WALLINGFORD — Two life-long friends have combined their passions in a new sport training facility.
“We both love hockey and golf,” co-owner Greg Barbiero said. “We both love watching it and playing it and we played at a very high level."
Fellow co-owner Mike Silengo played hockey through high school, earned all-state honors, and was goalie when North Haven High School won the 1980 state championships. He was inducted into the North Haven High School Hall of Fame and served as head coach of the high school hockey team from 2014 to 2017.
Barbiero and Silengo opened Cutting Edge Training Center on South Turnpike Road in May. The facility features a 1,400 square foot synthetic ice rink and a golf simulator.
Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ray Andrewson, who attended the ribbon cutting, said the business is great for training all year long.
“One of the problems people have is that they can’t locate a facility like this, they would have to drive far to get to one,” he said. “The synthetic ice that they have installed and the accessibility of this business will make training more available, so it’s a great concept.”
Barbiero expects to draw clients from Wallingford, North Haven, Meriden and beyond. Although the facility is open to anyone, he said a large portion of the clientele are young people learning and training.
“We do one-on-one sessions and we do group sessions,” Barbiero said. “The largest group size we’ll do is 12 with two coaches.”
The staff is made up of eight experienced current and former hockey players and coaches, including Paul Falanga, Hillside School assistant hockey coach, and Andrew Carmody, a recent graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall.
The golf simulator has also been popular, according to Barbiero.
“We expect the golf simulator to really take off when we set the clocks back,” Barbiero said. “When people can’t be outside to play golf and it gets dark early. If it’s cold or it rains at night we expect this to really take off.”
The owners plans to collaborate with the town.
“We’re going to hook up with the town of Wallingford,” Barbiero said. “They’re going to do a golf and hockey clinic and so is North Haven. I do wish we were a little busier but I recognize we’re just starting out and we have a long way to go.”
Cutting Edge Training Center, 65 S. Turnpike Rd., is open Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday –Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.