Our athletes who need room and board are billeted among a great group of local families. Our billets provide a safe and supportive environment that our student athletes can call home. We have had great success through our billeting program and feel that it has been an integral part of the growth of our Academy.
OHA’s Coordinator of Residential Life, Garth Astles facilitates the process and ensures that our students are placed in a home they will be comfortable with. This process includes an extensive screening process that insures the family and student are the right fit for each other. Each potential billet family goes through a wide-ranging interview and reference check. The student is also asked a series of questions such as if they are okay living with children, pets, etc. This process insures the student and his or her new billet family will be comfortable with one another.
Astles brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in working with youth and their families, through his work as a social worker with the BC Ministry of Children and Families. In addition, he has a unique understanding of the billet life – both as a host family through his childhood and as a billeted player during his time with the Seattle Breakers in the WHL. Garth feels this position has brought him full circle, back to the game he is most passionate about.
“AS A BILLET FAMILY, WE LOVE BEING INVOLVED WITH OHA. WE HAVE A YOUNG SON PLAYING HOCKEY AND THE EXAMPLE AND DETERMINATION OF THESE YOUNG MEN IS A HUGE BOOST TO HIS CONFIDENCE AND GAME PLAY. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE HAVING THEM IN OUR HOME AND MEETING THEIR FAMILIES AND GAINING NEW FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY.” – DUSTIN AND KRISTY MALLORY, OHA BILLET FAMILY
Billet families provide student athlete with a home away from home. The families provide meals and transportation, when needed. In many cases, the relationships developed between the student and billet family last for years, even when the student has moved onto the next chapter of his or her life.
"Playing at OHA was great. I had great billet families and made great relationships with people I still keep in touch with. It was a really good learning experience for me being away from home playing hockey, which set me up to go play junior." - Dennis Robertson (Charlotte Checkers, AHL)
For more information on the OHA billeting process, please contact:
OHA Coordinator of Residential Life
Being a part of the Okanagan Hockey Academy has been an extremely rewarding and unforgettable experience. It has enabled me to gain confidence and acquire life long skills expanding beyond the game of hockey. The balance between academics and athletics is superb, allowing you to achieve your ultimate success. The academy assisted me in achieving my dream of playing hockey at the NCAA level while studying Pre-Medicine. Without this caring support group, none of this would have been possible and I am forever grateful.