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Hanover hockey rink has new look thanks to Washington Capitals

Matthew 7 Daniel Barton Memorial Rink in Hanover County
Matthew 7 Daniel Barton Memorial Rink in Hanover County((Source: NBC12))
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 3:10 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Matthew and Daniel Barton Roller Hockey Rink at Courthouse Park in Hanover is gaining national recognition for its new renovations, thanks to donations, including major contributions from the Washington Capitals and Doswell Energy.

“It’s the best outdoor rink for a few miles,” said skater Jose Perea.

Perea travels from downtown Richmond to work on his empty-net skills.

“I like to get out here once or twice a week on a nice day,” said Perea.

“We’ve had a lot of skaters out here regardless of the temperature. They seem to be out here even when the weather isn’t too good, but it has worked out well,” said Hanover County Parks and Rec Interim Director Dan Smith.

The Matthew and Daniel Barton Roller Hockey Rink at Courthouse Park was built 20 years ago in memory of the sons of Doug and Carol Barton.

“Their son was really into roller hockey at the time, so they put that into action and created this rink. And then, years later, they had another son who passed away, and when that son passed away, we rededicated it in an hour of both Matthew and Daniel,” said Smith.

But over the years, its upkeep fell through the cracks.

Hanover rink before 2021 renovations
Hanover rink before 2021 renovations((Source: Hanover County Parks and Rec))

“There was a lot of cracks. It wasn’t skate-able. The fencing was really in disrepair,” said Smith.

Motivated to make sure the rink lived on, the family started a fundraiser with Hanover Parks and Rec to make the necessary repairs.

“It was a really community effort,” said Smith.

“Through donations from the community and several major businesses, such as Doswell Energy and even the Washington Capitals, the family raised a total of $145,000,” said Smith.

“I really didn’t think we would get it down as quickly as we did,” said Smith. ”We wanted to get it done in a year, and we got it done in six months.”

Since reopening in Dec. 2021, the park has received a National Facility Award.

“And now you can pretty much skate freely. It’s got a great surface,” said Perea. “It’s an early Christmas gift.”

On May 1, the family and Hanover Parks and Rec will have a rededication ceremony. The Caps and the family are expected to be in attendance.

Matthew and Daniel Barton Memorial Rink
Matthew and Daniel Barton Memorial Rink((Source: NBC12))

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