I WOULD like to reply to and expand on some of the points raised in your article on the future of community tennis on Carvers recreation ground in Ringwood (Tennis club launches SOS to community', Forest Journal, June 29).

Statements like "heavily subsidised" and "£1.50 per week" can be very emotive and misleading when taken out of context. The cost of £1.50 a week to play tennis (which would more accurately be £1.88 a week by Mr Simpson's calculation method) becomes £4.90 a week if you divide the annual membership fee by the 20-week playing season.

We are only subsidised because we are expected to pay all of the maintenance costs for a public facility. Ringwood town council can hire out the courts to the public at any time other than club sessions, as happens at most community facilities throughout the country.

Ringwood has an obligation to provide recreational facilities and the town council is passing this obligation over to non profit-making, voluntary-run clubs like ourselves.

We are realists. Grass courts are expensive to maintain, but the answer is to increase membership and enjoy the wholehearted support of the council, not just bang up the fees. Two or three lost members will soon wipe out any advantage from higher fees.

The grass courts are an attractive feature of Carvers and something that the town should be proud of.

Maintenance, although it does have to be paid for, also helps secure employment of the ground staff and no doubt widens their experience and job satisfaction.

The courts are in full use on membership sessions, junior coaching is thriving and we are, so far this season, enjoying wonderful tennis on very well-maintained courts. Let's hope it's not the last.

ROGER TITLEY, Chairman, Ringwood Lawn Tennis Club