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Brown University football team signs 13-year-old boy through Team IMPACT



Photo courtesy of Team IMPACT and Brown University

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A local college football team has made a special signing that will make an impact both on and off the field, but not in the way you may think.

Brown University head football coach James Perry recently announced a new team member, signing 13-year-old Aaden Bessette through Team IMPACT.

According to Brown, Aaden, who has muscular dystrophy, was officially introduced at a signing day press conference. He will participate in many activities with the team including games, practices, and other team events. He is even listed on the team’s roster.

Team IMPACT, a national non-profit organization, has developed a unique multiyear program that matches children facing serious illness and disability with college athletic teams across the country. Based on a clinical model, Team IMPACT guides a special relationship between teams and children focused on socialization, empowerment, and resilience.

“Team IMPACT is excited to see Aaden officially join the Brown Bears,” said Danielle Hardee, Regional Director of Programs, Northeast at Team IMPACT. “We are proud to work alongside Brown University, their athletic department and coaching staff to create lifelong bonds and life-changing outcomes between student-athletes and their Team IMPACT teammates.”

According to a statement by the college and Team IMPACT, Brown University has worked with Team IMPACT for the past 8 years, matching 13 children across its baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, football, gymnastics, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s swimming, men’s tennis, and men’s water polo teams.

“We are so honored to have Aaden as a part of our program,” said Perry. “All of us look up to him and admire his fight and resilience. He’s a real warrior and I know our entire staff, along with each of our players are excited and looking forward to having him as a teammate.”

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