Lakers Social & Recreational Club is a community-based sports, social and recreation club for children and adults with an intellectual disability. The club provides a wide range of sporting and educational services to members across Leinster from its centre in Bray, Co. Wicklow. We have been in operation since 1989 and currently have 275 members supported by 150 volunteers and staff.
Lakers exists to serve our members on a basis of respect and inclusion, to work with them in enhancing their unique talents, to enable them to participate in sport, social activities, recreation and development, and to work alongside them in promoting their full participation in the wider community. We are dedicated to building teamwork, self-esteem and confidence, and to ensuring the maximum participation and involvement of the families of our members.
The overall aim of Lakers is to enable children and adults with an intellectual disability to develop their innate skills and self-esteem in an environment which is inclusive and supportive.
The primary objective of Lakers is to provide opportunities to people with an intellectual disability to develop their skills, co-ordination and ultimately their self-esteem through the medium of their participation in sporting, social, recreational and developmental activities according to their abilities.
We also seek to provide a strong, supportive network for parents, families and friends of people with an intellectual disability as a vital resource in facing the challenges they inevitably face.
We seek to create opportunities for our members to participate in the wider community to the full extent of their abilities.
Lakers began in 1989. In the initial stages Lakers was known as a Special Olympic Club as sport was our original reason for starting but this evolved greatly over the years and as a result we are no longer specifically a Special Olympic Club. Lakers is a now a Sport and Recreation Service for people with disabilities and it is our understanding our service is unique on the Island of Ireland.
We continue to be affiliated to Special Olympics Ireland and compete at Area, Regional and National Special Olympic Games. We have also had member’s successfully represent Ireland at European and World Special Olympic Games.
We offer our members a wide selection of sport, social and recreation activities. We also hold Summer Camp for our members and due the phenomenal success of our Camp in previous years and due to huge demand for places our camp now runs for 8 weeks.
In addition to the above activities, Lakers organise family trips both in Ireland and abroad. These have proven to be very popular with our members with numbers participating increasing each year.