KEEN Chicago: Kickball Game

Laura Fillenwarth

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Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) Chicago provides free fitness and recreation programs to kids age 5-21 with disabilities. By pairing athletes 1:1 with a volunteer, KEEN is able to support individuals with more severe disabilities. Our programs are free of charge and provide respite and support to families, disability awareness training for our community of volunteers, but most importantly the opportunity for youth with disabilities to have fitness, fun and friendship at their level, celebrating their abilities. KEEN is a small program with one staff member. Within regular programming, volunteers are recruited who work 1:1 with our athletes to engage them in physical activity during programming. We serve 140 athletes with disabilities across the city of Chicago.

This picture demonstrates just one of the ways our program works to make athletes accessible to our athletes. During this particular program, KEEN Chicago Athletes were paired with soccer players from Northwestern University's Women's Soccer Team in order to play a non-competitive game of kickball. While one KEEN athlete prepares to kick the soccer ball, another athlete cheers from the sidelines. With a little bit of support, our athletes truly can do anything.

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