From the March 14th event at Roosevelt Intermediate School
The Westfield Soccer Association as well as 100 plus residents and interested parties welcomed Taylor Twellman to our community on March 14 for a discussion on concussion awareness, an important topic in sports today. Twellman is a five time MLS All Star and US Men's National Team player with over 30 caps. He played for the New England Revolution between 2002 and 2009, scoring more goals than anyone else in Major League Soccer during that time. Today, Twellman is the leading ESPN Soccer analyst covering MLS and global soccer events. The evening opened with WSA Trustee, Brian Moynihan, making a few jokes and thanking long time Westfield Soccer Player, Sanjay Sujamthakumar for being the one responsible for securing Taylor's visit to our community. Sanjay sustained a difficult concussion and struggled with his recovery, prompting his outreach to Twellman for help, resulting in a developing friendship overtime. Thank you Sanjay!
After a brief opening video, highlighting Twellman's career and goal scoring prowess, the video ended with a collision near goal that left Twellman with yet another concussion which led to his premature retirement. He did remind us that despite the crash, he scored, maintaining his good sense of humor. Twellman's mission is to raise awareness and open dialogue about concussions and since retirement, Twellman has created the THINKTaylor foundation, a charitable organization regarding sports-related concussions. Twellman has agreed to donate his brain to science after death. His brain could be of use to determine whether or not multiple concussions causes permanent harm to the brain. Twellman Soccer provides programs and tools for players, coaches and organizations across the United States
The event was held at Roosevelt Intermediary School's auditorium, which was set up with two microphone stations for a spirited and sometimes emotional Q&A session. Twellman provided answers and advice based on his life experience and ongoing education about concussions and head trauma, encouraging parents, coaches, and anyone watching a game or practice to adapt the rule of "when in doubt, sit them out". In other words, when a player appears to have engaged in activity that may have concussed them sit them out for the remainder of the day.
The event concluded with a parting gift from our President, Steve Aronson, presenting Twellman and Sanjay, with tailored WSA jerseys, thanking them for their contribution.
If you missed the event, you can watch it in its entirety by clicking the following link: