St­effi wins way to United States

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGIL­LIVRAY

Hor­sham ten­nis young gun St­effi McDon­ald will take an­other step to­wards a pro­fes­sional ca­reer in the sport when she at­tends Lind­sey Wil­son Col­lege in the USA on a schol­ar­ship next year.

Mcdon­ald, courted by sev­eral col­leges with schol­ar­ship of­fers, set­tled on Lind­sey Wil­son in Ken­tucky due to its small size and strong coach­ing pro­gram, of­fer­ing her more sup­port.

She said she had re­ceived the of­fers af­ter sign­ing up with an agency which posted statis­tics and videos of her train­ing, as well as her aca­demic tran­scripts, on its web­site.

“A cou­ple of months ago they emailed me and asked if I was in­ter­ested in a schol­ar­ship with Lind­sey Wil­son and play­ing for them from Jan­uary on­wards,” she said.

“I’ve had a lot of col­leges con­tact me, but it was the one I was most in­ter­ested in.

“Ever since I’ve signed with them I’ve had col­leges still reach­ing out, but it was the best fit for me.

“It’s a pri­vate col­lege, so it’s not as big as some of the other col­leges I was talk­ing to, which had about 50,000 peo­ple there.

“Com­ing from a small town like Hor­sham it’s a big step, espe­cially be­ing in a dif­fer­ent coun­try as well.

“We looked for some­where smaller that had a good ten­nis and train­ing pro­gram and where I was go­ing to get looked af­ter well.

“They’ve got a good pro­gram and they’ve had pretty good re­sults.”

The schol­ar­ship will cover Mcdon­ald’s board, tuition and ten­nis costs dur­ing her four years at the col­lege.

She said she would study sports man­age­ment, but her fo­cus was on forg­ing a pro­fes­sional ca­reer. “I’d like to go on and play pro tours,” she said. “Oth­er­wise, I’d prob­a­bly try to get a job in the sports-man­age­ment field, but I’d def­i­nitely like to keep go­ing on with ten­nis and play a lot more pro tours.”

Mcdon­ald cre­ated history by be­com­ing the first woman to com­pete in the men’s sec­tion of Cen­tral Wim­mera Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion’s pen­nant com­pe­ti­tion this year.

The tal­ented 18-year-old has rep­re­sented School Sport Vic­to­ria at the 18 and un­der Pizzey Cup and Aus­tralian Cup Sin­gles Cham­pi­onships, and was a mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Merit team last year.

Ten­nis Aus­tralia’s web­site shows she is cur­rently the 148th ranked fe­male ten­nis player in Aus­tralia.

Mcdon­ald said she was ner­vous and ex­cited to be­gin her col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence.

She thanked her fam­ily for sup­port­ing her ten­nis am­bi­tions.

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