The Durham Striders have been in existence in since 1975. Founded by Frank Davis, Ralph Bullock, and Herman Graham, the Strider program has provided athletic training in track and field to youth 6-18 years old throughout Durham and the surrounding counties. Each year approximately 250 children participate in the program’s multiple athletic venues, cross country, mid-season conditioning and spring and summer track and field. Alongside athletic training, the Strider program has integrated multiple aspects of wellness, preventive medicine, academic reinforcement, citizenship training, and total family fitness to improve the overall health and productivity of our children. Targeting disadvantaged and minority children, particularly males, the program has integrated positive role models as coaches and leaders to provide examples of excellence to its most impressionable citizens, its youth.
The Durham Striders Youth Association is a Durham based community organization 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 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.
Through athletic training and competition, the Durham Striders Program strives to enhance the basic rules of good citizenship for our youth members by developing character, confidence, moral/ethical values and positive self images with an accent on achieving excellence in the classroom.