MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Thanks to some help from the NHL’s Washington Capitals, Oatesdale Park now has two upgraded roller hockey rinks.
Through a collaboration between the Capitals and Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation that began almost two years ago, the major league team has a goal to reach one million youth by building at least 20 rinks in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Washington Capitals Director of Community Relations Peter Robinson said the funding is through the NHL’s Industry Growth Fund.
“It was all made possible by a fund that was created by the NHL Players’ Association, the NHL and the NHL owners to provide access to the sport of hockey to as many people in our community as possible. So thank you to them.”
On Sunday, dozens of residents wearing Capitals jerseys watched a ribbon cutting on one of the new rinks.
“Almost $200,000 worth of improvements that without the support of the Capitals, these improvements wouldn’t have been possible,” Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Director Steve Catlett said. “We hope that it’s going to enhance our program here to where we can get more kids participating and enjoying this sport.”
Work included new rink floors with the Capitals logo at the center, new walls and equipment. Catlett said during Sunday’s ceremony that the rinks can be moved easily to another location if the park system ever decides to do so.
The @Capitals, Martinsburg officials and Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Rec cut the ribbon on two refurbished hockey rinks at Oatesdale Park. @WVMetroNews @EPNewsNetwork pic.twitter.com/NQ9M4bsM0h
— Mike McCullough (@MikeMcC_MN) September 29, 2019
Within an hour of the ribbon cutting ceremony, the rinks were already bustling with young athletes. Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation held their first hockey clinic on the new surfaces.
“We are really excited to be partnering with everybody here in Martinsburg, West Virginia,” Robinson said. “We are excited to have these two new facilities that will be here for years to come.”
Oatesdale Park is located off of Tavern Road near the northern end of Martinsburg.