Kids Enjoy Exercise Now Los Angeles (KEEN LA) holds the mission to empower youth with disabilities by providing free, non-competitive programs of sports, fitness and fun. KEEN LA’s vision is to foster confidence, self-esteem and community inclusion for youth with disabilities, strengthen communities through education of volunteers, and provide families with respite and a supportive network. Participants are visually impaired, have autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or another significant physical or intellectual disabilities. KEEN LA is also one of the few organizations that can accommodate those who are nonverbal. By offering a variety of activities and pairing each child with one of over 700 volunteer “coaches,” KEEN LA is able to assist children with realizing their goals of becoming athletes.
KEEN LA offers sports and recreation programs based on pairing one-to-one a trained volunteer with an athlete. Its free general sports, basketball, and aquatics programs are open to all and are non-competitive, to ensure access and inclusion in programs of athletics, socialization, and wellness. KEEN LA primarily serves communities located in Central, East, and South Los Angeles County. The general sports program also includes soccer, tennis, volleyball, Zumba, and bowling. Programs occur on the weekends with each session lasting for 1 to 1.5 hours. Each practice session includes a volunteer orientation as well as individual “showcase” and appreciation opportunities with the team play.