1991 – Our Boys Kick Things Off
The Durham Attack Volleyball club launched by Scott Burrows, Dwayne Cochrane, Ian McNee and Jim Beam in 1991. Early coaches included Ian, Phil Ovsenek, Andy Dyment, Scott and Dwayne. It started with a men’s team on which Scott and Dwayne played; the following year added a women’s team which featured our longtime coach Carol Hart. We added a handful of youth teams, which quickly grew. Our first National Championship was won in 1999, when our 15U boys team won Provincials and Nationals. Members of that team are in our coaching ranks and on our executive today.
1997 – Our Girls Join
The Durham Attack Girls Volleyball club was an idea born in January 1997 by a group of young coaches that loved volleyball. Their plan was to bring volleyball to the girls of Durham Region, building on the enthusiasm and success achieved at the elementary school level. Try-outs were held in April and May and three teams were selected. In September 1997, the Durham Attack Girls Volleyball Club entered their first competitive season with one Bantam team and two midget teams. 36 girls and 6 coaches were wearing the familiar red, white and black of Durham Attack as the season began. At the end of the season, all three teams were in Tier One, ranked within the top 16 teams in Ontario. Not only had the club been born, but the winning tradition had begun.
In season two, the club expanded again, adding one more bantam team and one more midget team. This growth would continue as the club grew to include 12 competitive teams, ranging in age from 11-18. Girls on their assigned teams practiced two nights per week and trained from September until May for a very physically and emotionally demanding season.
Success has appeared in many forms, with the girls gradually developing into a powerful force in volleyball in Eastern Canada. In May 2002, the Midget Black team captured Bronze at the Eastern Nationals and then travelled to Calgary where they won Gold at the Western Nationals. Our first National Championship! This was followed in 2004 and 2005 with back-to-back Canadian Eastern Bantam National Championship titles. Up until 2005 the club had won five Provincial titles: Bantam in 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005, and Midget in 2004. In 2006 the girls added another five provincial titles and four National titles, making us the most successful club in Canada for the season.
A House League took roots in 2001. In hopes of exposing more girls to the game of volleyball, a house league program was started. Players between the ages of 9-15 are taught the skills of volleyball and exposed to game situations to improve. The ten-week program has grown to include more than 250 girls and 80 boys in the 2005-2006 season, and recently earned Durham Attack an award from Volleyball Canada for innovation and leadership.
The success of the House League program has also led to the summer camp program, where players spend five days learning and improving their individual skills on both the court and the beach. For many this is their first exposure to the beach program and athletes are thrilled with the challenges presented to them. What makes the house league and summer programs even more exciting are the number of veteran and alumni players who “give back” to the game and their club and come to help coach. Over 60% of the House League coaches are Club players who remember their beginning days with the Club and enjoy the opportunity to work with younger athletes.
was a banner year with the girls teams winning five out of seven Ontario championships (12U/15U/16U/18U/20U) along with a Silver (14U) and a Bronze (17U), all in Tier 1; the Quebec 14U Championship; four National Championships (14U East, 15U East & West, 16U East) a National Silver medal (16U West), a National 4th place finish (18U), and a Tier 2 National Championship (15U East).
We have had many strong teams over the years, but perhaps the most notable to date on the girls side is Durham Attack Big Black, who won seven straight tier 1 Canadian Opens from 2005 to 2009: 14u East, 15U East and West, 16U East and West, 17U and 18U.
And the Club has continued to win multiple National Championships each year. Today Durham Attack is stronger than ever with nineteen boys and girls competitive teams, spanning the ages of 12-18, and over 400 girls and 100 boys annually in our House League program. As the club continues to grow, the hope of exposing more and more athletes to volleyball remains at the forefront, and we measure what we do by always focusing on what is right for the athlete. A constant influx of alumni athletes returning to coach in the club they played for gives us great hope for the future of our sport.