Throughout Canada and in many of the states, there are hockey programs for young people who have developmental handicaps from autism, retardation, seizures or other causes. Eight years ago,
the Valley Ice Center in Panorama City initiated the first ever ice hockey program in California for children and young adults with developmental disabilities.
Ask the kids what they like, and the first answer is, “The team.” They call themselves “The California Condors.” The group is open to all developmental disabilities, all ages, male or female and all levels of skills – including those who have never skated before. On ice, all are equal.
The general public is familiar with the Special Olympics, but hockey is not part of that program. The program now in Simi Valley is the brainchild of Rita Eagle, whose son was able to play hockey when the family lived in Toronto. Her goal is to encourage these young people to have fun and learn skills and teamwork in a safe environment.
The Condors are members of The American Special Hockey Association, along with about 50 other teams across the USA and Canada, Until about two years ago they were the only special needs ice hockey team in California. Inspired by the Condors there are now teams in Pasadena and in Santa Clarita.
The Condors provide equipment to its participants from donations and through fundraising to pay for gear. The Condors program could not have started without the generous donation of equipment by the NHL Players Association distributed through H.E.L.P., (Hockey Equipment Lending Program).
The Condors coaching team is made up of our fabulous volunteer coaches, Mitch Berger, Brett Marsh, Ronda Kalan, Steve Kalan and J. P. Giuliotti. The L.A. Kings provide two wonderful assistant coaches. Finally, excellent teenage hockey players volunteer to assist the Condors on the ice.
Special Needs Hockey
WELCOME TO CONDORS COUNTRY
NOW PROUDLY AFFILIATED WITH THE AMERICAN SPECIAL HOCKEY ASSOCIATION
The Ducks hosted "Condors Night" March 20- 2011.Our kids participated in the national anthem ceremony and had a terrific four minute scrimmage on the Honda Center Ice.
The Condors are bidding farewell to the L.A. Kings Valley Ice Center (formerly Valley Ice Center - VIC) in Panorama City. It has been our home since the inception of the Condors in 2006 and we are extremely grateful to that rink for hosting our program for the past 8 years. We are also very grateful for the support given to us by
Finally, we are extremely grateful to the HEAT hockey club team members and their families, and to Andrew Goldstein, for all the help and support they have given us over the years, both in providing kid helpers and in participating so generously in our fundraising efforts. Thankfully, many of the wonderful "kid helpers" will continue helping out at Simi Valley. While it is sad to leave old friends, we are very excited about the move to Simi Valley and the opportunity it affords to greatly expand our program. See you there!
Condors on the Go!
October 2009 : Tri-state tournament (Utah, Colorado and California) in Salt Lake City. Thanks to the generosity of fans, friends and family and Scott Belinsky.
May 2010: Special Hockey International Tournament in Toronto, Canada. Thanks to Kyle Woo for organizing a hugely successful skate-a-thon and to the Kings for participation of Kings hockey celebrities.
May 2011: Tournament in Denver, Colorado
April 2012: Disabled Festival in Dallas, Texas
June 2013: Southern California Special Needs Hockey Tournament, Santa Clarita, CA.
April 7, 2013 Condors Skate-a-thon Fundraiser was a huge success! A heartfelt thank you to all participants and contributors.
Southern California Special Needs Hockey Tournament a huge success!
The Condors skated at the Staples Center on
February 16, 2012
They received a donation from the L.A.Kings of $5000 for ice
time and gear.
Donate here to the Condors through the Hockey Equipment Lending Program (HELP)
Hockey players at the end of each game meet at center ice and shake hands in a show of sportsmanship. Watch as the Condors do the same.
INTERESTED IN JOINING?
The Fall session begins September 13, 2004 at Iceoplex in Simi Valley
$10.00 per session
Please NOTE: Thanks to the generosity
of the Wayne Gretzky Foundation,
the fee can now be reduced to $10 per practice.
Players must wear complete protective gear, including a hockey helmet with cage. We are able to loan equipment. Players must also obtain either USA Hockey or ASHA (free) registration once per year, which are available online.
For more information, call Rita Eagle,
310-792-4794 (M, W, and Friday)
The Condors are a non-profit organization that engages in fund raising to cover the cost of participating in Special Needs tournaments, ice time, gear, and general team maintenance. The program is entirely managed by parents and volunteers. Fees for the program are charged exclusively to pay for ice time. Donations to the Condors to help support and expand the program are fully tax-deductible, greatly appreciated, and will be promptly receipted. Please make checks out to H.E.L.P./California Condors, P.O.Box 1520, Burbank, CA 91507.
The First Special Needs Ice Hockey Team in California.
The Condors skated during intermission at the Kings vs The Carolina Hurricanes game on