The Salmon Arm Silverbacks, the Sicamous Eagles and the Chase Heat are in need of billet families for the 2020/21 hockey season. (File photo)

Billet homes needed for Shuswap hockey teams

Silverbacks, Eagles, Heat put out call for host homes for players

With hockey season scheduled to begin again in the Shuswap, albeit later in the year than usual, local teams are in need of billet families.

Due to concerns and health restrictions related to COVID-19, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced in June that it is looking at October 2 as its tentative start date.

The Chase Heat host their main camp Aug. 15 and 16 and the Junior B team hopes to have billet homes in place by September.

“The personal rewards that come with billeting are too numerous to list…,” reads a Chase Heat request for billets on the team’s Facebook page. Chase billet homes receive $600 per month per player.

Lana Adamson, the team’s billet co-ordinator, said concerns related to COVID-19 are being addressed and there will be protocols in place for on and off the ice.

“By the time they’ve done their camp, they’ve been here at least a week so we kind of have an idea whether they’re sick or not…,” said Adamson. “They’ve been in our community for a week or so, so they’re healthy to go into your home.”

Players will undergo temperature checks daily and hygiene/sanitizing will be a priority.

“Once they’re in your home and in your bubble, we keep a close eye on them…,” said Adamson. “The best place right now for them… rather than commuting back and forth, would be in a billet home in the community.”

Those wanting to learn more about those experiences and/or details about the program may call Lana Adamson at 250-574-3681.

The Heat’s Shuswap Rivals, the Sicamous Eagles, have put out a call for billet families in the form of a slide show on the team’s website and on Youtube.

“The Sicamous Eagles are family. A very important part of that family are our billet families!” reads the presentation. The Junior B team is looking for caring homes to billet players ages 16 to 20. The Eagles provide a billet fee to all of the families who house their players at the beginning of each month.

The Sicamous Eagles main camp scheduled for Sept. 1-3.

Anyone wanting more information may contact billet co-ordinator Victoria at 250-253-2511, or by email at 5victoriacameron@gmail.com.

The BC Hockey League has announced Dec. 1 as its tentative start date, and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks are looking for billets for the 2020-21 season.

Billet families play a vital role within the organization, as players need a place to call home while they are representing the city as members of the team, explains a request for billet families posted on the Silverbacks’ website.

“Being a billet is a very unique and rewarding experience, one that gives an inside look at the development and growth of a young hockey player, both on and off the ice. Many of the relationships between a player and his billet family last well beyond well beyond junior hockey.”

Billet families are asked to provide a friendly and welcoming home, a bedroom and closet and nutritious meals. Those opening their homes to Silverbacks players are provided a monthly stipend, season tickets and a “unique chance to meet players from across North America.”

Anyone interested in billeting for the ‘Backs may contact Brooks Christensen at opsmanager@sasilverbacks.com.

Read more: Sicamous Eagles in search of billet families

Read more: Salmon Arm families provide home away from home for young hockey hopefuls

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