Sport, Leisure & Recreational Department


The overall aim of the Sport, Leisure and Recreation Department is to promote the health and quality of the lives of the athletes in Western Care Association, with specific responsibilities for the Special Olympics Programme.

Western Care Association aims to provide the opportunities for all to participate locally, regionally and nationally in sports.

Benefits of Participation 

  • Improved physical fitness, increased co-ordination, better cardiovascular fitness and endurance.
  • Improved self esteem, self confidence and pride.
  • Improved social skills through integration with peers and people without a learning disability.
  • Opportunity to travel and experience other places and cultures.
  • Opportunity for family members to recognise abilities of their athletics, leading to greater pride and understanding.
  • Provides opportunity for developing friendships which are so important in their lives.
  • We focus on people’s ability rather than their disability.

Services Provided

The Sport, Leisure and Recreation Department provide an all year round training programme.  We provide opportunities to compete in competitions.  The main areas in the Special Olympics Programme are;-

(1)               Motor Activities.
(2)               Special Olympics Programme.
(3)               Clubs.
(4)               ALPS (Athlete Leadership Programme)

Motor Activities

This is a non-competitive programme for athletes who do not yet have the necessary skills and ability to take part in the Special Olympics Programme.  This is a specialised programme.   There are two main aspects of this:  Gym base and Water base.

This allows the athletes the opportunity to experience a range of activities, thus helping to improve their physical and psychological well being.  It also helps to improve their ability to interact with others.

Special Olympics Programme provides opportunity in many different sports i.e. Bowling, Athletics, Equestrian, Table-tennis, Basketball, Swimming, Motor Activities, Soccer, Golf, (BOCCE – similar to lawn bowls – this is a new sport).


There are three Special Olympic Clubs;-

    Bowling Club in Castlebar on Tuesdays from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
    Basketball Club in Sports & Leisure Centre, Ballina on Tuesdays from 4.45 pm to 6.00 pm
   Table Tennis Club in G.M.I.T. Castlebar on Thursdays from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm

Those clubs are very important to the athletes both from a sporting point of view but more importantly from a social aspect.  This also provides a great opportunity for family members to meet one another.

Class of Records Held

Service Users Records
Communication Records
Finance Records
Training Records
Procedure Records

Contact Details & Address

Teresa Ward, Sport, Leisure & Recreation Co-ordinator, Western Care Association, John Moore Road, Castlebar. 
Telephone /Mobile:  094-9029167 /087-2467857.  Fax:  094-9025207. Email