Pickleball and hockey players now have a new place to compete, with the opening of a newly resurfaced hockey rink at Stotzky Park.
Riverhead officials opened the rink for pickleball, roller hockey and deck hockey to the public Saturday at Pulaski Street, after a $20,000 resurfacing and striping project was completed. The rink resurfacing money came from savings on new playground equipment installed at the Enterprise Park at Calverton playground.
The new rink will house five official pickleball courts for what officials say has become a rapidly growing sport in Riverhead. Pickleball is a racket sport that has elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong.
“It’s the most popular sport we have here,” said Ray Coyne, the town’s superintendent of Parks and Recreation.
The new rink is expected to help the growth of Riverhead’s Pickleball Ladder League, which drew 75 players ages 50 and up in its launch this year, according to Ashley Schandel, the department’s assistant recreation program coordinator. Since 2013, pickleball’s popularity in Riverhead has grown to where the town now hosting annual tournaments, weekly leagues and open courts and seasonal clinics.
“Many of our residents are avid pickleball players and they asked the town to install official courts,” Supervisor Sean Walter said. “I am very happy that we were able to accommodate their request so quickly.”