Volunteer Week Day 6 – Jan Atkins

Jan Atkins
President of Brentwood Tennis Club (Sheffield)
I have always loved tennis. I started playing when I was 8 years old, played competitive tennis all through secondary school, college and throughout my teaching career. When I came to Sheffield it was never in doubt I would join a tennis club. I chose Brentwood. I have been a member there since 1976. I know many of you will be thinking “I wasn’t even born then”. You’re right of course, that is a very long time!
I can hardly remember when I haven’t been a volunteer there in one way or another. I have taken on a variety of roles, done all sorts of tasks, seen it through the good times as well as the not such good times. When I took early retirement in 2007, I graduated to the position of Club President. Such a grand title! Most other clubs call the role the Chairperson or Manager but Brentwood was established in 1907, that is what they had then and we never got around to changing it.
Any of you who are volunteers at a club will know it can often seem like a full time job. Sometimes, some members even forget we are just volunteers! Although that can be quite irritating at times, I have always loved it – watching Brentwood grow, develop a friendly ethos, take on new initiatives. Fortunately I have always had a fantastic team of committee members to work alongside me, also volunteers of course. I could not have done the job without them.
In February this year we eventually changed the management structure and introduced two new roles: a Chair & Vice Chair. They will do the everyday running of the club and I will stay as President but take much more of a back seat and just manage our project to upgrade the club and resurface all the courts and have new floodlights.
All was going really well, we had such plans and then Covid 19 came along …..