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by | sports

DUBAI: Dragon boat race is one of the water sports events fast becoming popular in the UAE, especially among Filipinos. There are up to six dragon boat events being held annually, attracting over 10,000 participants.

Recently, the Dubai Marina Dragon Boat festival, organized by UAE Dragon Boat Association, saw a huge number of paddlers, enthusiasts and residents along the marina stretch. The categories include 1,500m long distance, 200m open, 200m women, 200m mixed and 200m for corporate.

Coming from the different emirates, 35 teams, which consist of 20 members each, competed at this thrilling two-day event.

Jhonnette Pelayo, a mother, business analyst in Dubai and a member of the A-Team Dubai Dragon Boat DXB, said she’s in love with the sport it is “a fun and exhilarating activity and a really nice experience that is full of adrenaline.”

Pelayo juggles her time between her newborn baby and training’s with her teammates. “The sport requires commitment and dedication,” she said.

Composed mostly of Filipinos and a good mix of other nationalities, the team rigorously trains. They do land and water drills four times a week in Al Jaddaf. According to Pelayo, apart from the exercises, they also work out on their technique and strategy to win the races they participate in.

The A-Team Dubai Dragon Boat DXB brought their A-game at the race and took the coveted championship title in the 200m open category of the Dubai Marina Dragon Boat competition. They are now preparing for their next race set for Feb. 2 and 3 to be held at the Dubai Canal. Their other line-up is set for March in Dubai Marina, as well as April at the Creek’s Cultural Village, and Ras Al Khaimah.

The exemplary feats of the group have earned them a name here and abroad as well as respect among paddlers’ circle in the UAE, not to mention bragging rights.

The team makes sure to always bring their A-game with them everywhere and show their true mettle in the water.

Contributed by Yba Kob

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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