The University of Hartford men's soccer team met 10-year old Bryson Kelly in September and he has been a big part of the team.
The University of Hartford men's soccer team met 10-year old Bryson Kelly in September and he has been a big part of the team.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Hartford Menís Soccer Welcomes Newest Team Member

Release: 11/12/2013

Partnering with Team IMPACT, the University of Hartford men’s soccer team was introduced to its newest team member in early September, 10-year old Bryson Kelly.

The simple but powerful concept of Team IMPACT is to match sick kids with college athletic teams.  Through the power of teamwork, these courageous kids are provided a cherished diversion from their medical realities and benefit greatly from an unparalleled support system.

The Hawks first met Bryson on September 3 when he attended one of the team’s training sessions. Junior midfielder Pete Inserillo was able to provide insight on his newest teammate.

“Right off the bat he seemed to fit right in,” said Inserillo. “He was telling joke with us, stretching and even took part in our end of practice cheer.”

Bryson regularly attends Hartford home games, as the Hawk staff escorts him and his family to their seats. Most recently, members of the team had the opportunity to go to Bryson’s 10th birthday party at his home. Everyone participated in water gun fights, playing soccer and Nintendo Wii.

“I made sure I spend time with his parents and family to really get an idea of the impact we are making in this special boy’s life,” commented Inserillo. “I was practically speechless for hours after we left the house thinking about their responses. The one word that seemed repetitive throughout the night was “happy.” Bryson’s face lit up when he saw his teammates arrive at the party just as much as when he witnessed our first home win against Sacred Heart the night before.”

The team is currently working on getting Bryson his own name plate and jersey in the locker room.

“His family claims his new team is all he ever talks about,” said Inserillo. “He always looks forward to our next game he can attend and he always has the biggest smile when he’s around the guys”

The partnership has had an impact on the team as well says Inserillo.

“I truly believe this partnership has given the team something we’ve never had before. It adds character to the group as well as insight on life itself. The team and the coaching staff are honored and grateful to be able to touch the lives of Bryson and his family.”