VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) – Dragon boat racing is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, and on Monday, paddlers gathered in Vancouver to prepare for an upcoming race. 

The race will be hosted by Paddle for Life. They have been organizing these races for years to raise money for local charities. 

Next month’s race will raise money for the Clark County Veterans Assistance Center. 

Several of the participants are veterans themselves, including Kelly Jones, who says her life changed when she discovered this sport. 

“One day I ran into a friend at a health fair and she said, hey, have you every tried dragon boating? And I said, I have no clue what you’re talking about, but I’ll give it a try. I was hooked after the first practice,” Jones said.

She added, “It’s a great group of women down in Portland that I paddle with, the Amazon Dragons, and if I hadn’t have found them, I for sure would have gone down a road that I probably shouldn’t have gone down.” 

The Clark County Veterans Assistance Center helps veterans in a number of ways, from car repair to helping them find housing. 

The dragon boat race will take place on July 13 at Vancouver Lake Park. 

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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