HOCKEY is growing in Gympie after the numbers of children picking up the sticks and getting into the game has doubled over the last 12 months.
Gympie Hockey Regional Coaching Director Ben Fitzpatrick said kids are turning to the game because it is safe and family friendly.
"This year we have 51 signed up.
"We had 24 last year, a big boom in numbers.
"We try to grow from the bottom up with these youngsters.
"It's just a beginner course, for any kids who want to give it a try before they jump on in.”
Mr Fitzpatrick said the idea is to teach to children between the ages of 5 and 10 the basics of the sport, then get into modified games.
"We take them through the basic skills for the first five to six weeks, then to smaller fields, smaller numbers and softer balls.
"Last Saturday was our first week for the year - we run a program from last week (mid March) to late August.”
Kandanga school has signed up for the kids program and will implement it into the school year.
Mr Fitzpatrick said the children get a stick, balls, bag, and coloured singlet for $85.
"We have a lot of representation of our players in Queensland and representative teams.
"The signs are looking pretty good. We are just trying to grow,” he said.