Westshore Rebels defensive lineman Tyson Morrison relaxes in his room at the family home in Langford. While he’s one of the many local players on the team who are able to live at home

Westshore Rebels defensive lineman Tyson Morrison relaxes in his room at the family home in Langford. While he’s one of the many local players on the team who are able to live at home

Junior football Rebels looking for billet families

Hosts can help young athletes excel on and off the field

Langford area homeowners keen on helping a youth-oriented organization gain a leg up on the 2015 season are invited to find out more about billeting players for the Westshore Rebels junior football team.

The Rebels are looking for temporary homes for out-of-town players coming to Langford for the spring training camp, May 1 to 3 at Westhills Stadium, and for longer-term commitments for players who’ll be staying for the 2015 B.C. Football Conference season.

“We probably have about 15 or more players coming from different parts of Canada (for camp), says Silke Allard, the team’s billet co-ordinator.

For prospective hosts, she says, “They’re supporting local junior football, so it’s another way of giving back to their community. Plus, the football family is a nice family to be a part of.”

Billeting players can be an ideal way for football fans to get closer to the action, Allard says. Not only do hosts get to know the players quite well, they receive two tickets for each of the Rebels’ five home games for the season to use however they wish.

For full-season billets, they receive a $600 per month honorarium from players to help defray the costs of having an extra person in the home from June to November.

The relationship between the players and their billets is a personal one that varies from one home to the next, depending on the individuals involved and the house rules and expectations. While the team does its best to match players with an appropriate billet home, those guidelines are largely worked out between the billet and player, Allard says.

For some billet families, taking players into their home can be a pleasant surprise.

“We had no intention of billeting players last year as we already had two teenagers at home and were busy enough,” writes Trish and Jim Worth, who billeted three players for spring training camp.

“We had such a great experience that we decided to take two of the boys as billets for the season. Are we ever glad that we did; they were awesome young gentlemen that we would share our house with again in an instant. In fact, we still stay in touch and we even got a phone call from them at Christmas to wish their “Victoria Mom and Dad” a merry Christmas!”

For security purposes, both players and billet families must undergo a criminal record check. Forms are available from the team to take to West Shore RCMP. To find out more information on being a billet, email billets@westshorerebels.ca or visit westshorerebels.ca.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com