Steve steps down after 23-year stint as chairman of thriving club

Mike Hawkes, left, and Sue Wolstenholme congratulate Steve Elms after 23 years as chairman of Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club
Mike Hawkes, left, and Sue Wolstenholme congratulate Steve Elms after 23 years as chairman of Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club

The long-standing chairman of Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club has stepped down from his role after a record-breaking 23 years of service.

Steve Elms announced his decision at the club’s AGM earlier this month, following more than two decades of hard work with Berkhamsted.

Steve has long had the vision of making the club a world-class sports and social facility, with close links to the local community.

Since his appointment in 1992, the club has seen several major developments, including a new clubhouse and championship glass-back squash court in 1999; a state-of-the-art Indoor Tennis Centre in 2006; and a second championship glass-back squash court and revamped bar and lounge in 2008.

Over the 23 year period, club membership has risen by 40 per cent to more than 1,050 and now includes over 300 juniors.

Today the club has two indoor tennis courts, 11 outdoor tennis courts – all floodlit – and six squash courts; the latter are increasingly also being used to play racketball, a sport which is growing fast across the country.

The club has teams in regional tennis, squash and racketball leagues, and in each has players who compete at top county level.

Berkhamsted also has a dozen qualified coaches who run a wide range of individual and group coaching sessions every week, including academies for the development of high potential juniors.

It also holds regular sessions for social players in all three sports, as well as an extensive programme of social events for members, which has attracted 50 non-playing social members.

At the AGM, attended by around 50 members, club president and LTA vice chair Sue Wolstenholme OBE thanked Steve on behalf of the members for his enormous contribution to the club.

In particular she noted that Steve had been the driving force behind the indoor tennis project and was pleased to announce its renaming as the Steve Elms Indoor Tennis Centre in his honour.

The AGM also elected Steve’s successor as chairman: Mike Hawkes is a long-standing member of the club, who also plays all three racket sports.

Mike said: “During the 23 years that Steve has been chairman, both the clubhouse and playing facilities for tennis and squash have improved tremendously; in view of all that he has done for the club it is a fitting tribute to name our Indoor Tennis Centre after him.”

Non-members are always welcome try out the facilities at BLTSRC – for more information contact club managers Susannah and Vicky on 01442 863393.