Therapeutic Recreation
  • Therapeutic Rec
  • Special Olympics
  • Sunshine League
  • Wheelchair Sports

Parks & Recreation

Therapeutic Recreation: About Us

Terry Nash, CTRS – Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator
Terry Brooks – Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
Harlon Matthews – Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
Alicia Powell – Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
Cheryl Williams – Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

Download Therapeutic Recreation information:

The Henry County Parks and Recreation Therapeutic Department is so happy that you have chosen to be part of our wonderful program. Therapeutic Recreation is a form of therapy that is utilized to assist in treating various populations of people whom have emotional, mental, and/or physical conditions that hinder them from carrying out daily routines and activities.

Our therapeutic department is highly involved with various social events, outings, adaptive sports, and many other activities and opportunities for those in the community with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. We truly believe that leisure and recreation can be used to offer countless and empowering benefits. Everything from a healthy well-being to self-confidence and developing social skills can all be accomplished through recreation and leisure.

Our program utilizes various forms of activities and events in order to help enrich the lives of our participants. Our biggest partner is Special Olympics Georgia. Thus, we spend the majority of our time training our athletes to participate in the numerous events and state games that Special Olympics has to offer. Since starting our program, we have athletes that have participated in alpine skiing, basketball, floor hockey, cheerleading, volleyball, track & field athletics, tennis, table tennis, aquatics, soccer, bowling, softball, bocce, equestrian, kayaking and sailing!

In addition, we have an adaptive sports program that serves to assist wheelchair users who may choose to participate in any of the several wheelchair sports that we offer- basketball, tennis, handball, and football. We have both an adult and youth adaptive sports program, headed up by Harlon Matthews. By working in conjunction with the Henry County School System and AAASP (The American Association for Adaptive Sports Program), we are able to offer a variety of methods to get students who use wheelchairs involved.

We also offer a social events program known as our “Circle of Friends” group. Headed up by Cheryl Williams, the Circle of Friends is a social network for adults within our community whom have special needs. Various activities, outings, social dances, and other gatherings are held throughout the year to provide a social network and positive outlet for our athletes and participants. We truly believe that friendships and a solid support system are very important and critical necessities to help better and improve a person’s quality of life. The Circle of Friends program enables our athletes to make new friends and become well acquainted with one another.

In addition, we have a wheelchair sports program that provides sports opportunities for youth and adults with physical impairments, headed up by decorated wheelchair athlete Harlon Matthews.   Through our partnership with the Henry County School System and AAASP (The American Association for Adaptive Sports Programs), we are able to provide school-based competition for all Henry County Schools students with any physical limitation that prevents them from competing on traditional school teams.  This GHSA competition is against other school systems and includes Wheelchair Handball in the Fall, Wheelchair Basketball in the Winter and Wheelchair Football in the Spring.  Although Wheelchairs are used for competition a player is still eligible even if he/she does not use a wheelchair for mobility (crutches, canes, walkers or no mobility device used at all).

Finally, we would also like to inform you about our very own local “Sunshine League”. The Sunshine League is designed to provide an opportunity for intellectually and physically challenged boys and girls, ages 5 and up, to participate on their very own baseball team. The league enables these youth to enjoy the full benefits of organized sports within their community; making it possible for them to learn the skills of baseball through real life experience. The overall benefits lie in the socialization skills that the athletes gain from participating in sports (i.e. teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, etc.).The participant’s self-esteem will also be strengthened, as well as being provided with an opportunity to participate in mainstream activities.

Special Olympics


The mission of Henry County Special Olympics is to provide a variety of Olympic type sports and athletic competition year-round for all students and adults with intellectual disabilities. The experience gives each athlete opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes, and the community.

The sports that are offered year round: athletics, alpine skiing, aquatics, basketball, bocce, bowling, equestrian, floor hockey, kayaking, power lifting, softball, tennis and volleyball.


