Recreation Therapy


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 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.

Virtual Programs on ZOOM

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Brookline Recreation Therapy programs are now being offered on ZOOM. TAll virtual programs are currently free and open to the public.  Please click here for the schedule for this week. If you are calling in, please call  646-828-7666 and enter the Meeting ID To join our email list, email Micah Barshay at

Forever Young

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. Contact Micah, Recreation Specialist by phone or email to RSVP or to be added to the list. The Spring 2020 schedule can be found by clicking here

Forever Young remains on hold for 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are hoping to resume in mid 2021

On the Town Outings

Join us for our Friday Night (5:30PM-10:00PM) 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 these trips. 

All On The Town Trips are on hold for 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are hoping to resume trips starting in mid 2021

Upcoming Outings

Trip Name
Date of TripRegistration deadline

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.







Special Olympics Logo

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:

Brookline Recreation
133 Eliot St.
Brookline, MA 02467

Call (617)730-2069 with any questions. If you are over 18 years old, don't fill out the reference section on the volunteer application form.

To acess our COVID- 19 Return To Play Gudelines (last updated at 9/29/20, please click here
Have a question regarding the return to play gudelines? Check out our FAQ by clicking here


Current Season: Spring

Please remember to register online by clicking here or calling 617) 730-2069

Register to play by emailing or calling 617-730-2069

Sports offered: Aquatics 

Season Dates: February 23, 2020 to June 14, 2020

  • Practice Day/time: Sundays, 9:00 to 10:15
  • Practice Location: Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center
  • State Qualifiers: May 2, 2020 at Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center, 915 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
  • State Games: May 13, 2020 and May 14, 2020 Blodgett Pool, 65 N Harvard St, Boston, MA 02134

Sports offered: Track and Field 

Season Dates: April 5, 2020 to  June 14, 2020 

  • Practice Day/time: Sundays, 2:00 to 3:30
  • Practice Location: Harry Downes Field, 24 Highland Rd, Brookline, MA 02445
  • State Qualifiers: May 17, 2020, Milton Academy, 170 Centre St, Milton, MA 02186
  • State Games: June 13 and June 14, 2020, McCurdy Outdoor Track, 145 N Harvard St, Boston, MA 02134

Upcoming Season: Summer

Sports offered: Softball

Season Dates: TBA

  • Practice Day/time: TBA
  • Practice Location: TBA
  • State Qualifiers: TBA
  • State Games: August 22 and August 23, 2020 Greater Marlborough

 Special Olympics Sports offered through Brookline Recreation Therapy


  • Flag Footabll
  • Cheerleading

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

Basketball is not only the largest Brookline Special Olympic sport, it is also the only sport offered during our winter season. With 6 teams ranging in age and ability level, there is sure to be a place for everyone!


  • Aquatics
  • 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!


  • Softball

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!