London : Masonville Pl.

Paul Duerden

What’s your full name?
Paul Charles Duerden

Where did you grow up?
London, Ontario

When and where did you first fall in love with sports or athletics? How did you get involved? How did it make you feel when you first began?

I was heavily involved in sports from a young age, I was constantly active. In highschool I played everything and only began to focus on volleyball a little more each year. It was lucky that Oakridge had a very good volleyball team as well as great coaches, that was were I got my start in the sport!

What is your background (education, training, etc) that allows you to do what you do today? How could somebody else learn to do what you do?

I have an unusual background having lived the life of an elite athlete. Playing for Canada for 15 years and professionally in Europe for 14 years gave me an incredibly vast experience in high level sport. I was lucky to work with top coaches and players from around the world and learned so much along the way, not only about sport, but about people and cultures different from our own. It takes an incredible amount of hard work to have the experiences I did, but anything is possible if you are willing to commit yourself to it fully!

What do you appreciate most about London and its community?

I love London because it is large enough to have a lot of great things going on, but small enough to avoid the hassles of a big city. I've found the business community very open and supportive, and a willingness to share ideas and experience is prevalent. I love seeing Londoners out and getting active on the numerous trails and paths in the city, as well as the great sporting community in the city. There is a great spectrum of sports being played at a high level in the city.

What is the most important thing you would tell a beginner in your field?

My advice to young athletes is always the same ... have fun, master the basic skills and WORK HARD! If you want to go to the next level you need to attack your weaknesses.

How do you cultivate a regular, useful practice yourself? What do you do on a daily basis that supports your pursuit?

The key for me is to make time for myself and my training. Luckily I have the most amazing training partner in the world (my wife) who pushes me to improve. I aim to have some activity each day (run, lift or yoga) and normally take Sundays off.