Marla Baker, a present captain and warehouse volunteer of DragonSports USA, was profiled in the article, “Dragon Boat racing offers social, physical benefits” by the Daily Journal of Commerce’s Reed Jackson on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Baker currently captains three times a week and has raced boats for nine years. Being on the bow of a 700-pound boat enables her to forget about any life challenges, such as raising her 10 grandchildren and running her boat repair company by herself.

“It’s a release for everything. This is definitely my out in life,” says Baker, “It’ll make you a happier person – on the jobsite as well as in life.” She is a successful former owner – known as the “hood lady” – of a stainless steel company that furnished kitchen restaurants across the country. Baker mentions that many racers are either architects or contractors. In fact, her husband, Chuck Baker is also an electrician. With their previous job experience, they have become proficient boat builders.

Darrell Hames, the owner of DragonSports, also believes that people who work in the field of architecture and construction have exceptional interest in the competitive sports like Dragon Boat racing.

Hames mentions, “It’s a sport where you have to have the ability to take time off and go to the races, and you have to be able to afford it.” This is the reason why DragonSports tend to get more racers that possess the individual professional aspects or are the business owners.

Dragon Boat racers are serious about making connections and competitive sports. Dragon Boat racing attracts people as a great opportunity for social networking. Baker states that the real draw to racing is that regardless of age, size or past, someone can make 24 new friends almost immediately. It does not only offer social benefits, but also physical benefits. Baker continues that this is one of the healthiest things you can do because paddling helps prevents injuries on the job site.

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