Pickleball Cares Youth Clinic Inspires and Empowers Oakland Youth

On August 19, 2023, the Lincoln Square Park and Recreation Center in Oakland, CA, was buzzing with energy and enthusiasm as Pickleball Cares, in collaboration with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), and the Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development, hosted a transformative youth pickleball clinic. Aptly named the “Pickleball Cares Youth Clinic,” this event proved to be a resounding success in its goal of introducing the game of pickleball to underserved youth while providing them with valuable life skills and opportunities for personal growth.

Unveiling the Power of Pickleball

Pickleball Cares, a dynamic organization with a passion for leveraging the game of pickleball to drive positive change, orchestrated an event that went beyond just teaching kids how to play a new sport. The clinic was designed to foster holistic development, nurturing aspects of education, health, self-confidence, and well-being.

The vision was clear: empower Oakland’s youth through pickleball, creating a bridge towards a brighter future. And that’s exactly what the event accomplished.

A Day of Connection and Learning

Under the Oakland sun, 25 enthusiastic youth gathered at the Lincoln Square Park and Recreation Center, eager to dive into the world of pickleball. The event was graced by professional pickleball players who provided personalized coaching, allowing each child to interact one-on-one with the sport’s seasoned veterans. This interaction not only taught the participants about the game’s nuances but also inspired them to dream bigger and aim higher. Participants not only had a good time, they also received paddles, balls, and backpacks.

According to Geoffrey Nguyen, Executive Director of Pickleball Cares, “At Pickleball Cares, our mission is to create lasting positive change in the lives of young individuals through the power of pickleball. The Pickleball Cares Youth Clinic at Lincoln Square Park and Recreation Center was an embodiment of our commitment to impact lives. Witnessing the enthusiasm and dedication of the Oakland youth as they embraced pickleball, formed connections, and embraced personal growth was truly inspiring. We believe that sports have the potential to shape character and empower communities, and this event was a shining example of that belief in action. We are grateful for the partnership with PCA and Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development, and we look forward to continuing our journey of making a difference, one pickleball game at a time.”

Center Director Gilbert Gong expressed his delight in hosting such a meaningful event at the Lincoln Square Park and Recreation Center. He remarked, “It was truly an honor to collaborate with PCA and Pickleball Cares and witness the transformative power of this event. Seeing our local youth engage with the sport, develop essential skills, and form connections was heartwarming. We believe in the potential of every child who walks through our doors, and the Pickleball Cares Youth Clinic perfectly aligned with our mission to provide enriching experiences.”

Gong further emphasized the event’s resonance with the center’s core values, highlighting how the clinic seamlessly blended recreation with character-building. He acknowledged that the lasting impact of the clinic on the participants exemplified the positive outcomes that are achievable when communities come together to support the growth of their youth, Lincoln Square staff utilized the clinic as an opportunity further develop their knowledge of pickleball, and are now teaching children during their after-school program, and with further support, intend to introduce a public program for all.


The Pickleball Cares Youth Clinic held on August 19, 2023, stands as a shining example of how sports can be a catalyst for change. Beyond introducing kids to a fun game, it introduced them to a world of possibilities, friendship, and personal development. As the echoes of laughter and the bounce of pickleballs filled the air that day, it was evident that this event was not just about a sport—it was about nurturing potential, fostering connections, and truly caring for the future of Oakland’s youth.