International Women's Day - Courtney Rego

March 11, 2024

Courtney Rego is one of the heart and soul members of the Capital City Condors – a family of ice hockey teams for those who are unable to play on any other hockey team due to a cognitive and/or physical disability. She currently acts as their Director of Coaching, devoting countless hours to the players and volunteers involved in the organization.

“Courtney started with us back in high school as a volunteer and now holds one of the most important positions within our organization. She has been foundational in putting together North America’s only all-female adaptive special hockey team! She is a mentor to our players (both male and female), our volunteers and everyone she comes into contact with” – Shana Perkins, Cofounder and General Manager, Capital City Condors


Hockey Eastern Ontario asked Courtney about her experience with the Capital City Condors and what the organization means to her.


Q: Tell us how you got involved with the Condors.

A: I got involved with Condors back in 2012 when I was 15 years old. I played hockey competitively throughout my childhood and still do to this day. My dad who coached me all my life stumbled upon an article that talked about the Capital City Condors and presented me with this opportunity. Being actively involved in both the community and school through volunteer work, and being a passionate hockey fan and player myself, it was an obvious choice for me to join.

The Capital City Condors are a family of ice hockey teams for those who are unable to play on any other hockey team due to a cognitive and/or physical disability. The concept of giving back to the game of hockey resonated deeply with me, and the opportunity to be a part of the Condors, who offer a unique chance to individuals who would otherwise have no opportunity to play, was incredibly appealing to me. The game of hockey teaches so much more than on-ice skills; it also teaches life skills and provides me with a sense of belonging. I was so eager to join the Condors community to see all the reasons why I fell in love with the game of hockey in the first place and see how it positively impacted a group who wouldn't otherwise get that chance.

I was invited to my first ever practice with the Condors to come out and watch to see if this was something I would like to be part of (which looking back I laugh because I obviously would have never said no). I remember this day so vividly, I went with my mom who drove me (at the time I didn’t have a license yet) and walked into the arena - a tall red headed player with his Condor Jersey came barreling over to me to give me the biggest hug I still have ever felt, with a big smile introduced himself as Robbie, took my hand and said “are you coming?” pointing to the ice. I knew right there this wasn't going to be just a volunteer gig to get my hours checked off for high school - right there I knew I was a Condor forever.

Q: What do you do in your role with the Condors?

A: I am the Director of Coaching with the Capital City Condors. It's pretty cool to look back at where I have come from within this organization. I started as an on-ice volunteer, transitioned into the role of Head coach for our East End program and now have transitioned into this newer and existing role as Director of Coaching. Taking on this role has presented a fascinating learning experience, especially as I now find myself working behind the scenes and gaining insight into the intricacies of running an organization, particularly a non-profit. This journey has opened my eyes and contributed to my personal growth and development.

In my role, I work alongside our Board Members creating and reviewing policies and procedures that keep our growing organization running smoothly and most importantly, keeping our players safe. I work alongside confounders, Jim and Shana Perkins, in an effort to alleviate their heavy workload and help with managing the numerous responsibilities they have in promoting our program.

Shana, our General Manager, has been my role model and mentor since the beginning, and I continue to admire and look up to her within this community, even to this day. She always makes herself available, offering guidance and support to help me excel in both my professional role within the Condors and in personal life. Working alongside her provides me with the invaluable opportunity to learn from her expertise.

I also work with our wonderful Head Coaches Andrew, Kevin and Vince supporting them in their roles as Head Coaches. As part of my role, I am responsible for onboarding our new volunteers. I also provide ongoing support to our existing volunteers ensuring they have everything they need. I also plan and organize friendship games for the season with mainstream hockey teams. Friendship games are when we host mainstream teams for our ice time and play in a friendly match. These games are so much fun for everyone involved and it is a chance to showcase what adaptive hockey is and to get to experience the Condors.

