The Clubs roots date back to about 1958 when quite a number of the original founders started playing together at the University of N.S.W. grounds. In 1959 they moved to Cooper Park, Waverley. Then, in 1960, the Sydney University became the Venue and finally, Strathfield became the meeting place. It was in 1962 that the Club was formally founded, its members consisting mainly of young Russian expatriates from China.
Vostok, the Russian word for East and also the name of the spacecraft which launched the first man into space, was chosen as the name for the Volleyball te
am. This was the birth of the tradition, which now sees the Club celebrating its 53rd year of existence.
Soon after the Club’s formation, the Russian Playground at Strathfield was established. It was an ideal location, consisting of 6 clay tennis courts and a small clubhouse. The efforts of Mr. Arcadie & Mrs. Katya Domachuk being largely responsible for making the use of this facility possible. It proVided the perfect Venue for Russians, young and old, to meet socially and enjoy a number of sporting activities. They played tennis, basketball, badminton, table tennis, darts, ‘gorodkee’ and of course Volleyball. Dances were held there on a regular basis, and it proved to be most successful in bringing the Russian community together.
Here began the most successful period of the Clubs history, it achieved its greatest feats during this passage of time. It boasted a collection of the finest Volleyballers in all Australia. Vostok was strong enough to split its players into two teams, of which either could win the N.S.W. Championship.
It had 6 chosen State players with as many other equally talented players. Vostok became the State Champion and then the National Champion for several years.
Australian Team: Nick Kimov, Paul Lubimoff, George Lubimoff, Nick Hasanoff, Bob Konakoff, Jorma Soininen, Michael Hintze, Hum Borelli, Jeff Wellink.
State Team: N.KimoV, P.Lubimoff, M.Hintze, N.Hasanoff, B.Konokoff, J. Soininen, J.Scarbik, G. Hayes, N.ParamonoV, M.ErzikoV, J.ErzikoV, A.Malahoff, V.Papallo, P.Miniutti, P.EpoV, Y.Chernenko, T.Uher, H.Borelli, P.Raghoudi, C.Logan.
Unfortunately, after a number of years, the Playground became unavailable and the Venue for training changed many times over the following years. Players retired and new players joined the ranks. The main strength of the Club remains its proud heritage of achieVements, this may not seem so notable to some, but to the players who had helped forge this great tradition it is certainly an accomplishment worthy of preserving.
New generations of players have consistently emerged from the fine stock of players of the past.
The first junior side was formed in 1965. It made the final of the State 2nd DiVision on its second attempt. In 1969 a Women’s Vostok team was formed. The girls went on to win the State 2nd DiVision in 1970. In 1971 two new teams had success at the State Titles, winning the Third Division in both Mens and Womens. At this point in time, Vosok had 5 teams competing at State leVel. A basketball team was also formed around this time, it too taking the Vostok name. The team had quite a number of Volleyballers in the side and they eventually won the 2nd DiVision competition.
In 1983 a Schoolboy side consisting mainly of students from the St. Alexander Nevsky Russian School was coached by Nick ParamonoV. For 2 years they competed and won the ‘B’ grade DiVision at the Bankstown Championship. More recently the St. Alexander Nevsky Russian School once again proVided a group of youngsters, who in the space of a few years became the undisputed Champions of N.S.W. and managed to come third in all-Australia at the Schoolboys Nationals.
In 1990 the first National Russian Tournament was organised by the Sydney Cossacks Club, it was attended by teams from Brisbane, Geelong, and Sydney. We are proud that both Brisbane and Geelong have adopted Vostok as their club name. The Russian Tournament has been successfully continued since.
Since then, Vostok Trainings on Tuesday nights had lost some of their intensity but the games are still played with a huge passion. The more Senior members still gather weekly to have a few games and let off a bit of steam, telling tales of the old days to the next generation.
The Vostok Men’s team had been consistent winners in State Volleyball League. Coming from the Homebush Boy’s and Westfields’ High Schools, many of the players had represented N.S.W. and some even reached National leVel. Vostok Women’s team re-emerged in 2001 to once again show Vostok’s dominance. Playing 2nd DiVision SVL since 2003, the women’s team has gained much respect, and after taking out 2nd Division this year, undefeated and dropping only 5 sets the whole season, the team is now looking at moving up to Division 1.
The Vostok Juniors are showing talent once again thanks to the coaching and development of the Senior players. This was the first year they participated in SVL and premiered in their diVision.
We hope Vostok continues the long and proud tradition created by those in the 1960’s, that it is passed on from generation to generation, not only by those who have achieved great levels of Volleyball but also by social participants who had participated and enabled the Club to get to this point today.