We train our athletes at least 8 weeks in advance for each state competition.The Competitions are Indoor Winter Games, Summer Games, Masters Bowling, Fall Games, and Equestrian. We also participate in tournaments throughout the year around the state. There are also opportunities for us to compete on National and World Game levels. 

Special Olympics is proud to have sponsors that allow us to take our athletes to each competition and opportunity made available to Henry County. We are proud to have received a donation from Resurgens Charitable Foundation to help support our team of 5 attending the National Games in June 2014, competing in bowling, bocce, and tennis. We would also like to thank Central Ga EMC for their continued support of our program, as well as the Atlanta Motor Speedway Children’s Charities. 

Volunteers & Sponsors

If you are interested in becoming a Special Olympics Coach, and volunteering your time to change the lives of many Special Olympic athletes, please give us a call.  There are coaches’ clinics year round that you can become a certified coach, and also a volunteer for our program. 

If you would like to sponsor any of our athletes, sponsor a competition, or event, please contact Terry Nash at (770) 288-7290.

Sunshine League

The Sunshine League Complex was dedicated in August 2005 and includes a custom-designed field with a cushioned rubberized surface to help prevent injuries, wheelchair accessible shaded dugouts, and a completely flat surface to eliminate any barriers to wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players. Wheelchair accessible restrooms, parking, a concession stand, playground, and picnic pavilion are included in the complex. The complex was constructed at Richard Craig Park in McDonough through a partnership and funding by the Henry County Board of Commissioners, City of McDonough, McDonough Youth Association and SPLOST program. 

The league is run through the Henry County Parks and Recreation Therapeutic Division, seeing the numbers grow  in the last few years, from 3 teams, to 8 teams, and continuing to focus on the mission statement….”providing all children the chance to play baseball regardless of the limitations.   With only 5 Therapeutic staff members, the league could not take place with out “Buddies” and Volunteer Coaches. Sunshine League players are assisted with a “Buddy” player who support where necessary.  Buddy players often come from other youth groups that utilize Richard Craig Park, fellow schoolmates, parents, college students and business leaders. 

Below you will find the Sunshine League Application. 

There are two seasons, one is in the Spring starting in March and ending in May.   The Fall Season begins, September 3, with 3 games.   The games are held on Saturday mornings, with one night game added if possible.  Please contact Terry Brooks, CTRS at 770-288-7299, with questions about the league, or if you would like to be a “buddy” for one game or the whole season!  Volunteers are welcomed and appreciated.

Wheelchair Sports


The mission of the Henry County Wheelchair Sports program is to provide sports programs for youth and adults with physical disabilities that prevent them from competitively playing in traditional sports, to promote and facilitate healthy lifestyles, and to empower people with physical disabilities to become productive members of society. Sport is the catalyst for change!

For information about any of these programs, please contact Harlon Matthews at (770) 288-7293 or (404) 308-2414.

What's Happening

Henry County Wheelchair Sports is excited to offer adaptive sports programs for Henry County school students through the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP), a Georgia-based nonprofit

Youth Sports

Henry County Parks & Recreation

Henry County Wheelchair Sports is excited to offer adaptive sports programs for Henry County school students through the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP), a Georgia-based nonprofit organization that builds interscholastic sports leagues for students with physical disabilities or visual impairments in grades one through 12, comparable to programs commonly available only to students without disabilities. The sports offered are:

Wheelchair Handball

Wheelchair Handball kicks off the AAASP sports year in August and runs through November. Wheelchair Handball is a fast–paced game that is easily played by students using either manual or power wheelchairs. The sport is played inside on a basketball court and many of the same skills required for wheelchair basketball are used in wheelchair soccer, such as learning to move, pass, dribble, shoot and pick up the ball. In wheelchair soccer, however, a player may use their hands, feet or the wheelchair to move the ball. AAASP has two divisions of play for its member teams — varsity and junior varsity and placement is based on many factors, such as the teams overall experience, years of play, and functional ability of individual players.

