KU Soccer signs Team IMPACT star in Draft Day ceremony
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Boston-headquartered national nonprofit Team IMPACT, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team, along with the Kansas women’s soccer team, held a special Draft Day celebration for 8-year-old Autumn Schierling Friday at Rock Chalk Park. Autumn was diagnosed in 2010 with Neurofibromatosis.
Through Team IMPACT’s program at Division I University of Kansas, the top recruit became an official member of the Jayhawks. As a team member, Autumn, who hails from Lawrence, will attend Jayhawks practices, games, team dinners, events, and more.
“We’re very excited to add Autumn to the group,” said head coach Mark Francis during the Draft Day ceremony. “We love her energy and she’s going to bring a lot more energy to our group and hopefully she’ll be able to contribute more than that. I know the girls are excited to have her join us. I know the staff is excited. It’s going to be a great season.”
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, MA that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched nearly 1,600 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 50,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child’s support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can’t learn in a classroom.
The Jayhawks will hit the pitch on Sunday, August 12 for their first and only exhibition of the 2018 season when they welcome the Colorado State Rams to Rock Chalk Park. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on ESPN+.
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