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Rink Prince

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Mattagami Student Work

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Rink Prince

  1. 1. The Rink Prince of Mattagami Leeon Prince - Mattagami First Nation
  2. 2. 1/8 Thomas Prince – better known as Tom – is Mattagami First Nation’s Odamino Centre Arena manager and caretaker. Tom is putting down one of the first layers of water with a hose in the arena. After a few layers with the hose he can move to the Olympia and put down the lines. When asked how long he has had this position, Tom explained, “This is going to be the third season – December 2019.”
  3. 3. 2/8 Tom’s was given a quality Odamino Center jacket for his job – he had “Rink Prince” custom-sewed on to the arm after being given the idea from his son Leeon. This shows the pride that Tom takes in his work. He works hard every winter through trial and error in hopes of opening the arena to the community. “It’s a place to commune, it’s a place to gather, it’s a place to play sports and get exercise,” says Tom.
  4. 4. 3/8 For his safety, and to keep salt off of the ice, Tom wears cleats on his boots. It also gets chilly in the arena due to it being air cooled. Tom works here alone, so personal safety is a big priority, especially considering he spends many hours working and being on the ice.
  5. 5. 4/8 There are four big exhaust fans on the walls that play an important role in the arena. Air from outside comes in from one side and goes out the other to ensure the area stays cold and the air circulates. There are also four big doors that Tom will open in order to keep the arena cool and to assist the water freezing.
  6. 6. 5/8 A crate of hockey pucks, and one ringette ring, that have been used over the years that the rink has been open. Two years ago, there was a generous donation of hockey equipment from the Rotary Club and some from the community members for all the youth to use.
  7. 7. 6/8 Tom closing the shop door where he keeps all the equipment he needs to take care of the arena and centre. When asked where he got his knowledge and experience from, Tom responded, “You learn by doing.”
  8. 8. 7/8 The employee room (known as the “shop”) is where the two machines used on the ice reside. The Olympia is used after Tom is finished watering with the hose, and when the ice is level enough. The ice edger is used to smooth out the ice around the boards, as the Olympia can only go so close to the boards.
  9. 9. 8/8 “I grew up doing this, when I was a kid we ran an outside rink and we took care of it. I was always at arenas, playing hockey, and travelling around. At this point in my life, it’s the perfect job for me.” -Tom Prince, December 3, 2021

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