Fingal Independent

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Easing of restrictions smashing news for Portmarnock

The sound of tennis balls bouncing off rackets can once again be heard around the country following the easing of restrictions in phase one of the Government's road map to return to some sort of normality.

Portmarnock Tennis Club are one of the many who are back up and running and that's great news for their 500+ members.

According to the club's chairman Stephen Reid, a lot of hard work has gone on in recent days and weeks to ensure all government guidelines and protocols are being followed and he thanked his fellow committee members for all their hard work in ensuring the doors were ready to re-open yesterday (Monday) morning.

'We are delighted to be back up and running again and I really have to pay tribute to the very pro-active and dynamic committee we have here in Portmarnock who have put in a huge effort to get us to this point.

'We are confident that we have everything in place to ensure nobody's safety is compromised and we look forward to welcoming our members back this week.

'Unfortunately we can't welcome our over-70s back just yet as per government guidelines, but we've been in contact with them all and told them that we are looking forward to seeing them all when the restrictions are eased further.

'We have new signage up all around the courts advising players of the protocols that must be followed and we will also have an allocated supervisor who will make sure all guidelines are being adhered to. We also have new court booking software which our members can use to pick a time to play and we are delighted to see it has been very busy and we're expecting to see plenty of our members here this week.

'The feedback from our members has been very positive and they are delighted that we are allowed to re-open once again. Obviously, it's been a few months since they've been able to come to the club, so they are all eager to get playing and shake off the rust.

'I believe getting back on the courts will help people both physically and mentally and we're looking forward to getting going again.'

Portmarnock Tennis Club will be fully adhering to Tennis Ireland's guidelines and these include telling members not to attend if they live more than 5km away, not to play doubles matches unless the players are from the same household as well as ensuring the clubhouse remains shut.

Online booking has also been advised, which will make the task of contact tracing much easier, allowing the club to identify who the person was playing with and who was on nearby courts at the same time.

According to Stephen, coaching will also be resuming in the club, with a number of coaches available for sessions all week.

'Yes, we will have our coaches at the club as well to help our players maybe shake any rustiness off, and they are allowed to work with two players who are not from the same household as long as they are on opposite sides of the net.

'If there is a group of people from the same household the coach can work with up to three of them at the same time on court.

'We are confident we have all the correct structures in place and we know our members are going to work with us to ensure all guidelines are being followed.

'Once again I have to give a mention to our wonderful committee who have worked extremely hard and volunteered to come down and help with the whole process of reopening. I'm proud to be a part of such a hard-working and dynamic committee.'

Fingal Independent