The Bell Capital Cup is looking forward to its new partnership with the Capital City Condors.
Scott Lawryk, general manager of the annual hockey tournament, said the Bell Capital Cup has been a supporter of the Condors – a hockey team for special needs youth – over the years and is looking forward to hosting the hockey club in this year’s tournament.
“To give them another avenue and a place to play; for them to be a part of the Ottawa International Hockey Festival, it just seemed to make sense for us,” said Lawryk. “Their program, it pushes exactly what our tournament is all about: kids coming out and playing the game of hockey and meeting other kids, whether kids from Toronto or kids from the US…or kids from Finland and Germany and Hong Kong.”
So far, around 400 teams have signed up for the Bell Capital Cup, which will run from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1. Lawryk added the tournament will continue accepting applications until mid-November.
About eight of those are special hockey teams, which cater to children, youth and young adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, including the Condors.
“These kids are getting out there and they have the right attitude,” said Lawryk, who lives in Bridlewood.
He said there are a number of others looking to the Condors as a model for special hockey.
“Teams are going to them…they want to be under their banner,” said Lawryk.
The long-term goal is to have special hockey teams from around the world compete in the Bell Capital Cup.
“We’re looking to expand this in future years and have this as something they can look forward to,” he said. “Right now we’re just trying to get the word out there to teams who qualify and would like to experience the Bell Capital Cup.”
Last year’s tournament saw 410 teams participate from 19 divisions with more than 7,000 players. Teams from Canada, the United States, Finland, Germany and South Korea competed in the Bell Capital Cup.
Shana Perkins, co-founder of the Condors with her husband Jim, said the parents and the players are getting excited for the tournament.
“They’ll be treated as another team at the Bell Capital Cup,” said Shana. “They’re being included and integrated.”