Amy Nichols, the new arena manager, has been in charge of the arena since it opened this year. Nichols is originally from Sleepy Eye, Minn. Her parents have a cabin on Lake Koronis. She was staying at their cabin and read about the opening for an arena manager in the classifieds. She applied and was hired during her interview.
Nichols was hired by the Paynesville Hockey Association. Originally, her job description did not include supervising the public skating in the arena. Her job evolved and now covers this portion of arena activities.
Her other duties include scheduling referees for hockey games, scheduling ice times, keeping the arena clean and keeping an eye out for needed repairs and replacements. She also helps out coaches when their teams need extra ice time and reminds referees when theyíre scheduled for games. The referees are mainly professional referees, Nichols said.
"The kids are really dedicated to the sport (hockey)," Nichols said. She sees hockey players skating during the public skating hours and said that "shows dedication." The kids "deserve a lot of credit" for their time and hard work.
The fact that Paynesville as a community is so involved with hockey is a big plus for the area. Hockey is one more activity that "keeps kids out of trouble," Nichols said.
Another plus the Paynesville hockey program has in Nichol's eyes is that girls can play, too. When she was younger, she couldn't play hockey in Sleepy Eye, because there were no girlís hockey programs.
Nichols and the hocky association are hoping the arena will be able to stay open through the end of February, possibly into the beginning of March. If the temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit or more, the arena probably won't be open, Nichols said.
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