Street Hockey? Get the puck outta here!


By Marley Amphlett

An enthusiastic SRHL player giggles as she whizzes around the Bayswater Bowls Club rink during a practice match.

Jason Alexander Heights, Get Bentley, Shannon Nollamara and the Northbridge MDM8’s sound like a mishmash of insults, pop culture references and drug paraphernalia. These unusual phrases are actually the names of four of Perth’s Street Roller Hockey League teams.

With the warmer weather just around the corner locals are looking for new and quirky ways to get active. Perth’s Street Roller Hockey League (SRHL) was founded by Eamonn Lourey in 2013.

Since its conception, the league has expanded from just four teams to over 117. Consequently a board of directors and captains assist with the logistics. The teams range from rookies to veterans and anyone is eligible to join regardless of experience.

“SRHL has somehow united a bizarrely vast cross section of people, from doctors and lawyers, to tradies, dole bludgers, stoners, and surfers all just hangin’ out,” said SRHL player Kawree Coreyson.

The league prides itself on catering to a variety of people, delivering a flexible schedule and an affordable way for individuals to get involved in team sports. SHRL is also an opportunity to socialise, enjoy a beer or a softdrink, listen to some tunes and slowly work your way up into getting into the game. A player from each team is asked to bring a carton to share every week.

 An enthusiastic SRHL player giggles as she whizzes around the Bayswater Bowls Club rink during a practice match.

Self-proclaimed social butterfly and beer enthusiast Kawree Coreyson explains how he became involved in playing with the Padbury Pingers and why he has stayed for four years. Coreysons’ roller hockey career had humble beginnings. Waking up, still drunk on a Sunday morning, Coreyson was picked up by some friends and driven down to a local oval for a scratch match.

“I was leaning against a fence, yelling in a red jumper when I overheard some guys chatting about needing an extra player, I turned around and there they were all dressed in red. I looked down at my jumper, then back at them, and that’s how I joined the Padbury Pingers.”

It would appear that all you need to play in the SRHL is some Dutch courage and a good attitude. “I had never played any iteration of hockey before, let alone roller hockey,” said Coreyson.

“This combined with the huge amounts of alcohol in my system, my skating ability was akin to a baby giraffe,” he added.

Seasoned player, ‘Spuddy’ Carville, the “Captain’s captain” of the Stoneville Sloths had only positive things to say of his time with the SRHL. “Everyone is incredibly welcoming of everyone, from all walks of life.”

So what makes the SRHL different to other sports leagues? “The biggest draw card of the SRHL is the social aspect. The vibe is one of cooperation over competition,” he said.

“The game doesn’t lend itself well to hyper-competitive types, and instead keeps a ‘zero-level’ skill requirement, where anyone who has never skated before, much less hit a puck with a stick, can pick up skates and a stick and play immediately,” Carville explained.

Many experienced players have made the switch from Ice Hockey in favour of the SRHL. This is for a number of reasons, including physical and financial well-being. Despite the cost, Ice Hockey has more opportunities for those wanting to become professional athletes.

“I looked at taking up Ice Hockey, but the buy-in of gear and training, not to mention huge registration fees, was incredibly expensive,” said Carville. Fees for the SRHL are dramatically cheaper, averaging at about $4 per game.

Jordan Williams, former Ice Hockey player, explains the financial commitment required to play Ice Hockey. “Ice hockey is definitely one of the most expensive sports I can think of. A year’s fees is around $1000, not including the equipment which can be well over $2000 worth.” Ice Hockey being a contact sport makes the risk of injury much higher.

“It can be extremely physically demanding not only fitnesswise but also with injuries, anything from split chins to broken bones being a normal part of the game,” Williams added.

So with players making the switch from one sport to the other, does this cause any tension? “Absolutely there is a rivalry [between SRHL and Ice Hockey] but a friendly one, as people go between the two sports very often, usually due to the cost of ice hockey and/or how rough it is. One’s a winter sport, one’s a summer. It is pretty rare to find someone in one sport who hasn’t at least tried the other,” explained Williams.

Josie Roos, started her local team, the North Beach Bearded Clams and has played for three seasons.  She explained that while the league is voluntary, some teams have scored some pretty notable sponsorships.

“Frisk, the gin bar, sponsors the girls’ team I play for and again we got the cost of our jerseys covered and some rounds of cocktails, which is rad,” she said.

Roos also shared how rival team in the league Two Girls, One Puck are involved in a surprising partnership with a popular adult entertainment website “I’m super flipping jealous, they received such a good sponsorship,”she said.

“They emailed Pornhub and were really surprised when they said yes! I think the girls got their jerseys and such paid for.”

A picture of the team posted on Social Media platform, Instagram, received over 5000 likes. Unfortunately some cringeworthy comments and a little misunderstanding resulted, explained Roos.

Founder Eamonn Lourey encourages players to contribute to the SRHL with any other skills they may have, including arts and graphic design. Nicola Swanepoe, player and designer for City Beach, Don’t Kill my Vibe recently released this unique team jersey on Facebook for members to purchase.

Sean Baldwin, Captain of City Beach, Don’t Kill my Vibe said “as a team, we are best known for low quality hockey, mediocre quality banter and high quality vibes.

“As the only team in the league with vibe in our name, we want to do our part to keep the good vibes flowing,” he added.

Louise Mc has played for the North Perth Bald Beavers for three years. She encourages potential newcomers to give the game a chance. In the past year, two rookie teams have been established. The Chaigate Lattes and the Perth Wildpucks have just begun their first season.

She said: “I think it really appeals to people who are maybe too busy with work, kids, or are maybe new to the city and don’t know many people.”