Local News

More Women Than Ever Participate In State Games

Posted June 23, 2001 9:41 a.m. EDT

— This weekend is championship weekend for the North Carolina State Games, where athletes from age 4 to 79 have been competing to be the best, but from basketball to ice hockey, the field of competitors has shifted this year.

The line to sign this year's healthy competition pledge for the North Carolina State Games has a distinctly female feel and not surprisingly, this year's field of athletes includes close to 3,000 young women, the most ever.

"I'm not surprised because I think that women are equal to men, totally," says softball player Jamie Stallings.

Organizers attribute the girl power to more opportunities. More girls see college scholarships, the Olympics, or even professional basketball and soccer as future goals.

"We're seeing an increase in female participation (in athletics) over all, and in turn that developed into N.C. State games participation also," says Heather Moldenhauer, who markets the games.

13-year-old Tiana Morris and her AAU team are headed to nationals. She is already thinking about college and the WNBA.

"That makes me feel good because that lets me know that young women are trying to get involved in sports and doing something that's more like a boy thing," says Morris.

The girls still only make up about one quarter of the State Games competitors, but they are catching up.

After four weekends of competition, the North Carolina State Games wrap up on Sunday.