Lakers hockey team seeks local billet families

Merna Emara

About 22 Fort Frances Lakers hockey players, ages 17 to 20 are looking for billet families to host them during the upcoming season, from mid October to mid March. Training camp starts next week.

Shauna-Leigh Carlson, a billet coordinator, said because this is a community supported team, they need families to come out and help support their community with their hockey team.

“I’ve had my son go away for three years and he’s been very fortunate to have three homes billeted to him, and they treat them him like their own,” Carlson said.

“That’s pretty much what people do when they do billet these hockey players, is they treat them like their own. I understand it’s hard to open up their home to someone else, but they’re doing their community such a great service when they do. It helps the teams.”

The team coach is looking to find homes for the players by the end of next weekend.

Carlson said the players pay $500 per month to the host family. In return, the family would provide a bedroom, one cooked meal per day and provide transportation depending on the player

“These kids spend a lot of time in these families’ homes, and they develop relationships – especially if there are other kids in the home. They look up to them,” Carlson said.

Carlson said they have five homes to host players, some of which are taking two players. Thus far, they are still looking to accommodate anywhere from 12 to 22 players.

Carlson said there are a few players that are coming from the United States that have to get tested and quarantined as per the federal guidelines. Players coming coming from other parts of Canada will get tested upon arrival.

“There are regulation that will be followed,” Carlson said. “We like to match billet families with players. If parents want one who’s a bit older, we try to match them. Some boys can be independent and just need a home. There might be someone who is 17 and this is his first time, so maybe he needs someone who is home more often.”

If you are interested in billeting a player, or have any questions, you can call the billet coordinators, Shauna-Leigh Carlson at 807-276-4230 or Angela Petsnick at 807-275-5790.