Carolina Womens Tournament
Hockey is fun for everyone!

Year-round, every day and late into the night, skaters of all ages enjoy figure skating and hockey in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Come out and see six teams of women of all ages hit the ice Feb 17-19 th during the 4th annual “Winter Warm Up” hockey tournament sponsored by the NC Trailblazers. For some of the teams, this tournament is a prelude to the District finals, which will also be held in Raleigh this year, March 3-5th. Spectators are welcome and admission is free!

In 1995, Lise Barley-Malone, Julia Ziegler, Sue Mitran, and Jill Pafford put together North Carolina’s first women’s hockey team, the NC Trailblazers. By 1998, the Trailblazers were able to bring together the first Women’s Ice Hockey division at the NC State Games with teams from Charlotte and Ft. Bragg. Over the years, the Trailblazers have grown to include three teams – from an Open “learn to play” level to a competitive “Travel” team. The players range in age from 14 to 50+ and the organization is a member of the Southeast Women’s Amateur Hockey League, sanctioned by the USA Hockey Association, which has grown to include teams from Florida to Maryland. As of 2005, Ziegler and Mitran formed a 35+ team, which competes with other 35+ teams in the region and Barley-Malone coaches the competitive travel team.

35+  team - "Old Nags"  debut at the LaBatt Tournament, Aug 2005

All too often women lose track of participating in team sports – somewhere in between college, careers, marriage, and motherhood, the time and the energy for sports gets lost. Many of the Trailblazers find that returning to a team sport not only gives them a great workout but also provides a very supportive environment that “re-charges their batteries”. For some, skating is a family affair. In spite of the serious strategy involved to sort out the practices, games, workshops, and tournaments for Dad, Mom, and the kids, the healthy time together makes it worthwhile. With six skating rinks in the area to choose from, there are convenient locations and schedules that suit everyone’s schedule and desire to get out and enjoy some action and exercise. Ice skating is a “life long sport”, no matter your age or skating level, the workout is invigorating and adds new meaning to “chill out” when it is time to de-stress!

Visit for more information regarding the February - March tournament schedules and for a list of links to area rinks.


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