My trip to Washington D.C. was a once in a lifetime trip.  I am so honored to have represented Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center, and the USTA Northern (United States Tennis Association).  My three day trip was covered by the USTA.  It consisted of a beautiful suite at the Washington Hotel with the comfiest bed I have ever slept in and I was treated as if I were royalty.

Over the 3 days I did a lot of socializing and meeting very important people.  The first night I arrived in D.C. was the night of the dinner party.  I met several tennis legends who are very influential in the history of tennis: Billie Jean King and Stan Smith, and so on.  I also was reunited with some tennis coaches I met back in 2009 at a leadership camp in Denver, Colo.

Fred Wells player Courtney McDonald, Bille Jean King, and Benzell Lang from the Malvi Washington Kids Foundation in Jacksonville, FL  

Fred Wells player Courtney McDonald, Bille Jean King, and Benzell Lang from the Malvi Washington Kids Foundation in Jacksonville, FL


 But the main reason I was in Washington, D.C. was to talk to the members of congress about joining the Congressional Tennis Caucus.  I had a separate meeting with representatives from the following different congressional offices:  Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Betty McCollum, John Kline, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson, and Mike Crapo (senator from Idaho). When meeting with each person I had the chance to talk about my life story, including the adversity I have faced before, during, and after tennis has come into my life.

I explained to each person how much of an impact tennis has made in my life not only on the courts but also tennis has made an even better impression in my life off the courts. Ever since I started playing tennis I have developed a healthier lifestyle, I have become more social, and tennis emotionally helps me get through my lowest points.

I would not be the mature and healthy person I am today without the help I receive financially from the USTA and Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center.  I explained to them how the scholarships they have granted me have given me a chance to continue doing what I love and how they have opened many doors of opportunity for me to become more successful in life.

Then I introduced them to the 10 and Under tennis balls which are different compressions and size tennis balls that are ideally to help guide your way into tennis, allowing you to pace yourself skill wise.  After that I asked the congressional staff a final question, to join the Congressional Tennis Caucus that support bills and issues that support healthy living, including the USTA.

Although the main purpose of my trip was mainly business, I enjoyed every minute of it. I was constantly trying new things and enjoyed the different experiences, like eating calamari and riding in a taxicab for the first time ever!

“I had the chance to visit and explore the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The things I that I saw in that museum blew my mind away!

On the last day of my trip I had some time to kill before catching my flight back to Minnesota so I visited the White House.  The White House is so much more beautiful to see in person rather than in the newspaper or a movie.  Then I took a bus to Georgetown to do some browsing and see how different the shopping is from across the country.

Overall, my trip was a blast and very busy.  That is why if I could have the chance to relive those 3 days over again I most defiantly would!  Someday, I plan to go back and visit Washington D.C. because the city is so beautiful and there is much more for me to see and explore.

What was originally a 3-day trip turned out to the one of the best and most unforgettable experiences of my life.

-Courtney McDonald

Courtney McDonald


AuthorMatea Wasend