The first of 12 dek hockey rinks in the region was officially opened Tuesday in Banksville Park. It’s a joint effort of the Penguins Foundation, Highmark, and the City of Pittsburgh called Project Power Play.
“A second rink is under construction at Lewis Park in Hazelwood, and there’ll be more in the city and eventually in the county also outside of the City of Pittsburgh,” said Penguins CEO David Morehouse.
Morehouse said part of the goal of the new rinks is to get more kids off their couches and out of their houses. The $2.1 million Project Power Play is being funded by $600,000 from the Penguins Foundation, and $1.5 million from Highmark.
“One of Highmark’s goal areas of focus is about creating healthier communities. We believe that by encouraging kids to by physically active, they will develop healthier lifestyles. One of the first steps for them to be active is having a safe environment in which to play,” said Dan Onorato, Highmark executive vice president.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said the ultimate goal, once more of the dek hockey rinks are open, is to form leagues and encourage play between neighborhood teams. Some of the rinks will be located outside of the city.
Dek hockey is a form of ice hockey where the players wear athletic shoes or rollerblades and use either a special puck or ball.