KEEN London Newsletter issue 31, August 2017


We couldn’t wait to tell you about two HUGE KEEN London events this Summer: our amazing 15th birthday party and another fantastic Summer residential. We hope you enjoy this special newsletter and we’ll see you again in the Autumn term. In the meantime — please take a look at our shiny new website:

Birthday bonanza

KEEN is 15!

We marked our 15th birthday in style with an amazing party on Sunday 15th July. For the first time, athletes, parents and coaches from all three centres came together to celebrate at the Three Corners Adventure Playground in Clerkenwell. While some enjoyed the slides, climbing frames and swings, others tucked into delicious treats, including waffles and — of course! — birthday cake. We had the chance to say hello to some old friends and make some new ones, including the Speaker of Hackney Council, Soraya Adejare, who helped present some very special awards to our most dedicated coaches.

The party wouldn’t have been possible without the organisation skills of our Co-ordinators, Nicole, Andy and Will; the dedication of our volunteers, and the fun and smiles of our amazing athletes and their wonderful families.

Special birthday thanks also go to:

  • Sam and Harriet for the face-painting. You can book Sam here
  • Gareth and Leo Burnett London for the great poster boards
  • The lovely ladies at Dessert Station for the waffles
  • Alice Hawkins for the amazing cake
  • Isobel Croot for all the fantastic photographs
  • David Pardoe for filming the day and editing the video (coming soon!)
  • Abel & Cole for providing oranges, apples and bananas
  • Steven Dowd and the wonderful Rainbow Bakery team in Hackney for the bread, fruit buns and banana cake

See the full gallery here…

Summer fun is here again

Another super residential

It’s that time of year again and here is coach Chris with his report from this summer’s residential trip:

KEEN’s summer residential has a reputation as one of the highlights of the KEEN calendar. This year was certainly no exception and provided fun and laughter in abundance.

We arrived at PGL Marchants Hill Adventure Centre in Surrey late on Friday afternoon. After settling in and refuelling at our accommodation, we headed down into the woods for a bonfire. Friday night was a typical British summer’s night — raining — but this didn’t dampen our spirits one bit. We were still able to get a bonfire going, sing campfire songs, and toast some delicious marshmallows. A particular hit from the campfire songs was the ‘Hello my name is Joe…’ song, which fast became a KEEN favourite over the weekend.

On Saturday morning we divided into four teams for the weekend’s exciting activities. Our team started on the sensory trail, which tested our teamwork skills as we had to navigate our way under, over, and through obstacles whilst blindfolded! Next we moved on to the giant swing for a stomach turning, fun filled experience. In the afternoon the athletes tested their shooting — yes, that’s right! — in the rifle range! We ended the day’s activities with the athletes showing off their impressive climbing skills. In the evening we headed back to our accommodation for a disco, featuring impressive dance moves, conga lines, and limbo dancing!

After a well-deserved rest we woke on Sunday morning refreshed and ready to take on the new challenges of the day. Our first activity was raft building — using only rope, barrels, and wood we built our own rafts and raced them across the lake. Unbelievably, we managed to get 10 people onto our homemade raft without sinking! We ended the weekend by enjoying the beautiful scenery on a walk navigated by the athletes, and with an energetic game of aeroball.

As my first experience of a KEEN residential I was overwhelmed by the fearlessness and positive attitudes of all athletes. It was an absolute pleasure to see all of the smiles and laughter as they overcame new challenges. The weekend exceeded all expectations and was a joy to be a part of. A huge thank you to all athletes, coaches, and to Andy and Karen for organising, and being part of such a fantastic trip.

See the full gallery of photos from the trip…


At KEEN London, we couldn’t do any of this great work without our volunteers, fund-raisers and sponsors. We are also very interested in talking to companies who can provide services in kind. If you’d like to help with any of our activities, contact or call 0207 686 3172.

KEEN London is a registered charity, number 1124915. It is also a limited company registered in England (number 6579658), and its registered office is Unit B11, 3 Bradbury Street, London N16 8JN

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