Touchdown for inclusion: Adults with disabilities join LIU football team for field day

The Long Island University Sharks football team welcomed some extra players to practice on Friday, as adults with disabilities took part in the second annual field day here thanks to the Beautiful Lives Project - a nonprofit that focuses on inclusion through sports. 

"They normally feel isolated," said Melissa Ross, President of the nonprofit. "The mission is to defeat isolation and create avenues and paths for inclusive programs like this. To be teammates for a day goes such a long way."

It’s one of the best days of the year for Jay BN who used to play football. 

"It’s reliving my high school dreams," he said. 

The fun is mutual for the coaches and for the players who say this is what being a team is about. 

The Beautiful Lives Project holds several dozen of these interactive events around the country each year. Whether it’s football, baseball, or even indoor skydiving, it’s about allowing everyone to take part in activities, who may otherwise be unable to due to their disability.

"If you look around it’s just as important for the people who are having the event as it is for the participants," said cofounder Anthony Iacovone. "They’re smiling all around."