By Brady Schmidt, Communications & Marketing Director
Margaret Chutich is pictured above with her Permanent Court Time Group: Tom Weaver, Gaylen Knack and John Fitzgerald. Peg Brenden (not pictured) is also a regular member of the group.
ICT’s Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center (RSFTC) has been Margaret Chutich’s “place to play” for quite some time. She can’t remember the exact day she began her Permanent Court Time (PCT), but thinks it was about 1985. Her PCT was moved from Parade Stadium to RSFTC (known as Nicollet Tennis Center until 2000, when InnerCity Tennis purchased the facility). That makes over 30 years of playing every week with the same group of friends at the same facility!
Even after 30 years, the competition is still fierce and different pairings each week always keep things interesting. “I love the good natured competition we have,” said Margaret, “and the stress relief is great.”
In addition to having fun with her tennis cadre, Margaret enjoys seeing all the new youth learning tennis at ICT, as well as the friendly, caring staff. “I love seeing the vitality of young eager kids learning this sport of a lifetime. I’ve gotten to know the people who work [at ICT] and they kind of become part of your family.”
Margaret was introduced to tennis when she was nine by her mother. She remembers playing summer tournaments in the 60s and 70s and how there were almost no indoor facilities at which to play during the winter months.
In 1974, as a junior, she was runner up in the Minnesota State High School Championship, and in 1975, she won. After high school, she went on to play tennis at the University of Minnesota, winning a Big Ten Championship in #6 Singles and becoming a Big Ten Runner-Up in #1 Doubles. She remembers practicing on the wood basketball courts in Bierman Hall at the U of M and having to take the nets up and down before and after every practice (she did not mind the fast pace on wood because of her serve and volley style of play).
In addition to her tennis achievements on the court, Margaret has a successful professional career working in the Minnesota courts. She credits tennis for helping to open doors for her and giving her confidence to pursue her goals. “Tennis gave me the confidence to know that I still could perform even when I had butterflies in my stomach. It taught me how to win and lose graciously. I learned how to set goals - which frightened me at first - because what if I came up short?”
Margaret has recently been appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Dayton and will begin her term March 17. Judge Margaret Chutich has served the state of Minnesota honorably on the Court of Appeals, and as a Deputy Attorney General,” said Governor Dayton. “Her ability to forge understanding amongst colleagues, and her fortitude to dissent when she deems it necessary, have served her well throughout her distinguished career.”
From all of us at ICT, congratulations, Judge Chutich, on your great accomplishments both on and in the courts!