About the Durham Stiders
Our Mission Statement:
"Through athletic training and competition, the Durham Striders program seeks to strengthen youth in the basics of citizenship by developing character, confidence, moral/ethical values, and positive self-images."
The Durham Striders program is widely regarded as the premiere youth development track and field program in the country.
The Durham Striders Track Club is a Durham based community track and field program that provides training for children between the ages of 6 to 18 years. In 1975, a handful of parents and coaches began the early stages of planning and organization of the track team. The Striders program was officially established and incorporated in 1977 by Frank Davis, Jr., Herman Graham and Ralph Bullock. Beginning with only the three founders and 30 children, the program has grown to a membership of over 300 children per summer and a staff of approximately 30. Each year children of all races and backgrounds from Durham and the surrounding communities have the opportunity to learn the self-discipline required to develop their own natural physical and mental talents. They benefit from the years of dedicated coaching and running experience of individuals who volunteer their time.
The Striders program is "North Carolina's best kept secret" in terms of quality programming for citizen-development for children.
The purpose of the program is not only to enable children to develop their individual athletic potential but to provide them opportunities to learn lessons of discipline, leadership, sportsmanship, responsibility and character. These are necessary for their participation in society as responsible and productive citizens. Combining educational programming with athletic training, the Striders program addresses important issues such as drug awareness and education, teenage sexuality, ethnic diversity, child self-protection skills, career and vocational development, etc. This is part of the on-going day-to-day activities of the program. The program capitalizes upon the multiplicity of role-models available to the children of Durham and the surrounding communities. Its volunteer staff and Durham Striders’ athlete alumni provide stable, positive and successful adult role-models with whom children identify, form mentor relationships, and utilize for counseling and advice year round, on and off the athletic fields.
The Striders program is not about just running and athletic conditioning; it's a training ground for our next generation of productive citizens.
While children and young adults, team members learn the lessons that competition teaches. To realize any goal both on the athletic field and in life, they must combine self-discipline, training, and dedication; lessons that carry over into all aspects of their lives. It should be no wonder that Durham Striders Alumni represents a proven commodity in the community. Every year, an average of seven youngsters receives college scholarships and some have continued to excel and achieve national fame (see Brag Notes and Scholarship recipients).
The Durham Striders operates like a corporation, but interacts like a family.
The Striders program is administered by the Durham Striders Executive Committee. They are volunteers to the organization whose duties are outlined in the by-laws of the organization.
The Advisory Board, consisting of community leaders with an interest in children and athletics, periodically review the program’s overall direction. The board provides guidance for the fund-raising, budget, athletic scheduling, transportation and coaching programs of the Striders organization.
The coaching staff consists of more than 20 adult volunteers who support the Head Coach in the capacity (ies) of Chief Age Group Coaches and/or Special Event/Field Event Coaches.
Chief Age Group Coaches and Special Event/Field Event Coaches
The responsibilities of the Chief Age Group Coaches and Special Event/Field Event Coaches include directing the training of children during the late winter, spring and summer months by developing specific conditioning workouts (Individualized for each age-group) and supervising these workouts each practice day. Other responsibilities include evaluating the progress and athletic potential for specific events for each of their assigned children.
The Head Coach
The Head Coach coordinates and directs the activities of the Chief Age Group Coaches and Special Event/Field Event Coaches. Other responsibilities of the Head Coach include: approving and overseeing the athletic programs for the children; arranging the competitive schedule during the spring and summer months; representing the organization in all athletic arrangements; and, (or the Chief Age Group Coaches) conferring with parents on a periodic basis as to the progress of their individual child.
Volunteers are the backbone of the organization. Many volunteers contribute more than 40 hours per week during the summer months. They work as coaches, officials and administrative staff. Over the past 30 years, volunteers have evolved into experts in their particular positions with the team. All Durham Striders’ coaches and track meet officials are properly trained, certified and knowledgeable of the many Track and Field rules, regulations and procedures. Other volunteers contribute in ways not easily noticed at track practice or at track meets. For example, a community member who works as a mechanic may help maintain the Durham Striders’ team bus or, a community member who is a public relations specialist may assist the team in developing promotional materials.