Dragon boat races were taking place at Hawk Island Park on Sept. 15 when the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing held their annual competition.
18 teams with 18-22 members competed against each other, two teams at a time, in rowing dragon-themed boats to be the first to grab a flag at the finish line.
Dragon boating was made popular in the United States by women in recovery after battling breast cancer. The rowing motion is a good way to rebuild muscle lost in the fight.
Besides providing a day of fun, proceeds went to a good cause at the women’s center.
“We’re trying to get a lot of people out to just continue sustaining the work that the women’s center has done for the past 15 years and for the next 15 years,” said Melina Brann, executive director of the women’s center.
With this being the eighth edition of the event, teams have become familiar with each other over the years.
“[I like] meeting all the different teams and seeing the camaraderie between the different teams and the friendly rivalries,” said Jill Hoort, who competed for the Aftkickers in their fifth year of attendance.
The Eli Broad College of Business sent a team to participate. Haris Sorovigas, a finance professor, said that they felt it was important to set an example for their students.
“We need to establish a program that shows that we care for the community,” Sorovigas said.
The women’s center had been reaching out to potential teams since May when putting the race together. Hoort encouraged anyone interested to sign up next year.
“This is a great event that people should really mark their calendars and come out and see every year.”