The Melfort Mustangs are looking for fan support in a different kind of way for this upcoming season. The team is still looking to add eight more billets for the 2013-2014 season.
In the past players have had to stay in homes with sometimes three or four others players, however, this season the team would like to see just one player per household.
“Every year we are in need of new billet homes since the dynamics of existing billet families change. This year we are really pushing to find enough homes so that each player can have their own billet family,” Billet coordinator of the Mustangs Lydia Steffen said.
The players will arrive for training camp on august 24th and will need a home until at least the last game of the season on March 4.
Steffen recognizes that billeting might not work for every family but believes training camp can provide a ‘try out’ period for billets as well.
“We need temporary billets for training camp which runs from September 2nd until September 16th."
"If anybody has thought about billeting, but uncertain about the commitment, we are encouraging families to billet a player during training camp to try it out for the 2 weeks,” she said.
Families who might find they enjoy billeting are usually ones who young children and ones that have had kids and now an empty nest.
The billet experience can sometimes get labeled negatively as babysitting, but the active lifestyle of junior hockey keeps the players occupied.
“They’re busy most of the day. A lot of them find work well they are here in town. They also get involved in the community."
"It’s not young kids hanging around your house playing video games,” Steffen said.
“Really it’s not babysitting, it’s just providing them with a meal and giving them a bed to sleep in. Making them feel at home in Melfort.”
The Mustangs provide season and playoff tickets for the family along with a monthly allowance of $330 to help with groceries and other expenses.
Billeting goes a long way in helping the career of these young athletes and many junior age players owe large parts of their success to a family who put them up in order to pursue their hockey career.
“These are kids with dreams who want to play hockey for our city’s team and we want to be able to make this happen for them, but without billets it just isn’t possible,” Steffen said.
You can contact the Mustangs for more billeting information by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (Randy) 306-921-8030 Jeannelle 306-921-6230.