New Mexico Ice Wolves Host Family Introduction
As we look forward to our inaugural season, our NAHL team will welcome twenty-five players from across the United States and foreign countries to our community. These players range in age from 16 to 20 years old. Their stay in Albuquerque will begin in late August and continue through the playoff season in mid-April. When these young men become a member of the New Mexico Ice Wolves Hockey Team, they do not live on their own and all require a family to live with. This is where the host family becomes very important as each player is matched with and placed into a home and family within our community.
What is a Host Family?
It is a family that offers to help in providing a safe, restful and healthy home environment for the visiting player.
Why Become a Host Family?
Being a host can be a very exciting and rewarding experience for all those willing to open up their homes to dedicated players. Many families who have hosted in the past usually look back at their experience with fond memories. In fact, many families still stay in touch with players they had hosted in the past as those same players move through the university and professional ranks. Key benefits to you and the Hockey Team when you volunteer to host a player are:
- Build lifelong friendships with players and their families;
- Assist young players to enjoy safe and comfortable environment while developing their hockey skills at the highest level;
- Provide a great social and cultural experience;
- Assist visiting players to have affordable living costs, making participation in junior hockey in our community possible;
- Show support for our hockey team and help them to be successful; and
- Assist in providing a special service that will lead to a successful hockey season for a young player.
- Have a mentor in your home for your own kids or fill a home where kids have already moved on.
Are You Interested in Becoming a Host Family?
Our players want to experience life as part of the hockey family and to live in a caring environment, to have a home away from home and to be introduced to our community by a family that knows it. Our hosts are excited to welcome someone new into their lives. Having a hockey player in your home takes time, patience and a willingness to share. There are lots of differences to overcome, both cultural and personal, but learning about these differences and celebrating them is part of the joy of welcoming someone new into your home and, in many cases, making a new friend for life.
What Makes a Great Host Family?
A caring, sensitive and patient family! It can be overwhelming for a player to be so far away from home. A thoughtful host family appreciates that each player is unique, and that communication and mutual understanding takes effort. Our hosts are interested in sharing their lifestyle in a positive and mutually rewarding way. We do not accept hosts who are interested in money alone. These motives are obvious to players, and interfere with the intended experience: a safe, secure, welcoming environment to learn and grow in.
Things to Consider
Do you have time for a player? Even the most self-assured players appreciate good quality time with their host family. Is everyone in your household ready to accept someone with a different background? If you have children, are they comfortable with bringing another person into the family? Other key issues to be aware of are:
- The Junior hockey player’s schedule is irregular as they try to balance school or a job with their hockey schedule which includes games, practices, road trips and other team related activities. The New Mexico Ice Wolves will provide each host family with a schedule of events and activities prior to the start of the regular season.
- Some players may choose to return home during the NAHL’s Christmas break and would return prior to the New Year to resume playing.
- Many players will return home once the season is over.
- All meals and accommodations while on road trips will be covered by the Team and/or the Player.
Is Covid an issue for host familes in 2020-21?
The team follows a strict Covid protocol that was established by the NAHL and adjusted to stay within the NM public health orders. The team protocol includes initial testing for players and all host family members before they are put together as well as weekly testing for all players and host families members that want the tests. Because these are young men, many have had Covid before arriving in NM which has been documented by a previous positive test and/or a positive antibody test. For families that have not had Covid, the team can match them with a player who has or vice versa. Safe Covid practices are a priority for the team, the league and the host families who take a player into their homes.
Responsibilities of the Host Family
Host families should be prepared to provide the following in order to make the player’s stay as comfortable as possible:
- Treat players as you would want your child treated if he/she were away from home;
- Inform players of your expectations and house rules;
- Enforce the team rules that will be clearly communicated to the host families;
- Provide a room for the players to sleep. This should be a dedicated room with a twin bed or larger, a dresser, closet and a desk with chair, preferably with a television in the room;
- Provide a student desk for homework preferably in a quiet area of the home if not located in the bedroom;
- Provide family type meals including breakfast and supper as well as snacks for the visiting player;
- Provide access to wifi in the home;
- Provide use of laundry facilities and detergent;
- Confirm with the players their allergies, medical conditions and special dietary needs and support them with these requirements;
- Support the player, communicate with him and be understanding;
- Communicate all concerns and questions regarding the player to the Host Family Coordinator;
- Make the player feel at home and part of the family; and provide information about their homes to the Host Family Coordinator (e.g. presence of pets, smokers, etc.) and necessary contact information (including work telephone numbers, cell phone numbers and email addresses). All information must be current.
Responsibility of the Athlete
While guests in your home, the New Mexico Ice Wolves fully expect each to be well behaved at all times. Some key expectations of the players are:
- Show gratitude to the host family for opening their home;
- Provide information on allergies, medical conditions, special dietary needs;
- Respect the host family as they would their own parents;
- Respect the ‘house rules’ as determined between the host family and the player; and
- When unsure of anything, always ask!
The Host Family Coordinator’s Role
The Host Family Coordinator is the key contact for any host family. The Host Family Coordinator is the person responsible for arranging accommodations for the visiting athletes with local host families and recommending families for this important role. Any questions regarding hosting a player or concerns with visiting athletes should be forwarded to the Host Family Coordinator immediately.
Host Family Benefits provided by the New Mexico Ice Wolves
The Ice Wolves appreciate the support that our Host Families provide our players and demonstrate our appreciation in the following manner:
- All Host Families will receive a card entitling them to a 15% discount on all regular priced NM Ice Wolves merchandise and other items available in the Outpost Pro Shop;
- Several social team functions;
- Season opener social event;
- Season wrap-up social event;
- Host parents will receive a unique team coat that identifies them as Hosts;
- Monetary compensation of $300 per month, paid by the players’ families.
- Priority access to game tickets for immediate family members at a host family discount;
- A wonderful experience with many great memories to those who will extend their families to include a dedicated young man while playing junior hockey.
The following information will be provided to all host families upon selection:
- Team Contact List
- Team Code of Conduct
- Host Family Contact List
- Other pertinent information
How to Get Started
If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please contact our Host Family Coordinator, Jerry Hancock @ (505) 480-0964 or HostFamilies@nmicewolves.com. Visit our website at http://www.NMIceWolves.com for more information about the team and league.
Ready to fill out our host questionnaire? You can fill it out here.
The team will conduct an interview, site visit and background check on all adults living in a host family home, as directed by the NAHL.
Welcome to the New Mexico Ice Wolves NAHL Family!