A league of their own

Street hockey players David Whitehouse, James Dixon, Eamonn Lourey and Ross Palchak. Photographer: Marcus Whisson
Street hockey players David Whitehouse, James Dixon, Eamonn Lourey and Ross Palchak. Photographer: Marcus Whisson

The Perth Street Hockey League, developed by Eamonn Lourey, of Hamersley, and a group of 20-somethings requires little to no hockey experience and encourages suburban pride and good times.

Inspired by community pride in the burrows of Brooklyn and Manhattan, Lourey wanted to revive his 90s childhood of ice hockey films and inline rollerblading through a league that built suburban identity.

‘Me and my mate both bought op-shop hockey sticks in the same week and we just thought it would be a pretty cool idea and we didn’t really think of it seriously and then we told our friends and everyone was pretty around it and Facebook kind of just took care of the rest,’ Lourey said.

‘We are a community, but we’re trying to get away from low density suburbs, trying to have something fun to do in that suburb,’ he said.

The premise of the league and what it was there to achieve was simple.

‘Get your own mates in your own suburb to rep your own ‘hood against other places’.

‘I suppose we were kind of the last generation before the videogames took over, we just made our own fun and we’re going to keep doing that now.’

The league that began in June last year uses abandoned car parks, tennis courts or anything else wide enough and flat enough to skate on.

There are more than 10 teams, each representing a suburb, with four a side and no goaltender.

‘The more beginners you have I think the more fun it will be because it will be more about people’s individual suburbs and them making their own fun rather than a bunch of people who’ve played hockey before… .’

Lourey said he believed the league went a small way in breaking stereotypes of his generation, saying the league encouraged a sense of positive community and initiative to develop a team.

‘Everyone who has a team has just taken charge of their own team and they’re representing their suburb in a half joking half competition way but its better getting drunk at a Sunday session. I think it’s definitely a good thing to have around the burbs,’ he said.