By BOB ANTHONY
WHEN it comes to hockey, Tiarny Wade is pretty passionate. The university student has been playing the game since she was three years old. And now, after becoming the first "local" to be appointed Tweed Border Hockey Association coaching co-ordinator, she is keen to spread the word about the sport through the Tweed. With her focus fixed firmly on juniors, Wade has signed up 10 schools from Mullumbimby to Currumbin to take part in a coaching program that she hopes will raise the sport's profile and boost playing ranks. "We have 11 coaches qualified to provide level one instruction taking part for the kids who will hopefully go on to play in our competition," she said. Wade, who has been associated with the Waratahs club since she first started playing at minkey level, had to survive a thorough application process to secure her new role. But she is confident her local knowledge will be a bonus in the position that in the past has been filled from Queensland. "Our Tweed school sides had had great success in 2004 and I intend to use that as a basis for developing hockey further next year," she said. Wade said that in the wake of the Kookaburras success at the Athens Olympics, with Kingscliff's Nathan Eglington a part of the gold medal success, hockey was enjoying strong growth in the region. She said parents had realised the sport was inexpensive and also was reasonably safe.