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Creating, supporting and promoting inclusion

We exist because we believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to be included in community-based social and recreational activities. KEEN is about creating, supporting, and promoting opportunities for everyone, but especially groups that are often excluded from them.

Our work has three strands to it. We run our own programme of regular, inclusive sessions and projects each year. In 2018-19, we ran 258 individual sessions, with over 230 participants taking part.

Secondly, we support other local organisations to make their own provision more inclusive. Primarily, we do this through our Sports Partner Programme, working in partnership with over 10 local sports clubs.

Finally, we celebrate and promote inclusion more generally, through the grassroots campaigning and movement for inclusion created and led by our participants and team members.

 
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Inclusive projects based in the community

KEEN’s projects are adapted to include groups often excluded, for example children and adults with learning/physical disabilities.

Participants from all kinds of background take part together, some of whom have the additional role of ‘Session Buddy’, offering other participants their support, from a 1-to-1 pairing to small group supervision.

We welcome ages 4 and upwards to our age and development matched sessions. All under 25 sessions are free, with a £6 contribution towards our two adult specific GrEAT sessions.

To register as a participant for any of our sessions or projects, please click here.

Find out more about our Sessions and Projects here

The KEEN team

Over 250 amazing Session Buddies each year, 6 Session Coordinators, an active committee, 2 paid staff, and an experienced board of trustees.

Something about KEEN attracts people who are friendly, relaxed, and maybe a little quirky! We have a great time, and KEEN is the root of many special friendships and memories for many.

With a majority of our team being students in Oxford, it is constantly being refreshed and added to with new energy and awesome ideas. 

We also organise a programme of challenging and CV building internships and work placements. You can read about our current team below!

Session Buddies and Leaders

Internships and work placements

Session Coordinators

Staff

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ommittee

Trustees

A potted history of KEEN

KEEN's beginnings can be traced to the Autumn of 1984, when a Rhodes scholar called John Simon arrived in Oxford. John had volunteered with the Special Olympics in the States, and noticing a lack of opportunity for people with special needs to take part in sports in Oxford, decided to do something about it....

With the help of an enthusiastic parent Krzysia Gossage on side, what was then known as the Oxford Sports Group was born! A handful of students from New College, Oxford, gathered on weekends to play tennis and other games with young people with disabilities. At the very first session, there were around 6-15 children ranging in age from 6-14 years old. A high ratio of coaches to young people meant the session was accessible and fun for everyone. What surprised John is how much the volunteer base grew. Everyone was having such a good time, that quickly they had twice as many coaches as participants!

The Oxford Sports Group continued under Sean Mahoney, before being passed on to another Rhodes Scholar Elliot Portnoy for its third year. Under Elliot's leadership, and with the continued help of Kryzsia and many others, KEEN came into existence out of the Oxford Sports Group, this being formalised on the 29th April 1988 in its founding document.

KEEN quickly expanded in scope and vision, and 30 years later, the group has developed from the original tennis coaching programme into an international non-profit movement that serves hundreds of young people with disabilities each week in cities around the UK and US, training over 30,000 volunteer as a result. Find out more about KEEN's history here.

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Our Policies

KEEN Oxford has provided our activities for over 30 years, accumulating a wealth of experience and expertise. Everyone’s well-being is paramount in everything we do, and we have in place a full set of polices, operating procedures, and risk assessments to ensure that we always provide a safe, secure and fun environment for everyone.

These are updated whenever necessary and all documents are reviewed on an annual basis. The latest versions of these documents can be found here. KEEN Oxford has public liability insurance for up to £10,000,000 and a copy of our Certificate of Liability is available on request.

KEEN Calendar

See when our upcoming events are below. For more detailed information on our sessions each week, you can receive the weekly KEEN bulletin by joining our mailing list.

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Click here to read the KEEN Blog!

 
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Other local groups

Oxford FA & Summertown Stars

Cerebral Palsy Sport will be delivering a Kick Start football session with Summertown Stars AFC and Oxfordshire FA.

The session is open to males and females aged 5 and over, including adults, with Cerebral Palsy and associated physical disabilities, who would like to play football

The session will be focussed around fun and learning new skills.