At the outset I would like to say that I have never been a hockey fan, have never understood the game and our sons were never (to their undying dismay) in hockey.
However, in October we offered to take in billets from the Summerland Steam and my (our) lives have changed drastically.
Now….the home game hockey schedule is checked prior to accepting any invitations or meeting dates.
Now….dinner meals are regularly scheduled around when our billet is due at the rink for practice, road trips or home games.
Now…. the KIJHL website is set as a favourite on our browser so that we can keep up with stats and current standings. (Summerland Steam is third in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference – Okanagan Division).
So, what has happened in less than four months?
The players who have lived under our roof have impressed us immensely as being incredible ambassadors for the town of Summerland.
Aside from a few who are local boys, the rest come from towns and cities across the province, the country and the United States.
They come to a new team in a strange town, to live with families that they do not know and are expected to fit in instantaneously because they come to represent Summerland in the KIJHL for the love of the game.
They are not paid to play. In fact they pay to be here. Many have to work full-time to support their “hockey habit” and some also go to school part-time.
They fit all of that in to a hectic schedule of games at home and away, fitness training and regular practices.
When they play at home, after the game they regularly get food from Summerland’s restaurants and the guest teams often stop for pizza on their way home.
The next home game is on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. against the Princeton Posse. What an inexpensive form of action packed entertainment and we have a great team.
Come by and say hi! I am the one in the middle, top row with her hands over her eyes every time one of our own Summerland Steam players gets checked.
Linda Van Alphen