Boccia is a precision ball sport, similar to bocce, and related to bowls. The name "boccia" is derived from the Latin word for "boss" – bottia. The sport is contested at local, national and international levels by athletes with severe physical disabilities. It was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy but now includes athletes with other severe disabilities affecting motor skills. It became a Paralympic Sport in 1984.
Football For All
This programme has as its central aim the delivery of football opportunities to people who may not ordinarily get a chance to play the ‘beautiful game’. In 2010 the Football For All programme established a network of Football For All Clubs throughout Ireland. These clubs provide opportunities for children and adults with specific needs and who may struggle to excel in the competitive environment of underage football or who need additional supports to develop as footballers to join the club, train and compete at FAI FFA club festivals.
GAA For All
The GAA for All programme is a collaboration project between Mayo GAA and Mayo Sports Partnership.
This pilot initiative aim to give Young Adults with a disability the opportunity to play adapted Gaelic games in their community for a six-week programme. The programme was hugely successful with 35 participants. Planning for the next programme is under way.
Kick Start to Recovery
Working in partnership with the FAI to deliver opportunities to take part in soccer for participants in mental health services. Participants will have the opportunity to experience 60 minutes of quality soccer training instruction provided by an experienced FAI coach once a week. For more information contact email@example.com
Sensory Friendly Junior Park Run
As part of the Lough Lannagh Junior Park Run the Mayo Autism Camp and Mayo Sports Partnership launched the first ASD friendly Junior Park Run in March, 2020. This offers an opportunity for children who may not have been able to take part in the Junior Park Run an event of their own which includes children of all abilities.
Mixed Ability Road Bowling
Road bowling has been a tradition in the Westport/Aughagower area since it was introduced in the late 1800s when the railway line was being built. Men from Cork who worked on the railway would take part in road bowling as their evening pastime. Locals from the town area of Westport began showing an interest in the sport and soon started to play the game on a regular basis.
Mixed Ability Road Bowling opens up the sport to people of all abilities to be able to get involved and compete in local and national competitions. The All-Ireland Unlimited Road Bowling Championship is held once a year with Aughagower Road Bowling Club hosting on four occasions.
Autism Surfing Programme
The therapeutic power of the waves is used to help children with autism connect with their families and with each other. The Autism Surfing Programme pairs autistic children with volunteers to help them have fun with a surfing experience. This programme is run by the Mayo Surf School, in conjunction with Mayo Sports Partnership, at Carrowniskey beach, Louisburgh.
Inclusive Summer Camps
Summer Camps held in Mayo throughout the Summer season which provide activities, events and fun for children with a disability and their friends. Mayo Sports Partnership have been running these camps for over ten years with great success. Children participate in Basketball, Tennis, Soccer, Little Athletics, GAA, Rounders, Boccia and lots of other fun games and activities
First played over 20 years ago in a residential school for children with disabilities attached to St Mary’s Hospital in Dublin. Wheelchair Hurling offers people in a wheelchair the opportunity to play the fastest sport in the world. Wheelchair hurling is now recognised by the GAA and a number of players from Mayo have been involved at provincial and international level.
Mayo Sports Partnership have a selection of Para Cycles for children and adults that are loaned out to participants that are interested in the sport. The bikes can be booked through the Sports Partnership by participants. We also run programmes from time to time on the athletics track in Ballina where bikes can be housed.
Gym and Swim Programmes
Mayo Sports Partnership, in Association with local leisure centres, promote gym and swim opportunities for people with disabilities all over the county. The latest addition to this is the purchase of active rollers which allow wheelchair users to participate in spinning activities and are the latest in adapted fitness equipment. These active rollers are located in the new Sports Complex in Lough Lannagh and in Westport Leisure Park.
Wheelchair Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding is one of the most popular pastimes in Ireland presently. Wheelchair Paddle Boarding offers wheelchair users the opportunity to participate in paddle boarding activities and to get out on the water in various locations across Mayo, including Louisburgh and Lough Lannagh.
As part of the Castlebar Adventure Hub the new Orienteering site at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, will be fully accessible to people with disabilities. Adventure Hub Co-Ordinator Jarlath McHale is creating an accessible activity at the popular site. For more information contact Jarlath McHale on firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Schools programmes
Sports Inclusion Officer Ray McNamara offers Special Schools six-week programmes in different sports at different times of the year. The latest programme in St. Bríd’s Special School, Castlebar, consisted of two 30-minute sessions with different groups in fundamental movements and soccer skills. This was a hugely successful programme which benefited both pupils and teachers.
Soccer with Rehab Care takes please every Tuesday at 10.30am in An Sportlann, Castlebar. There are also a number of soccer blitz’s organised in Solar 21 Park for Adults with Intellectual disabilities in association with the FAI for more info contact email@example.com
Basketball takes place every Wednesday’s with the N.L.N. at 3pm in An Sportlann Castlebar
Tag Rugby with Rehab care take place every Wednesday at 2.30pm in An Sportlann.
Rehab Care take part in swimming Lessons in the new Swimming pool in Lough Lannagh on Mondays and Thursdays. This programme offers the opportunity for participants to learn how to swim and become comfortable in the water.
For more information contact Ray Mc Namara
Phone: 094 9064362