‘Coaching’ tab on the ARC website for full details of all these, and how to join.



The fencing surrounding the building site is now in place, and construction will be starting shortly. The plan is to build the shell, with internal walls and external windows in place, and - given reasonable summer weather - this should be completed by the end of August. The diggers should be on site sometime this week - exciting news!

Floodlights installed on courts 5 & 6.


We are delighted to now have fully functional floodlights on courts 5 & 6 meaning that our most sheltered courts are now available to be used at all times. The addition of these extra lights means that now all 6 of our outdoor courts are floodlit. Roll on winter training!