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#GoingToBat: Clayton Kershaw Encourages Others to Rise to the Challenge

Clayton Kershaw can often be found on the mound when he’s at Dodger Stadium. Last Thursday, however, he found himself behind a ping pong table, alongside celebrities and teammates for the 4th annual PingPong4Purpose event.

Kershaw’s Challenge, founded by Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, in 2011, began with Hope – not the feeling, but the name.

In 2010, Ellen, traveling without Clayton, met Hope in Lusaka, Zambia when she was a sick, malnourished 9-year-old orphan. By the end of Ellen’s trip to Zambia, she and Hope were inseparable. Upon her return to the States, Kershaw and Ellen sponsored Hope through a ministry organization that provided school fees, a daily meal and a discipleship program.

The following year, Ellen returned to Zambia with Clayton for the first time, just a few months after Ellen first met Hope.  Walking through the compounds of Lusaka, they found Hope.

After hearing about her past few months, something the Kershaws point to as a life-changing experience, they began Kershaw’s Challenge with a commitment to transform the lives of children in America, Africa and the Dominican Republic.

Today, Kershaw’s Challenge partners with organizations sharing the same mission, working alongside them on special projects to improve children’s lives. The charity also holds various events throughout the year to raise funds to support the organizations and projects the foundation works with.

The 4th annual PingPong4Purpose event proceeds benefit the efforts of Kershaw’s Challenge in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic to transform at-risk communities and the lives of children.

Celebrities and Kershaw’s teammates filled Dodger Stadium for the ping pong tournament. Actor and comedian Will Ferrell served as the evening’s host, keeping the crowd smiling throughout the night.  Eric Stonestreet of “Modern Family,” Derek Hough of “Dancing With the Stars,” Troy Garity of “Ballers,” and Mario Lopez of “Extra” were notable celebrity guests. Teammates Joc Pederson, A.J. Ellis, Justin Turner, Howie Kendrick, Enrique Hernandez, Scott Kazmir, Adrian Gonzalez, Rob Segedin, Kenta Maeda, Grant Dayton and Chase Utley were also in attendance.

While the laughs were abundant for the fierce ping pong competition, the true winners are the children who will benefit from the generous donations of the PingPong4Purpose sponsors.


To keep up with Kershaw’s Challenge last projects and events, visit their website at



Major Leaguers are #GoingToBat for causes near and dear to them, as they personify the Players Trust’s motto to ‘care, act and inspire.’ To learn more about the charitable interests and activities of Clayton Kershaw and other Major Leaguers, please click here.