Every Tuesday, the Jason Taylor Foundation dedicates the day to spotlighting one of our partners, volunteers, or celebrity friends that have supported our tireless efforts toward building a brighter future for the youth of the South Florida community. This week the JTF is spotlighting the 8th annual Ping-Pong Smash Kids Clinic – supported by UPS.
On Sunday, November 1, 2015, the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla. plays host to the Global Wealth Management JT’s Ping-Pong Smash 12 presented by Publix. The fast and fun fundraising event has continually grown in popularity over its 11 years but today, we’d like to shine a light on the programmatic piece of the Smash event that most people never get to see.
For the past seven years, the Jason Taylor Foundation has held the Ping-Pong Smash Kid’s Clinic prior to the fan favorite main event, rewarding 100 deserving children from the South Florida community. The clinic, supported by UPS, will give the children in attendance an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the world’s fastest sport, table tennis, from former Puerto Rican Junior National Table Tennis Champion and three-time JT’s Ping-Pong Smash Champion, Juan Ly. Ly and his table tennis club team from the University of Miami will demonstrate the rules of the game, scoring and sport-related vocabulary, along with general techniques, before allowing guided practice of each of the techniques. The clinic will finish with a period of free play during which time participants enjoy fresh new music and crowd favorites played by Power Parties DJs and Lighting and have had surprise guests such as Miami Dolphins mascot, TD.
Juan Ly’s credentials to host the clinic are indisputable as he won the Junior Championships, a Collegiate Championship at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and went on to compete for the Puerto Rican Table Tennis National Team for nearly ten years. Following his international career, Juan began teaching table tennis to the youth in his community. He currently teaches table tennis at the University of Miami for their tennis table club, and gives private lessons to youth and adults alike. After Ly’s second Ping-Pong Smash championship, he wanted to find a way to give back to the community so he worked closely with the JTF to develop the Kids Clinic. It has been a wonderful synergy for him to continue to contribute to the event through the sport he loves.
After the conclusion of the Kids Clinic, each of the participants will enjoy a complimentary meal and then get to participate in the Best Buy Fun Zone, which will feature several interactive stations such as a three-in one sports inflatable, complimentary haircuts and braiding, an electronic gaming area compliments of Best Buy Davie, caricature artists and free popcorn and cotton candy. The opportunity to collect autographs from the many celebs participating in the main event adds to the great experience for these deserving middle schoolers.