By Don Nelson
After being closed last summer because of COVID restrictions, the Winthrop Rink will open for a limited summer schedule starting May 3 and continuing through July 5.
Rink General Manager Steve Bondi said the rink will be closed after the Fourth of July weekend for a dasher board replacement project.
Pickleball, roller/inline skating and roller/inline hockey are scheduled activities at the outdoor rink.
Scheduled times are:
• Pickleball, 5-8 p.m. Monday and Thursday in May, 6-9 p.m. in June; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday in May, 9-10 a.m. in June.
• Roller/inline skating, 2-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 5-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
• Roller/inline hockey, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday in June, 7-9 Wednesday p.m. in June.
The price for drop-in pickleball is $4 per person per session. Also offered are a 20-punch card for $70; a 10-ounch card for $36; or a five-punch card for $20. No season passes are available. The rink has six pickleball courts on its concrete slab, with portable nets. Beginners can use provided paddles for free.
Participants must be at least 10 years old. All skill levels are welcome. Try pickleball for free on May 3 and June 7.
Pickleball Club play will also take place at the Winthrop town tennis courts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday mornings.
Prices for roller/inline skating are $4 for youth and seniors and $6 for adults. Skate rentals are available for $2. Prices are the same for roller/inline hockey. Kids 5 and under can skate for free.
Helmets and elbow/knee/wrist pads are available and free to use. Kids under age 10 need adult accompaniment.
Teen skating nights are May 15 and June 19, when teens can skate for half price. On May 28 and June 25, kids 12 and under can skate for free.
The rink will provide pucks and nets for drop-in hockey. Inline skates are available to rent; helmets and elbow/knee/wrist pads are available for free. Hockey nights are for recreation only, not team competition. Participants must be 8 years or older; youth under 10 need adult accompaniment. Bring your own stick. Helmets must be worn at all times.
The rink’s recent winter season started last November and finished in early March. For the summer session, the indoor building (which includes locker and changing rooms) will remain closed, as it did during the winter schedule. The facility operated under strict coronavirus protocols that include limits on how many people can be on the ice at any time. Those protocols will be in place this summer as well.
If COVID-related public health concerns deteriorate, the town will close the facility, Bondi said.
The rink can be rented for strictly outdoor activities including pickleball and roller/inline skating. Equipment rentals are not included but will be available at the regular prices. The rental fee is $150 an hour.
Bondi said earlier that the rink needs to replace the dasher boards — the boards surrounding the rink surface — which were installed in 2006 and were purchased used at the time. Removal of the current dasher boards will start in July, with installation of the new boards expected to take place in August. The projected completion date is Sept. 10.