BABSON PARK, Mass.—The Babson College men's ice hockey program officially announced the newest member of its team as 10-year-old Coleman Walsh joined the Beavers as part of his Team IMPACT Draft Day.
Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges Together) matches children ages 5-15 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness that has resulted in treatment and/or extended hospital stays within the past three years with teams at colleges and universities across the country. Team IMPACT children gain great strength, camaraderie and support, and the student-athletes are taught lessons about courage, resiliency and life perspective that they can't learn in a classroom. The organization has paired more than 1,200 children with over 450 colleges and universities, which includes 15 at Babson.
"We are incredibly fortunate and thankful to be able to partner with Team IMPACT and the Walsh family," said head coach Jamie Rice '90. "Having Coleman join our program is one of the most significant additions we have ever had. Coleman is an amazing boy that embodies all the characteristics we want our players to embrace – passion, courage, determination and a relentlessly positive outlook and attitude. I am confident that our relationship with Coleman and his family will truly be beyond measure. To see the excitement of Coleman and our players yesterday is what athletics should be all about. I could not be more proud of the Babson hockey program."
Coleman, who is from nearby Walpole, officially signed with the team and was presented with a No. 17 jersey inside the Corey Griffin '10 Locker Room before putting on his gear and taking the ice with seniors Charlie Ackerman (Bradenton, Fla.), Rob Devaney (Reading, Mass.) and Ryan Gouveia (Dartmouth, Mass.). Coleman, who has suffered from a genetic developmental disorder called Williams Syndrome since birth, met a few of his new teammates in August before officially joining the squad on Tuesday.
"We are extremely excited to welcome Coleman and his family into our Babson hockey family," said Ackerman. "Having him as a part of our program will be just as fun and exciting for him as it will be for us. I know he will have an impact on my life and am really looking forward to building a lifelong friendship. I can only hope that we can leave as much of an impact on his life as he will on ours. It is awesome to have an organization like Team IMPACT that can help us build our relationship with Coleman and his family over the next several years."
Coleman and his new teammates open the 2017-18 campaign on October 28 against Salem State in Falmouth.