Alexandria, VA – Put down that baseball bat and pick up a hockey stick! The Washington Capitals, on Oct. 30, unveiled a refurbished street hockey rink at Francis C. Hammond Middle School. Even Slapshot, the Caps’ mascot, was there to celebrate the event!
The rink, which is open to the public, cost upward of $200,000 to renovate, is one of 11 Rinks that the Caps have built and fixed up in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.
“Through your great donation we’re able to have this opportunity for young people who may not have ever been on a rink,” Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregory Hutchings said at the ribbon cutting for the rink. “It allows kids to have the exposure to do certain things they may have never done in their lifetime, and that’s what it’s all about here in Alexandria City Public Schools.”
The dilapidated rink was completely torn down and rebuilt. Since last year, the Caps have donated approximately $3.5 million for the project, and also donated hockey equipment to hundreds of area schools. In Alexandria, all the elementary and middle schools will be receiving hockey equipment from the Caps, in addition to a curriculum. The flooring is made of a Mateflex flooring system that allows school maintenance staff to replace sections as needed.
Peter Thompson, the director of youth hockey development for the Washington Capitals, said that project was a long process.
“Our purpose here is to be able to provide access to the sport of hockey to everybody in our community,” Thompson said. “That means kids, adults. It doesn’t matter where you live, you know, what background you’re from, we want to make sure that everybody that wants to play hockey has the opportunity to play hockey.”