HISTORY OF DUNKERS
From small beginnings in the mid-eighties, the Donvale Dunkers was born out of a passion for kids to participate in Junior Basketball. In collaboration with Donvale Christian College’s sports teacher, Sue Baulch and student Nick Linton, a couple of teams were entered into the Doncaster and Districts Primary School Competition. This competition was a feeder program for the Doncaster Basketball Club, which participated in the Eastern District Junior Basketball Association.
As these Donvale Christian College students transitioned into High School, the club was formed under the Melbourne East Basketball Association. This period created a watershed moment for the Dunkers. With Basketball being on the rise as one of the most participated sports in Australia, the growth of participation in the school community also grew significantly. Before long, more than 10% of the school’s students were a Dunker and participating each week in the old gold and brown uniforms!
As the year’s passed the club updated it’s uniform and with benefit of a modern basketball court on school grounds (once referred to as the Dunker’s Dome) it grew in popularity in the broader community.
One of the highlights for the Club was the annual presentation dinners with by far the best trophy presentations of any club in the competition. These evenings outgrew the venues used and in turn attracted hundreds of supporters, players and parents alike.
Sports teacher Sue Baulch and Scott Rees remained major supporters of the club, however the ongoing growth of the Dunkers became the passion of student Nick Linton. With upwards of 25 teams participating in the MEBA competition, the Dunkers improved from participating in lower grades to finally become an A grade club, and then even winning A grade Premierships.
The MEBA is a feeder program to one of Australia’s most significant elite Junior Basketball Programs (the Nunawading Spectres) and a number of Dunkers kids were also selected to play for the Spectres. This additional experienced helped the club improve their on court performance even more and also assisted producing a number of high calibre coaches.
For the next ten years and with the support of a strong committee especially the expertise of Liz Dawson who was a great club secretary, Linton continued to promote the club within the School.
Since then many families have stepped up and been apart of creating Dunker’s history. The club relies on volunteers to step up as committee members, coaches, and team managers.
As a result today, the Donvale Dunkers remains a strong program that continues to provide the students at the College the opportunity to participate with distinction in the local community. The goals of the club all those years ago remain strong and it is true that from little things, big things can grow.