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Connecting Those Advancing Campus Climate































 

Ty Sutton ‘21 is a senior Agricultural Leadership & Development major, Corps of Cadet former member, and Aggie Adaptive Sports president. Brianna Bazan '22 is a senior Biomedical Science major with a minor in Public Health & Entomology and Aggie Adaptive Sports secretary. Aggie Adaptive Sports is a Texas A&M University student organization whose purpose is to facilitate adaptive sports as a healthy form of recreation to students, veterans, and community members to promote the physical and mental benefits of adaptive sports. Adaptive sports allow athletes to compete, have fun, and bond with one another. We interviewed Ty and Briana about their inspiration and involvement in Aggie Adaptive Sports and the importance of advocacy.

How did you get involved in Aggie Adaptive Sports?

For Brianna,aggieadaptivesports.jpg sports were always an important aspect of life given that her dad is a coach. Still, she sometimes found participating difficult in her small hometown. Often, she could only participate by playing with family members and friends. The Aggies Adaptive sports has allowed Brianna to compete with students while forming bonds with a variety of people and affording her the chance to learn about their stories.

Aggie Adaptive sports helped Brianna stay physically engaged while at Texas A&M. Sports offer a way to relax and unwind. The Aggie Adaptive Sports organization ensures that everyone can participate in a fun and inclusive manner. Through the organization, participants not only strive to perform at their best, but to also help one another.

Ty suffers from spinal muscle atrophy, which weakens the muscles in his legs, arms, and body. One thing Ty noticed early on is that Aggie Adaptive Sports participants are resilient and never quit, which inspired him to join and stay committed. Besides offering an inclusive place to compete, the organization helped Ty make friends and become an active member of the TAMU community.

Ultimately, for Ty, overcoming challenges and becoming his best self is a goal worthy of pursuit in and of itself.

“My advice to others who may have a disability and have a strong desire to join an organization or want to try something new is to just do it. Don’t let your disability define you because you’re ultimately in charge of your own destiny.”

What drives your interest in sports?

Sports allow Brianna to stay active while also getting to know people, their life challenges, and their goals as well. Aggie Adaptive Sports offers both new challenges, and a reminder of home and life growing up as a coach’s daughter.

When it comes to both sports and going to his university of choice, Ty believes you must take matters into your own hands. Life’s challenges can forge the strongest wills and the fiercest competitors, something that’s often evident in Aggie Adaptive Sports. It’s also something Ty noticed while competing alongside others in the program. Ty and many others strive to compete as their best selves and to achieve their goals. Through competition, you can establish a foundation for personal success.

Indeed, the vigorous challenges offered in the organization didn’t push Ty away, but instead drove him forward. He found that Aggies in general have a caring spirit and inclusive approach. Ty joined the Corps of Cadets, another group big on physical activity. In both programs, Ty found that he was afforded opportunities to be active and develop leadership skills.

What surprising things did you learn as a member of the Adaptive Sports program?

Brianna found Texas A&M to be among the more inclusive and welcoming communities. From the first campus tour, Brianna discovered that the Texas A&M community is different. Not only is the community at large well-equipped to accommodate people with different needs, but also staff members, faculty, and others know how to provide inclusive assistance.

Ty shared, “Sometimes, differently-abled people feel different or left out.” However, upon arriving at Texas A&M, he quickly found that the Aggie community is inclusive and welcoming. Ty was treated as an equal from the beginning and was perhaps a bit surprised at how easy it was to fit in.

Do you have suggestions to help people become better advocates?

“There are tons of resources on campus, and you’ll find many advocates,” Briana said. “Your first step should be to become an advocate for yourself, making sure that your voice is heard.”

At times, people may feel overwhelmed. When Brianna first moved to College Station, it felt overwhelming because she was accustomed to her smaller hometown. Throughout her first year, she occasionally felt afraid to ask questions.

Still, she quickly realized that not only was the Aggie community inclusive, but also provides many resources. She quickly learned to advocate for herself and her needs, and to her pleasant surprise, many people either had answers or were willing to help her find the answers.

For Ty, it’s important to remember that you are in charge of your own destiny and that you must become your best personal advocate. Don’t let challenges or obstacles define you. Everyone has potential and everyone can contribute. What’s important is putting yourself in a position to succeed.                                 

What do you like to do in your free time?

Ty loves being outdoors, including hunting and fishing. While hunting white tailed deer is a favorite, he also enjoys hunting axis deer, or chital. Nature, in general, offers respite. Ty grew up in Melvin, Texas, a small town that offers easy access to nature. Texas A&M too is surrounded by beautiful green spaces and getting outside is relatively easy. Aggie football games are also a favorite for Ty, and he often enjoys partaking in the above activities with friends.

Brianna is quite the foodie since moving to College Station, which offers a diverse food scene. She likes to explore new restaurants each week with her roommate and usually enjoys something different every week. She loves baking and cooking at home, and often tries new recipes. Brianna is also a frequent volunteer through the biomedical science program and volunteers at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Follow on Instagram @Aggie.Adaptive.Sports | Facebook @AggieAdaptiveSports | Email: aggieland7@tamu.edu

   

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Media contact:
Crystal S. Carter
Communications Specialist
c.carter@tamu.edu