The mission of the Recreation Therapy Division of the Brookline Recreation Department is to provide effective, Therapeutic-based programs for youth through adult populations who have disabling conditions and/or illnesses in an effort to promote positive growth, development, and independence. This is accomplished through the provision of recreation services in a safe, structured, and prosperous environment via the Brookline Recreation Department.
Recreation Therapy in Brookline
The Brookline Recreation Therapy Division provides evidence based recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses, aged youth to adult. Serving the Greater Boston area, some programs provide specialized instruction, while others are inclusive for people of all abilities. The Brookline Recreation Therapy Division is also home to Brookline Special Olympics, one of the largest Special Olympics Chapters in Massachusetts. The Recreation Therapy Division is managed by our Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Micah Barshay, and is supported by dedicated part time staff and volunteers. For more information about the Brookline Recreation Therapy Division, contact Micah at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (617) 730-2069.
What is Recreation Therapy?
Recreation Therapy is a form of therapy that uses leisure modalities and the things you like to do to increase functional independence, reduce barriers related to recreation, and improve the overall quality of life for individuals living with disabilities. “Recreation Therapy means, a treatment service designed to restore, remediate, and rehabilitate, a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.”
Why is Recreation Therapy so important?
Research supports the concept that people with active, satisfying lifestyles will be happier and healthier. Recreation Therapy provides services, and treatment which are based on the individuals’ interests and lifestyle. This allows them to better engage in therapy and apply these functional improvements in all areas of their life. For individuals who have functional deficits and a need for therapy, Recreation Therapy services which integrate the client’s lifestyles and natural environments are often the most clinically appropriate manner to achieve meaningful outcomes. Recreation Therapy allows for better generalization to enhance individuals’ functional orientation to treatment. Put simply, Recreation Therapy works to improve individuals’ functioning and keep them as active, healthy and independent as possible in their chosen life pursuits.
Forever Young is a social group for individuals 21 years-old and up and is a great way to make friends and enjoy the area with bi-weekly dinners. Forever Young meets at a different restaurant every other week from 5:30PM-7:00PM. Attendance is free; you just pay for your food. Transportation will not be provided, please arrange to meet at the scheduled restaurants. To view the current line up and to register, click here
On the Town Outings
Join us for our Friday Night outings for teens and adults ages 14 and older. On The Town is a great way to explore the community, experience different recreational activities and build friendships. These outings are facilitated by the Brookline Recreation Therapy Staff. The cost includes transportation to and from the Eliot Recreation Center, food, and any program fees. Pre-registration is required for trips at least a week in advance.
- Register for upcoming trips
Special Olympics of Massachusetts (SOMA)
The SOMA program has a local Brookline Recreation Chapter in the north section. A number of training programs for Brookline children and adults are available throughout the year. Each program is designed to assist athletes improve their physical fitness and athletic skills and ultimately prepare them for one or more local and statewide competitions per sport season.
Athletes must be at least 6 years-old to train. Athletes must be at least 8 years old to train and compete in the local and statewide competitions. Training programs typically meet once per week for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
The walking club offers a chance to improve your physical health while socializing with others. Come get to know others within our TR program, make some new friends, and come enjoy what our town has to offer! Attending our walking club will give you the chance to discover new spots around Brookline to spend time outside and in the community. Walking club will be held on Tusdays from 4:30pm to 5:30pm weekly.
- To register, click here.
Sensory Friendly Swim
Our sensory friendly swim time blocks allow for family and children a safe times to enjoy Brookline's Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center. This time block is specifically reserved for our sensory friendly group to have fun and work on swimming techniques and confidence in the water. This program also helps our participants improve on their physical fitness and is a great opportunity to engage with others who share a common goal. Click here to join us Saturdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm!
Sensory Friendly Ice Skating
Our sensory friendly ice skating program is for families and children to enjoy the Jack Kirrane Ice Rink in Brookline. This program is specifically designed for our participants with disabilities and their families to enjoy open skate in a less crowded, less stimulating environment. Grab your skates or rent a pair to join us on one of our Friday dates from 5-6 pm! Click here to register
Athlete & Volunteer Participation Forms
Brookline Recreation is always looking for dedicated Special Olympics athletes and volunteers! If you are interested in participating or volunteering in any SOMA sport, please print off and fill out the proper form below and mail it to:
133 Eliot St.
Brookline, MA 02467
Season Dates: March 5, 2022 until June 11, 2022
Practice Day/time: Saturdays from 3:00 to 4:00 PM
Practice Location: Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center, 60 Tappan St, Brookline, MA
Track & Field
Season Dates: April 3, 2022 until June 11, 2022
Practice Day/time: Sunday from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Practice Location: Harry Downes Field,24 Highland Rd, Brookline, MA 02445
Upcoming Season: Softball
Season Dates: June 13, 2022 to August 20, 2022
Special Olympics Sports offered through Brookline Recreation Therapy
- Flag Football
Discover what it feels like to be a part of a team this fall! Flag football features all of the fun of football, without the physical contact! Not interested in football? That's okay! You can cheer on our teams from the sideline with our cheerleading squad instead!
Basketball is the largest Brookline Special Olympic sport! With 6 teams ranging in age and ability level, there is sure to be a place for everyone!
Snowshoes are shoes that go on the bottom of your snow boot to allow you to walk on snow! The start of snowshoeing depends on when there is snow enough on the ground. Come take a winter wonder walk at the Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course
- Track and Field
With the support and encouragement of their teammates, athletes have an increased opportunity to focus on improving their individual performance in track and field or swimming events during the spring season. Each sport has a long list of events to choose from so everyone has a chance to shine!
Make your summer a home run by joining Brookline's softball team! We have two teams so there is always space for athletes of all abilities!