The Victoria Grizzlies are looking to expand their family. (Gazette file photo)

Grizzlies looking for dens for players

Host families relish the experience

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

Would you like to provide a home away from home for a young hockey player honing his skills with the Victoria Grizzlies?

Players between the ages of 17 and 20 that come to Victoria from across North America for the opportunity to play for the Grizzlies are looking for families to welcome them into their homes, explained Sheryl Williamson, billeting contact for the Victoria Grizzlies. The players miss their own families, wherever home may be for them, and billets provide the next best thing, she added.

Related: West Shore Family Back to School edition

There are many benefits to billeting a player that go beyond the compensation families receive, said Lisa Guiney. She and her husband, John, have been hosting players for the past 12 years.

Their children Nick and Jordan, were only seven and four at the time the family first got involved, she recalled. “It was like having an older brother in the house, someone to play road hockey with or video games,” she said. “We’ve had everything from 16-year-old rookies to 20-year-old veterans. They really become part of your family. It’s a very fun, memorable experience for the whole family.” Guiney said, as a parent you really appreciate how committed the players are to their schooling. “They end up becoming tremendous role models for your kids.”

If you are interested in becoming a Grizzlies host family, email Sheryl Williamson at

Find all of the stories that were in the fall West Shore Family publication online here.

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