  • 2012 AAASP State Junior Varsity Champions
  • 2013 AAASP State Junior Varsity Champions
  • 2015 AAASP State Junior Varsity Runner-Up

Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair Basketball is one of the most widely recognized sports for athletes with physical disabilities and is available to youth who are able to walk unassisted, with devices, or use manual propelled wheelchairs, all participants must compete in a manual wheelchair. Power wheelchairs are not permitted. This sport is one of three sports offered for all Elementary, Middle and High School Henry County Students who compete against other counties. Wheelchair Basketball is offered January – February, with practice beginning in December.

  • 2008 AAASP State Junior Varsity Champions
  • 2009 AAASP State Junior Varsity Champions
  • 2012 AAASP State Junior Varsity Runner-Up
  • 2013 AAASP State Junior Varsity Champions
  • 2014 AAASP State Varsity Runner-Up
  • 2016 AAASP State Junior Varsity Runner-Up

Wheelchair Football

Wheelchair Football is offered for manual and power chair users and is played in a gym with the same team concepts of teamwork, strategy and ball handling skills as traditional football with a few adaptations for wheelchair users such as two hand touch in lieu of tackling. Wheelchair Football is offered March – May, with practice beginning in February.

  • 2013 AAASP State Junior Varsity Champions
  • 2015 AAASP State Junior Varsity Champions
  • 2016 AAASP State Junior Varsity Runner-Up

Summer Camp
Each summer the Henry County Adaptive Sports Summer Camp is held at Locust grove Rec. Center for youth and adults. Multiple sports are introduced by certified instructors and Paralympic Athletes. Life skill sessions are included. Camp is integrated with non-disabled campers.

Each sport season ends with the state Championship, where the best varsity and junior varsity teams from across the state compete for their respective championship titles.  We proudly host the AAASP State Handball Championships at J.P. Moseley Recreation Center the first or second Saturday of each November.


All AAASP practices and Home games are held at:
Locust Grove Recreation Center
10 Cleveland Street
Locust Grove, GA 30248

Adult Sports: Wheelchair Tennis

The Wheelchair Tennis program is available year round. This program runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am – 12:00pm at Richard Craig Park in McDonough. Beginner classes are created throughout the year as needed.

Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tennis Tournament

The Geranium Festival wheelchair tennis tournament was added to the Henry County Wheelchair Sports program in 2007. Players of all skill levels from across the USA and internationally attend this very competitive USTA sanctioned tournament. So, in May each year come to Richard Craig Park in McDonough and...“BE READY TO BE AMAZED!”.

America Wheelchair Tennis Championship

Originally named The Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tennis Tournament was added to the Henry County Wheelchair Sports program in 2007.  Players of all skill levels from across the USA attend this very competitive USTA sanctioned tournament which is now the LARGEST USTA WHEELCHAIR TENNIS TOURNAMENT IN THE NATION.  So, in April each year come to Richard Craig Park in McDonough and… “BE READY TO BE AMAZED!”


HCWS would like to extend a very gracious THANK YOU to the tournament’s presenting sponsor Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association Foundation (ALTA) and to the multiple partners and volunteers that are very instrumental in making the tournament a success.

  • 2010 USTA Southern Wheelchair Tennis Tournament of the Year
  • 2011 USTA Georgia Wheelchair Tournament of the Year

Pushing Boundaries
In addition to existing sports programs HCWS strives to create new sporting opportunities to perpetually achieve its mission of promoting physical activity and empowerment.

The HCWS program reaches far beyond the boundaries of Henry County to serve people with physical limitations because Wheelchair Sports has no boundaries.  We continually seek partnership opportunities with other adaptive sports organizations to provide a multitude of wheelchair sports events to include: camps, clinics, competitions, exhibitions, and training.  We are honored to have collaborative efforts to serve disabled veterans, children and adults.