Dundee University Volleyball Club celebrated its 50th anniversary in style on the weekend of 23/24 February, when almost 70 former members attended the club’s Alumni Reunion Weekend. Club alumni travelled from across the world – Denmark, Sweden, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany and Greece – to return to the University and relive their student volleyball memories.
A relaxed club session on the Friday evening to welcome returning alumni, was followed on the Saturday with more competitive 6v6 action against the current men’s and women’s 1st teams, for those alumni that wished to play. Highlight of this session was the look of delight on the face of the 1990 women’s team captain, Debs Milne, when she learnt that you are now able to kick a volleyball!
A 4-a-side recreational tournament in the afternoon, involving 18 teams, allowed current and former members of all abilities to enjoy some relaxed volleyball, where smiles and laughter were the main feature.
A superb meal, with speeches and ceilidh for over 100 in the University Union brought to a close the formal schedule for the Saturday, although in the best tradition of such reunions, socialising continued well into the Sunday morning! A relaxed farewell Sunday lunch in the club’s sponsor bar which attracted nearly 70, left the bar staff anything but chilled-out, as they struggled to deal with such a large number!
The passing of years did not prevent there being a healthy number of older alumni present – five members of the women’s team of 90/91 returned as did a number of former players from the 1980s. Particular mention must be made of Salam Souliman, who joined the club in 1977 and, at the age of 66, was attending his fourth DUVC Alumni Reunion – and still playing!
The University Volleyball Club is arguable Dundee University’s most successful sports club, having won the “Club of the Year” and “Team of the Year” awards on a number of occasions. The club’s success is centred on its open and welcoming approach to new members, which ensures that anyone and everyone feels that they can try the sport in an environment which is supportive and inclusive.
With a current membership of 123 encompassing at least 37 different nationalities, the club is truly a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds – one of its most unique and positive features. Indeed in the past four decades there have been over 75 different nationalities represented in the club’s membership – a true United Nations of volleyball!
With seven teams competing on a regular basis, there is an outlet and opportunity for all levels of player. This is supported by the strong social aspect of the club, which was evidenced at the end of January when 72 members visited Barcelona on the annual club trip!
The club hosts its Alumni Reunion every three years and thoughts are already turning to the Olympic year of 2020, when friendships will be refreshed and memories rekindled and shared with the next generation of DUVC members…