The South Muskoka Shield Junior A Hockey Club is looking for volunteers and billet homes following the announcement that the club will be making the Bracebridge Arena their home for the next few seasons.
Established for 13 years in Muskoka, the club is excited to begin the 2019-20 season in Bracebridge after starting out in Gravenhurst and spending a season in Port Carling. The club will be playing in Bracebridge for at least three years, said Susan Cook, the billet coordinator for the club, but they hope to continue on past the three years if possible. Cook said that even though Port Carling opened their arms to them, the location made it difficult for fans to attend the games and limited the club’s involvement with the community. The relocation will allow fans better access while also allowing the club to do more in the community, she said.
“We were well established in Gravenhurst for many years and you become a close knit family,” Cook said. “We’re looking forward to establishing that in Bracebridge as well.”
The club is now looking for volunteers to fill all kinds of roles within the organization. Volunteers support the club by helping with ticket sales, running the video camera, scorekeeping, running music, acting as flag skaters and more. Cook said it’s much easier for the organization when there are lots of volunteers and there’s always something to be done, so anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to reach out.
The club is also looking for billet homes in the Bracebridge area, meaning families willing to open their homes to players ages 17 to 21 from all over the world. Cook said they are hoping to find at least 10 to 12 homes, preferably with two boys per home so that players coming from around the world will have a friend with them. Families are compensated monthly for this service, which extends from September to April.
“I have friends and family all over the world that come to visit and I visit them. It’s an extended family that you get what these boys and their families,” Cook said. “You learn different cultures, different languages. It’s been an exceptional experience for myself and I know for a lot of the other billets that I’ve had for years in Gravenhurst.”
If you’re interested in volunteering or in opening your home to players as a billet home, contact Susan Cook at 705-646-4288 or at Gr8rltor@royallepage.ca.