Epping Tennis Club is breaking down barriers to participation for culturally diverse players, with two popular free programs attracting many women and girls.
Social coordinator Lynn Kimber said the club had used a Tennis Australia multicultural grant to introduce two successful programs: one for students from Al Siraat College, and another for people under 25.
“We had all of these (new) people coming in, it was wonderful – mostly women, and a lot from the Islamic culture,” Lynn said.
“It’s bringing in a whole lot of people who didn’t play tennis before.”
Lynn said she was passionate about making tennis inclusive for all, explaining that for many program participants, the sport was out-of-reach in their home countries.
She said she was concerned with the community’s perception of tennis being a traditionally white sport and wanted to provide opportunities for new faces to join.
“Tennis in many of the countries is a very expensive, exclusive game," Lynn said.
“Many of the women have told me only wealthy people could afford to play tennis, and that’s why they’re excited to play.”
Lynn said she was keen to grow female members at the club after the figure dwindled to half a dozen at its lowest point.
“The big push for us is to get women and girls involved,” she said.
The club has also used a City of Whittlesea Female Inclusion in Sport Grant to run a free women’s program and will continue its commitment to attracting more women and girls to tennis when it hosts a free come-and-try session on Thursday 25 March in celebration of This Girl Can Week.
Coach Yvonne Fantin will run the social session, with racquets and balls provided.
“We’ll offer coffee and cake to make it a bit more fun, and we’ll keep it as fun and relaxed as the other programs were,” Lynn said.
The club is at 863 High St, Epping.
Details and bookings: 0407 610 656