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.

Brookline Recreation Therapy is hiring! To view and apply for jobs with us, visit

Are you a student studying Recreation Therapy? Consider being an intern with us! We offer internship year-round. We take applications on a rolling basis. To view the job description and learn how to apply click here. Complete applications can be sent to Micah at We are also happy to schedule you for an informational interview

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. To view the current line up and to register, click here
Forever Young

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.

OTT Sailing Group 1

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.



Walking Club

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

Walking Club Spring 2021

Want to support our programs? Consider donating!

To support Brookline Recreation Therapy, mail a check to us directly and include in the memo line that their donation is supporting Brookline Recreation Therapy. Checks can be made payable to Brookline Recreation and mailed to our office at 133 Eliot Street, Brookline, MA 02467.  Please indicate if the donation is private or public, if you have a request on how the funds should be used, and if you need an official confirmation of the donation being received.

Our Tax ID Number is: 040-001-102

To support Brookline Special Olympics, checks should be mailed directly to Special Olympics and include in the memo line that their donation is supporting Brookline Recreation. Checks can be made payable to Special Olympics Massachusetts and mailed to the Special Olympics Massachusetts office at 512 Forest Street, Marlborough, MA 01752.

Athlete & Volunteer Participation Forms

Brookline Recreation is always looking for dedicated Special Olympics athletes and volunteers! Without our dedicated volunteers and athletes, we wouldn't have the amazing program that we have today. We pride ourselves on looking at and celebrating the therapeutic benefits of sports, not just the final score. 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. 

Flag Football

Current Season:


Season Dates: March 4, 2023 to June 11, 2023

Practice Day/time: Saturdays, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM  

Practice Location: Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center, 60 Tappan St, Brookline, MA 02445

State Games: June 10, 2023 and June 11, 2023 at Blodgett Pool at Harvard University, 65 N Harvard St, Boston, MA 02163

Track and Field 

Season Dates: March 26, 2023 to June 11, 2023 

Practice Day/time: Sundays, 2:00 to 3:30 

Practice Location: Harry Downes Field, 24 Highland Rd, Brookline, MA 02445

State Games: June 10, 2023 and June 11, 2023 at McCurdy Outdoor Track at Harvard University, 145 N Harvard St, Boston, MA 02134

Upcoming Season:


Season Dates: June 22, 2023 to August 19, 2023

Practice Day/time: Thursdays, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM  

Practice Location: Cypress Field,  60 Tappan St, Brookline, MA 02445

State Games: Saturday  August 19, 2023

Game Schedule: TBA

To register, click here

 Special Olympics Sports offered through Brookline Recreation Therapy


  • Flag Football
  • 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
  • Snowshoeing

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 with us this winter


  • 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!