The Kootenay Ice are looking for local community members to consider opening up their homes to players for the upcoming hockey season.
The Ice have had an open call for billet families since the middle of July and have continued to push the message on social media in recent weeks.
— Kootenay ICE (@WHLKootenayICE) July 31, 2017
According to the team’s website, “billet families play a critical role in the growth and development of Ice players .”
According to the team’s manager of hockey operations and player experience, Jake Heisinger, families who take in players have a vital role in their life and career.
“It’s very important. It’s one of those things where you’re a young kid and you’re spending a lot of your time away from your family, it makes it a lot easier when you’re welcomed in by another family,” Heisinger said. “Although you’re away from home, it doesn’t feel like [it].”
In addition to being a great experience for the players, Heisinger believes that it is just as valuable for the families.
“I think that building a relationship with [a player] is something that goes a long way,” he said. “I think [they] see a different side of [the sport] that the billet families appreciate.
“They welcome [a player] as one of their own and they go through the ups and downs with them. I think it’s a great experience for the families as well, just like it is for the players.”