Seven years later, and Perth's Street Roller Hockey League is still going strong
If you like drinking and dislike sports, then Street Roller Hockey is - believe it or not - the sport for you.
With its isolation from the east-coast and sheer tendency to do whatever the hell it wants, there have been quite a few things pop up in the last decade solely unique to Perth. The ones that instantly come to mind are a dated fascination with dubstep and six bubble tea joints in every shopping centre, but another one is the Street Roller Hockey League - a "sports" group that has been running within Perth and its outer suburbs for the past seven years now, with no intention of slowing down as they enter a new decade of the league to be defined by drinking, fun, sports and a little more drinking.
We've talked about their highs and lows a few times over the last few years, but as a reminder/lesson for those fresh into adulthood and looking to join a sports club despite a real lack of interest in professional sports, the Street Roller Hockey League is an 800-strong contingent of people from across the city who gather in car parks, sporting clubs and the purpose-built rink at Bayswater Bowls Club (with a new rink incoming soon, most likely to save another bowls club after their purpose-built rink saved Bayswater's) to chuck on some roller skates and play hockey. That's the general gist of it, but deep down, is a real sense of friendship and community that have kept the league going strong for almost a decade now, with no suggestions of it letting up any time soon.
The Street Roller Hockey League is unique as it's a bit of a light-hearted get together more than a professional sport - those that take the game too seriously are shunned and/or told to lighten up - with an emphasis on having a good time and meeting new people rather than being the best Street Roller Hockey player there ever was. It's community-built and community-focused; everyone there is to celebrate each other, having a few drinks and a little bit of banter in the process.
In 2020, seven years since they launched, things at the Street Roller Hockey League are refocusing on this sense of community that have defined the league since day-dot. There's a particular focus on growing a women-inclusive league for those that don't want to play with the guys, and the league also were also a part of last year's Perth Pride, marching as a part of the parade and also putting out a limited run of pride hockey jerseys to celebrate the occasion. While it started as a bunch of mates wanting to rip off The Mighty Ducks, it's now a wholesome place of inclusivity and support - something you often can't find even with the most 'mainstream' of local sporting.
The women's league of the Street Roller Hockey League is something they're particularly keen to show off in the year ahead. Led by two co-commissioners who look after the women's league separately to the main group, it's designed to give a space for women to play if they don't want to play in the mixed teams, with eight teams joining up for the latest season - a number they're keen to double in the year ahead.
If you like drinking and dislike sporting, then there's still a sport for you out there. Sign-ups for the Street Roller Hockey League's 2020 season will be kicking off soon, so keep an eye on their website and Facebook page for the deets as they happen.
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