By Claire Egan
Perth ice hockey team the Warhawks, are known for their diversity with a line-up that boasts both male and female players and a variety of ages.
Twenty-year-old Warhawks’ player Tonii Larpent has been playing ice hockey for four years, travelling to Iceland, Japan and Brisbane for her love of the sport.
“I like playing on a mixed team, the boys really push me. I’ve played with boys that are ten times better than me and because they are better, I want to push myself to prove I deserve to be on the team,” said Tonii.
Tonii is training to try out for the national team at the end of the year and says she’s not afraid to play in a team with both sexes.
“I haven’t been badly injured, at least not yet, just had little minor things and that’s about it.”
The Warhawks are a senior, non-checking Division 1 team, the second highest division in WA, with four full-time female players in an 18 player team.
Non-checking means there is physical contact but no deliberate hitting is allowed.
Warhawks’ coach Michael Smith believes there are many benefits to having a mixed gender team.
“It’s good having both male and females in there because it gives the females a chance to push themselves with the high level males,” he said.
“It brings skills from both ways, the Warhawks was a development team designed to be a training team to get players ready for super league if they wanted to or just to the next level.”
Coach Smith says the Warhawks can hold their own when playing against all-male teams as well as mixed gender.
“The girls we have on our team have all tried out and earned their spots on the team, there’s no obstacle for them in that way.”
Here are the Warhawks in action.