Are you KEEN?

 

KEEN is about fantastic opportunities for everyone, but particularly those children and adults with a physical or learning disability, and/or special need. You are at the heart of our community, and our values.

Describing KEEN really means describing the friendly, vibrant, and diverse community at its heart. We aim to be a fully community led organisation, harnessing the energy and ideas of all our participants, while understanding what is important to each of them.

KEEN is focused around our innovative and inclusive session programme and projects, in which anyone can participate (it is extremely rare that we cannot cater to a particular need). Participants are welcome from age 4 upwards, with 2 regular sessions for adults.

Our young people and/or adults participate alongside our team of Session Coaches and other team members as equals.  Our team are all brimming with enthusiasm and energy, and great at getting everyone involved, laughing and smiling. :)

 
 
Banner - Volunteers darkened.png
 
 

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.

 
 
 

The KEEN team

Over 250 amazing Session Coaches 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 Coaches and Leaders

Internships and work placements

Session Coordinators

Staff

KEEN C

ommittee

Trustees

Colour spiral banner.png

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.

 
 

 Blog

 

Coming soon(ish)! :)

 
Colour spiral banner.png