Chair’s Message

Drawing to the end of 2023, it is a good time to reflect on where the Club is now, and most importantly where it is heading. The Board feels the Club is in great shape and the general level of Member engagement and positive sentiment is high. Usage remains elevated across all the sports and activities, and the waiting list remains strong. The recent section AGMs, dinners and Member Forum have all been very positive. It’s no surprise to me that the Club won Tennis Club of the Year award 2023 once more last week adding another trophy into the Clubhouse cabinet.

Masterplan 2035

On the three main Masterplan development projects we are making good progress. We are working on gaining planning approvals where necessary and on final tender costings. We will also need to phase these projects given our financial and operating bandwidth; hence the following timings are only indicative:

Clubhouse – Members Bar, decking and kitchen refurbishment

We aim to transform the appeal of the Club’s social areas in 2024/5 as prioritised by Members in the last Club survey. It is clear from the Club Café refurbishment and subsequent inspections that a lot of our utility infrastructure is end of life (20 to 50 years old) and will require replacing as part of this development.

◊ The first project will be the electrification of the kitchen to remove gas, make it more sustainable and benefit from power generated by our solar panels. This requires work to upgrade our electrical capacity and ensure we meet latest safety standards, which unfortunately means we will need to close the kitchen for an estimated 8 to 9 weeks to complete the works starting in January 2024.
◊ Staff will provide a limited menu in the Club Café for that period using hired ovens. The Juice Bar and Piazza Coffee Shop will remain open with more details to follow next month. Members’ patience is asked for here as we futureproof the kitchen for the next 15-20 years.
◊ The Members Bar and decking refurbishment phase will also be substantial and likely to take up to three months to complete. We are discussing whether to delay the bulk of the work to Q1 2025 or keep it for the summer of 2024. We may be able to split the decking upgrade from the internal work. We plan to hold an open Forum in Q1 2024 to allow for Member input into the scheduling and to see the proposed designs.

Padel and Pickleball Hub on Courts 25 to 28

Given the positive feedback at the Member Forum, we are evaluating the construction of up to four more padel and eight new pickleball courts within the Hub. Design ideas have been generated with and without the key consideration of being able to construct and afford a retractable roof. Wandsworth Planning has informed us that they will not approve a permanent roof structure but are considering the possibility of a retractable roof. It is a remote possibility at this stage. Work will not start before October 2024 and may go into 2025 if we are able to have a retractable roof.

Indoor Golf Centre (IGC)

We remain in pre-app phase discussions with Wandsworth Council Planning and are cautiously optimistic with the current designs that we can receive officer support. Once received we would then need to make a formal application, and only then if we receive planning approval can we go out for formal tenders. If we are successful, the current expectation is that we would break ground in Q3 or early Q4 2024.

Thank you to the amazing Staff and Sections

It is also a time to thank our amazing staff and sections who make Roehampton Club run. It’s their commitment that makes our Club one of the best sports clubs in the country. There are far too many people to thank in writing, but in my first few months as Chair, I have been so impressed with the work and effort of the Section Committees and Captains. All of this is unpaid and for the love of the Club showing how lucky we are to have some many amazing Members – so thank you to all those who so generously give their time.

­I also must thank and congratulate the Executive teams who make all of this possible, coping at times with some of the more ‘lateral and creative’ Member ideas. Again, all I can say is THANK YOU.

Below are some personal thank yous and some fun stats I wanted to share …

Golf Course and Gardens


Thank you to Peter, David, Ricky, Louis, Ken, Dhiren, Matt and teams – the Golf Section has been incredibly busy this year, and the course has been immaculate. We will be working on the greens, some of the bunkers, irrigation and netting next year. Some fun 2023 statistics include:

◊ 9 Members played over 100 rounds this year,
◊ One Member has played 136 rounds this year to date,
◊ we’ve had five ‘holes in one’ in competitions this year,
◊ Head Pro Ricky Pharo holds the course record at Hawkstone Park Golf Club with a 10 under par 62, and averages four birdies every round he plays on our course!
◊ our beautiful gardens are featured in the London Open Square Gardens weekend each year,
Grass Clippings, authored by Peter Bradburn, is the handbook for every keen Member gardener,
◊ Our Women beat the Men’s Team this year in the annual highly competitive golf match – 7-6.

