Our story

We exist to get children active, having fun and learning together. Learn more about how we got here!

a group of small children playing parachute games
two people passing a football to one another
a child runing towards a red top coach
a group of people in botswana smiling with their hands in the air
a red top and a child playing with sports cones

We believe that sport and activity play a vital role in the well-being and development of children.

This belief drives and informs everything that we do. It’s because of this that back in 1991, out of a church in Sheffield, a most unlikely of heroes – a humble PE teacher, called Nigel – spotted an opportunity to offer summer camps to British children – something which had already taken off in the USA.

Holiday camps

Nigel begged and borrowed enough sports equipment to start a handful of camps in the north of England and our charitable foundation was born. Pretty soon, our Chief Executive, Richard, was handed the baton, and helped us to scale the business to span the breadth of the UK.  And it wasn’t long before other opportunities came knocking at our door.

Recruitment

We’ve always known how difficult it can be to recruit great talent to run our activity camps, so we decided to do it for ourselves: first for camp leaders, and later – as demand increased – for other childcare partners across the world. Today, we’re one of the leading recruiters for sports coaches, childcare workers, play leaders, nannies and managers for seasonal work in the UK, on cruises and in resorts.

Partner programmes

During a holiday in France, our CEO Richard noticed that his kids were bored by the uninspiring programmes offered by the resort’s holiday clubs – and that the industry as a whole was setting the bar pretty low. So we reached out to commercial partners to help them to design and deliver more exciting programmes for families. From cruise lines to package holiday providers and the military, we’re offering thousands of children the opportunity to develop and have fun in a healthy, positive and safe environment.

Communities

Since our earliest days, we’d always dreamed of helping developing communities around the world. And – buoyed by the success of our UK camps – we were able to realise that dream in 2011 when we started a community volunteer training programme, inspiring and equipping leaders across the world to deliver child-friendly programmes.

Over the years, we’ve had many names. You might have known us as Kings Camps, Kings Recruit, Kings Sports or the Kings Foundation. Today, we’re simply Kings Active Foundation: a single global brand that’s committed to transforming young lives. Just as we’ve been doing for over 25 years. To date, we’ve worked with over 2 million children and counting. And we’ve done it all with a smile, with boundless energy and for the privilege of seeing young lives thrive – that’s the Kings Factor.

And who knows what the future will bring? The need to get children active has never been greater. But whatever happens, we’ll remain driven by our passion for a world where children love being active. And we couldn’t be more excited!

Meet our team

Recent developments

Undertook a brand review, leading to the Kings Active Foundation, our central name and ID that unites our vision, our mission and our work.

2019

2018

We launched Active Leaders, a programme that equips, enables and inspires children to be peer-to-peer activity leaders in their school.

Provided Active Play sessions for 9,500 children at schools across the UK.

2017

2016

Only organisation in our sector to open up to independent on-line customer reviews, scoring a 97% satisfaction rate.

Trained 500 community leaders to use sport and active games to deliver child friendly programmes in marginalised communities.

2015

2014

Provided work, training and professional development opportunities in the UK and internationally for 1,000 under 25s.

Developed a hosted online learning platform – Work Qualified – that allows organisations to deliver pre-employment training in a highly effective way. A number of high-profile child companies and organisations involved with children’s and family services now use this service.

2013

2012

Helped a number of companies in the holiday sector to improve the quality of their children’s services. Thomas Cook and Norwegian Cruise Line reported significantly increased customer scoring as result of their partnerships with us.

Launched the Kings Volunteer program to provide equipment, inspiration and know-how to enable individuals and groups to use sport to transform children, young people and communities.

2011

2010

Specialist gymnastics and learn to swim programmes were launched. Our Supporting Families Programme was introduced, which now provides 1,000 subsidised places at our UK camps for children from a range of difficult or disadvantaged family circumstances.

Specialist soccer programme International Soccer Schools was launched.

2009

2008

Kings Camps was launched in South Africa and in 2009 we operated camps in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Our work in Botswana and Uganda became established as more independent, self-governed charitable enterprises with a momentum towards local sustainability.

The charity agreed a partnership with the England Cricket captain, Michael Vaughan, to establish cricket programmes in the UK that enabled increasing numbers of children to experience cricket. Initiated a Kings Camps provision for military families involved with conflict; work which has received praise from the highest ranking military personnel.

2007

2006

Kings Camps launched in Botswana as an income generating activity to provide a childcare service to families, to help fund our work amongst poorer communities and provide local people with paid and voluntary employment opportunities.

Full-time outreach workers for Botswana and Uganda were appointed to develop sports ministry programmes for children and leaders.

2005

2002

Further consultancy contracts were secured, most noticeably with Cunard Line for their family services on board QE2 and QM2 ships. A team of volunteers was sent to Botswana to run outreach programmes for children from disadvantaged communities.

The charity initiated work across Europe with Eurocamp; this was the first consultancy agreement that was processed through the charity’s trading company.

2001

2000

The charity was awarded the Investors in People standard.

Get in touch

Whether you’re interested in joining us in our mission to get children active, or want to find out more about our work please get in touch.

enquiries@kingsactive.org
0114 263 2150