Every year, the Surrey Eagles Hockey Club welcomes players aged 16 – 20 years old from all across Canada, the USA, and around the world. Most players will stay all year long, but some players come and go to fill in roster spots for days to weeks.
As players leave their homes in the summer they embark on a journey to become a Junior Hockey player. It is important to the player, family and team to know that when these players arrive, they will be welcomed with open arms to their billet family. Having a hockey player in your home takes time, patience and a willingness to share your home. Players and billet families may face differences, but once the two get to know each other it usually results in a life-long relationship.
What makes a great billet family? A sensitive and patient family! It can be overwhelming for a player to be so far from home. A thoughtful billet family appreciates that each player is unique and that communication and mutual understanding take effort. Our billets are interested in sharing their lifestyle in a positive and mutually rewarding way. Players can be very influential in the lives of younger siblings and you also get to gain experience of what Junior Hockey is like if you have younger kids looking to pursue the game as well.
Things to Consider:
Do you have time for a player? Even the most self-assured players appreciate good quality time with their billet family. Will you be in town for the duration of your player’s stay? (Absences longer than two days must be approved by the Head Coach). Is everyone in your household ready to accept someone with a different background? If you have children, are they comfortable with bringing another person into the family?
What You Provide:
- A private bedroom and closet for each player
- Nutritious meals every day
- A patient and caring home environment
- The same care and attention you would provide your own children
- Relationship with both the Head Coach and Billet Coordinator
Message from Head Coach Cam Keith:
It’s never easy for a young man when he leaves home for the first time.
The Surrey Eagles are well aware of that, as we have been helping young hockey players adjust to life in a new environment for many, many years. Part of the experience of playing in the British Columbia Hockey League for the first time is getting used to new experiences, a new city and a new environment. That is where the vital role of a billet comes into play.
After we sign or commit to a player, our first responsibility is to find a safe and comfortable home for him. We are always in need of families who are willing to open their homes to one or more of the players, to share in their Junior hockey experience and to influence them for the season and maybe for the rest of their lives.
Junior hockey players are 16 – 20 years old and come from all over North America and Europe to play hockey in BC. Last year, the Surrey Eagles had a number of players who were billeted, including our former captain Jeremy Smith, who came from Toronto, Ontario.
Billets are the lifeblood of any Junior organization. The Eagles are in need of more billets to be a part of the journey for these young men. We have been very fortunate to have many families in the area act as billets for our players for many years, and they, too, have become part of the Eagles family.
As a billet family you will receive a monthly financial contribution from the Eagles to aid with food and other costs, a Family Season ticket package, invitations to be a part of special team outings and events, and most importantly provide an immediate and lasting impact on a young man living many hundreds of miles away from home.
The Eagles will have players coming in at the middle of August and staying until the end of the season, which could be March or April. There are many opportunities for families to get involved and all they need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org to share their interest.
The relationships last for years, even after the players’ Junior careers are over and they have moved on with life inside or outside of hockey. The Eagles pride themselves on being a family first organization and nowhere is that more evident than in the wonderful people that serve as the team’s billets every season.