JUST four years ago, Adamstown Rosebud Tennis Club faced a court eviction for being a male-only club.
Now, it is one of just four clubs state-wide involved in a gender equity pilot program to bring more young women through at competitive levels.
Club president Trevor Powell said an "overwhelming majority" of members voted to allow women to join in 2019. About half the membership now is female.
"Since then, we have been actively involved in trying to attract women to join the club," Mr Powell, who had been president for around two years, said.
The club was recently allocated funding from Tennis NSW under the Gender Equality Pilot Program. It has been used to help push female membership, particularly among younger players.
A lot of the funding has been put toward a five-week program for students from Adamstown Public School in which students have learnt from professional coaches.
"We're hoping that will be a conduit for girls to join the club as members," Mr Powell said. "The future of any club is its juniors."
Former professional player and current Tennis NSW women and girls' lead Casey Dellacqua joined the girls for a hit on Friday December 1 - the final day of the program.
"[Seeing this club transition] has been a really great experience," Ms Dellacqua said. "What's been really great is having people committed to the ongoing participation and encouragement of women to play tennis.
"You can't put your foot on the peddle, there's always more work to be done but that initial commitment from the club is really important."
Anyone can book a court at Adamstown, but members have designated times and social activities, including casual competitions. The club also runs coaching sessions.
"It becomes a meeting place and a place to socialise," Mr Powell said. "It's great for mental health."
Friends Lyn Fleming and Lynne Rae have been playing with Adamstown Rosebud for about two years after transitioning from other clubs. They said the club was an important part of their weekly social calendar, and they wanted younger women to have the same experience.
"There is a lot of benefit for younger women in playing," Ms Fleming said. "It is [fun] and most of us are in our 50s, 60, 70s."
But shifting the demographic has been a challenge.
"The biggest issue is retention," Ms Dellacqua said. "We're finding it doesn't matter what sport girls play, we are finding the drop-out rate once they hit teenage years is too [high].We know the benefits for young girls in participating.
"Tennis has the same challenges, hence why you need to look at what you're doing off-court as well to keep those girls engaged."
Adamstown Rosebud are currently working with Tennis NSW to develop equity plans aimed to recruiting and retaining more women.