Our program has earned our hashtag which is “Bigger Than Hockey” because that's exactly what the Condors represent. I often find myself telling teams once you experience it you will just know there is just a magical feeling left when these games are played. Adaptive hockey has evolved, and it is amazing to see hockey has transitioned into truly being inclusive for everyone who wants to play.

Q: What lessons have you learned through your work with the Condors?

A: I have learned to just have fun, smile and laugh. The simplest things in life come to us when we are surrounded by love, support and a sense of belonging. Everyone that knows me knows how important the Condors are to me and it's truly because of the life lessons they have provided me. The Condors have taught me many life skills that I take into my career and personal life everyday. I think the biggest lesson I have learned from this organization is to never judge a book by its cover. You can never underestimate someone’s worth or ability to do something because with time, coaching, and positive engagement they will always surprise you!  The players and parents have taught me how to overcome adversity, how to smile through the pain, lend a helping hand and how to get up when we get knocked down.

Over the years I have been able to form many bonds with players, volunteers, and parents getting the chance to know all their stories and how many of them were not given a chance and now look at what they’ve accomplished. There are so many stories that I could share but a common theme for many of these players is when they were born, they were deemed that they wouldn't be able to walk or talk; yet now they are up right skating on skates, smiling, laughing and making new friends! I started as a high school student, went on to university and now in my adulthood I have grown up with the program and all the players. They are my family and community. 

Q: You helped put together North America’s only all-female adaptive hockey team. Can you tell me more about that?

A: As our Condors program became bigger and bigger (we are currently at 128 players registered) we started dividing up players into teams of similar levels (we now have 6 Condor teams and next season getting another). We also noticed how many female players we had registered to our program and how similar their skills and levels were. Jim, who serves as the President of the Condors, and I initiated the concept of establishing an all-female adaptive hockey team. We pondered the possibilities and envisioned what it would be like to bring this idea to life. There was nothing else out there in the community that we could go off of, so we started this team in 2022 post COVID.

Forming this team, I think has been the best thing we could have ever done for these female Condor players. It is heart warming because I see myself in all of the female Condor players on this team. I played in girls hockey when I was growing up and oftentimes it was all about the post game meals, sleepovers or chats in the dressing room. I remember this most from hockey and we are seeing this now with the female condors. I am always greeted by the players telling me their post practice/game plans with their other female teammates. We are often having to pry the girls out of the dressing room for warm up because they are too busy talking. It's tremendous to see some of the quieter females come out of their shells now being on an all-girl team.

The opportunities also have really opened up for them now being the only all female adaptive hockey team in North America and even more so now with the formation of the PWHL. It's a pretty neat experience to see our all-female players play. They were once deemed they would never be able to play hockey and now they are playing in an inclusive team also now being able to watch the wonderful players on the PWHL and have something to aspire to be.

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself outside of hockey.

A: Outside of hockey, I am a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department - I have been nursing for 5 years now. When I am not at the rink I am counting the days till I am back on Saturdays with the Condors. I also still actively play hockey in a pickup league which is super fun to still be able to play and to play with some of the females I played growing up. I am an avid Ottawa sports fan and you can usually always find me at sporting events particularly now at the PWHL Ottawa games.

I recently became a first time Aunt to my precious niece, so I am always planning the next time I get to hang out with her! If I am not with the Condors or my niece I am with my awesome parents at home, outside or traveling. I am also part of the Capital City Condors Golf tournament which is our biggest fundraiser for the program, and I organize and coordinate the silent/live auctions. In the summer months, I help organize and take part in Condors Ball Hockey which takes place in July which is always so much fun.




Anyone interested in getting involved with the Capital City Condors, please reach out to 

They accept players 6 years and older, volunteers 16 years and older and are always looking for HEO teams to play against in friendship games.


You can also follow them on their social medias:

Instagram – @condorshockeyottawa

Facebook – Capital City Condors

X – @condorsottawa


Or visit their website

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