Foundation to launch on National Pickleball Day, youth clinic set for Saturday


Striving to make a difference in the lives of children and teens across the country, a new pickleball nonprofit organization headquartered in Jacksonville Beach is officially launching on Monday, Aug. 8.

This day also marks the observance of National Pickleball Day, which the organization believes will bring increased awareness to the game of pickleball and its ability to bring together people of diverse backgrounds through the sport.

In addition to togetherness, First Dink was created to foster personal growth, build self-confidence and provide inspiration and leadership opportunities among the nation’s youth.

To lead into its launch on National Pickleball Day and to introduce area youth to the sport itself, First Dink is hosting a “Pickleball 101” youth clinic from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at South Beach Park Pickleball Courts, located at 2514 South Beach Parkway, Jacksonville Beach. This event will provide an introduction to the game of pickleball, including rules of etiquette.

All participants must wear athletic shoes and are encouraged to bring a small towel and bottled water. Parents must sign a release form. There is a $5 registration fee. Paddles and pickleballs will be provided. To reserve a spot, email the name and age of the participant to:, or call 904-580-0411. Space is limited.

“We are thrilled to provide this opportunity for young people to experience this great sport,” said First Dink Executive Director Sam Veal.

The First Dink Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) youth organization. Its mission is to impact the lives of kids and teens in a way that builds character, instills long-term life skills and values and promotes healthy lifestyle choices — all through the game of pickleball.

The First Dink Foundation combines youth pickleball instruction and life skills development through its coaching and mentoring design. This is achieved through incorporation of the positive youth development methodology attributes, which consists of curiosity, character, connection, caring, competency, confidence and contribution into its programming and outreach efforts.

Positive youth pickleball is just part of a much larger mission at First Dink. The available programs strengthen character and help kids learn the skills they need to grow into capable, independent and successful adults.

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