­Health Club


Thank you Stuart, Ricky, Lucy, Boris, Bulent, Ana, Jon, Rahma and teams. The studios, gym and pool remain incredibly busy, and we continue to look to improve. The recent aquabikes / treadmills, reformer Pilates and outdoor classes are just some examples of how we innovated. Standards of cleanliness and meet and greet throughout are very good and very much appreciated.

Some fun 2023 statistics include:

◊ 121 swim lessons per week with 312 children currently attending
◊ 120 Group Exercise classes per week
◊ 123,100 entries swiped into the Health Club this year so far
◊ 102,510 towels used in the Health Club to date this year
◊ 4,000 Personal Training sessions delivered up to the end of November

Racquets Sections and Croquet


Thank you to Dan, Nik, Paul, Louis, Freddie and all the coaches. The racquets’ section with tennis, squash, padel and pickleball has seen significant levels of participation, and success in the various club and national competitions. Our Croquet Team are National Champions once more boasting two English Internationals. Thank you Chris, Simon and the Grounds Team for producing such wonderful lawns plus grass, acrylic and clay tennis courts as well as putting up two airhalls each winter.

Some fun 2023 statistics for the year

◊ The Club has 59 teams ranging from under 8 to over 60’s,
◊ coaching team delivers 400 hours of tennis, padel and pickleball coaching per week,
◊ 220 croquet Members playing in all weathers and under floodlights,
◊ squash was first played in 1929, and our first Bath Cup Division One title was in the 100th year – 2022,
◊ two croquet greats of the game, Nigel Aspinall and Reg Bamford are Members,
◊ Women’s Squash team are European Club Champions 2022 and 2023,
◊ Hannah Klugman at age 14 became the youngest female tennis player ever to qualify for an ITF W100 tournament surpassing Coco Gauff who was 15.
◊ Louis Laville has been the European Pickleball Champion for last two years.

House, F&B, Events, Finance, Membership and Communications


Thanks to Debora, Lloyd, Nikki, Helen, Mandy, Karen, Jolanta, Gary and their teams for all that they do that includes:

◊ 9,500 pints of San Miguel, 2,100 soups and hundreds of bottles of Club claret served so far in 2023,
◊ most popular Members Bar dishes are fish and chips, Club burger and Club sandwich,
◊ best-selling spirit is Roehampton Club Gin- look out for the new Club Spiced Rum!
◊ 400 Members in the Club’s Art Group and PhotoClub,
◊ Bridge Room has 140 Members using it every week,
◊ Roehampton Club Recorder e-newsletter is sent to and received by 3,650 Members and opened by 2,800 Members (many who deny ever receiving it!),
◊ Creche Team looking after 70+ young children per week,
◊ Membership administers 500 lockers, 300 Member resignations and 150 category changes each autumn.

Security and Team

Thank you, Michael, Troy, Anthony, Micheel, Robbie, Selvyn, and team, – your friendly welcome and vigilance for our safety and security is excellent. Plus, you keep a watchful eye on CCTV for our poor parking! Thank you as it can’t be easy to be nice to everyone and on high alert at all times.

Senior Leadership Team

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Marc and his senior leadership team of Simon, Karen, Susan, Peter, Debora, and Dan. You have been great to work with and I look forward to the next few years. You work as a great team, and we are lucky to have you. Some fun facts about our origins:

◊ 1901 the Miller brothers created the company, and Charles Miller was tasked with finding a site to play polo.
◊ 1902 the brothers leased 57 acres of ‘rough farmland’ and opened a (polo) club.
◊ 1904 polo, croquet and golf (9 holes) were all being played
◊ 1921 the first Tennis Coach was appointed.
◊ 1922 Club had 2,000 Members, 500 non-playing Members and a strong waiting list.
◊ 1927 the Club purchased the freehold for the current site for £62,173 (Genius!)
◊ 1934 the first swimming pool was built.
◊ 1956 lease for part of our land signed with Rosslyn Park for 100 years.
◊ 1970 the new (our current) clubhouse was opened.
◊ 1989-90 Russell Evans leads the Member buyout of the Club (genius again)
◊ 2017- UK Sports Club of the Year for the first time
2023 – 5,100 Members, three-year waiting list and thriving multi sports club

I hope everyone has a good break and here’s to a successful 2024.

Merry Christmas / Holiday Period and Happy New Year 

Best wishes,
Michael Hill