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USTA Takes on Capitol Hill

Barbara Jones & Chanda Rubin
Barbara Jones and Jeff Giles

Barbara Jones launched an amazing tennis program in her hometown of St. George, SC.  She began the program as after school lessons for the local kids. Then turned that into a USTA Jr. Team Tennis program and raised money for new courts and a club house.

From these efforts, the town’s high school now has a boys tennis team. Jones has made a huge impact on her community and has brought St. George together through tennis. She is now the president of St. George Youth Sports League and is also on the USTA South Carolina Board of Directors.

On May 7-8, Barbara Jones went to Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. with USTA representatives from all over the country. "Such an exciting time for me," said Jones. Their main purpose for this trip was to inform Capitol Hill about USTA and what it does for the community. This, according to Jones was information they were not aware of beforehand. The goals that the USTA had were to also share information so that people would be aware of what USTA is doing and in turn receive support for USTA.

When Jones was there the USTA representatives were split into groups. The different groups went to congressmen and senators to inform them about the Congressional Tennis Caucus (CTC). CTC’s purpose is to promote organized tennis and its benefits. The organization supports federal partnership opportunities to enhance the benefits of organized tennis, encourage a healthy and active lifestyle and support the Wounded Warrior project. Currently there are 26 members of Congressional Tennis Caucus, one member from South Carolina, Rep. Joe Wilson. The USTA did not have a numeric goal for their trip to D.C. but just wanted the CTC membership to increase.

Jones’ group was to meet with three congressmen and three senators. During their time in D.C. President Obama was entertaining the Chinese president, in which most congressmen and senators had to attend. Therefore, Jones and her group saw two of their contacts but spoke to the other four’s assistants and left the information for them.

"It was well worth the travel and time," said Jones.

The highlights of the trip for Jones were meeting Chris Evert, former number one professional tennis player, and Chanda Rubin, a retired professional tennis player. 

Jones also talked to Rubin about traveling to Charleston and the possibility of Rubin coming to talk to her tennis kids in St. George. It’s a connection that Jones wants to keep for many years.

Jones was the only person from South Carolina to make the trip to Washington, D.C. The USTA representatives made a great impression on Capitol Hill, giving them great information on tennis and its many benefits.

"I thank whoever put my name in this group to go," said Jones of her opportunity.

 

 

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