Major League Pickleball (MLP) announced they are partnering with Pickleball Cares, a new philanthropic organization dedicated to providing resources and opportunities to underserved communities. Together, their goal is to impact lives directly through the sport we all love by introducing pickleball to young people who are in need of opportunities to participate in organized sports.
Pickleball Cares hopes to provide underprivileged youths with better opportunities to improve their self-confidence and well-being by reaching out to school districts in historically lower-income areas and providing them with pickleball equipment and clinics. They want to provide kids with high-quality clinics run by professional pickleball players and make sure that each kid leaves with a paddle, ball, and backpack so they can continue pursuing the sport.
Their very first clinic is going to be a monumental one. Hosted for the 75 New York City-area youth, Pickleball Cares is collaborating with CityPickle at Wollman Rink during tomorrow’s MLP Draft event!
From 11 am – 4pm ET, kids will get a chance to play with five MLP pro players who will lead the kids through pickleball drills and games. Federico Staksrud, Parris Todd, Pablo Tellez, Connor Garnett, and Rafa Hewett will team up with staff lead instructor/program manager Zack Taylor and instructor Dominique Schaefer to teach kids how to play during the excitement of the draft.
CityPickle and Pickleball Cares selected NYC community organizations to participate in the inaugural clinic: The Boys’ Club of New York, City Parks Foundation (Youth), Solutions Now, and TMCA of Greater New York. These organizations are also part of CityPickle’s community outreach efforts, which seek to create a more inclusive and diverse space promoting equal economic opportunity in New York City.
The Executive Director of Pickleball Cares, Geoff Nguyen, believes that their organization’s goals to serve under-resourced communities will both help improve a child’s health and set them up for a brighter future. Pickleball Cares has big plans for the future, including college sponsorship and grant opportunities and eventually investing in communities directly through court revitalization and construction projects.
“Pickleball Cares uses pickleball to get kids moving again. This initiative focuses on the importance of physical activity and social-emotional well-being from sports.”Geoff Nguyen, Executive Director of Pickleball Cares
Pickleball Cares has already seen several charitable donations through MLP owners and other league sponsors, marking a true intersection between pro pickleball and philanthropy. Additional sponsors for tomorrow’s clinic include Pickleball Exchange, ProXR, Skechers, and the MLP franchise, the New York Hustlers. Eat the Change, LesserEvil, and Rhythm Foods donated healthy snacks for clinic participants.
If you’re interested in donating to or getting involved with Pickleball Cares, visit their website for more information.
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