14 June 2020, by Chrissie Martin
For the last of our committee profiles we have a double bill. Our brilliant Facilities Secretary and our Welfare Officer are a great combination on and off the court, and are an essential part of the club. We’re not sure how we’d manage without them!
MIKE AND JANET THOMAS
Tell us about your tennis life
We joined the club at the end of 2007. Until that time, we had only played tennis on holidays. That year when we returned from our summer holiday, we decided it was a sport we wanted to play more of. We looked at clubs near us and decided to join North Oxford. We both wish that we had taken up tennis when we were younger and were able to play to a better standard.
What do your roles on the Committee involve?
Mike – I undertook the role of Facilities Secretary approximately 5 years ago. Most of my time is spent looking after the day-to-day needs of keeping the courts in use and fit for play, mostly maintaining the nets and fencing. I arrange for the resurfacing and repainting of the courts on a rota basis to ensure they are always maintained to a high standard. I also liaise with the groundsmen about the grass courts in the summer.
Janet – I was Secretary of the club for several years but gave this up due to an increased workload. I was asked recently to become the Welfare Office. Having always worked in schools it has been an area of my work that has been essential and I have been the school’s Designated Safeguarding Leader. As Welfare Officer I am responsible for working with the club committee, coaches, volunteers, and other staff to create a safe and inclusive venue for everyone. I am the point of contact for any concerns raised in the club. I am lucky that I have Pat Wakefield as a deputy to support me in this role
What is the best thing about NOLTC?
We are so pleased that we joined NOLTC. The facilities of both the grass and hard courts are excellent. We enjoy being able to play outdoors all year round. More importantly to us are the other members. It is a very social club and we have enjoyed playing with and against some great people and have made some wonderful friends.
What other sports do you enjoy?
Mike – I have always enjoyed sport and, in particular, anything challenging and/or exciting. I took up barefoot water skiing at the age of 14 and quickly rose through the ranks to become European Champion in 1978 and went on to win this 3 times. I still enjoy water skiing and do barefoot a few times a year but now I get pleasure in teaching others to ski.
Janet – I have always been a water baby and enjoyed any sport that involved water. I learnt to water ski as a child but not to any great standard! I became a barefoot water skiing judge and have represented the country at European and World level – this is how I met Mike.
What’s your favourite food experience?
We both love eating – particularly with a nice glass of wine! We do not go to many gigs but recently have had some amazing evenings at Tom Kerridge’s ‘Party in the Park’. At these events you get to listen to a range of great acts whilst enjoying food cooked by Michelin starred chefs.
What do you wish for the future of North Oxford?
We both feel that all the grass courts should never be taken away completely, but perhaps the addition of another surface or Padel Tennis courts would encourage a wider range of members and enhance the facilities.
Thanks for all the great comments on these profiles. We hope you’ve enjoyed them. We’ve introduced you to all of our committee members now but there are some other very familiar faces around the club and we’ll be learning more about them very soon, so stay tuned.