ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The Blues may be out of the playoffs, but your son or daughter may have caught the hockey bug and want to give it a try. If that's the case, there's a way to get your child on the ice for free.

Missouri Hockey, the organization that oversees youth hockey in the St. Louis area, including the Metro East, offers a six to seven-week program called Free Learn to Play. Children, ages five through eight, can take advantage of this program at no costs to parents.

Missouri Hockey partners with Total Hockey to provide kids with the equipment and free ice time. When a child completes the program they get to keep a jersey and a hockey stick.

Larry Boyd, president of Missouri Hockey, says they've offered the program for the past three years during the summer and it's helping grow the game.

"We see about two to four percent and we are really focused on the eight and under. That's the early stage; we get them and then we develop them," Boyd said. "USA Hockey is really interested in this. They have a two-plus-two challenge: bring in two kids and hang on to those two kids."

If your child wants to continue to play hockey, Boyd says many clubs charge no fees or a very minimal one for the younger players.

Interested parents should go to MOhockey.org. Larry Boyd has his email listed.

For more on other ways Missouri Hockey is working to keep costs down for families, watch the segment above that aired on Today in St. Louis.

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