devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

From All-star 6 to Balibo 5

Posted by Hugh Nguyen on October 26, 2009

No it’s not advertising. The guy in the black coat is Mark Leonard Winter, who played for Rostrevor, Norwood and SA for many years in the late 90s. I hope Lebby and Simon Naismith remember coaching him, because he was a pretty good player.

It’s rare that I get to find something that indulges both of my life obsessions: Volleyball & Cinema.

OK, this post isn’t strictly about volleyball, but I think it’s worthwhile once in a while to recognise some of the non-sporting success of people who have been involved in our sport, as testament to the quality of people who are drawn to it.

When I started playing junior volleyball, Mark Leonard Winter was one of best junior players around playing for Rostrevor College, Norwood and SA. These days he’s a up-and-coming stage and screen actor currently appearing in two feature films that are showing at the moment: Balibo (produced by Anthony Lapaglia) and Van Dieman’s Land. The critical acclaim of these films means it’s only a matter of time he starts getting a crack at Hollywood roles. Adelaide being a small place, Mark’s Rostrevor classmate and close friend Xavier Samuel scored the villain role in the next Twilight film.

Mark was the key hitter in a Rostrevor College team that dominated school’s cup winning Junior Honours and Intermediate Honours before he moved to the US for a while. Coming back 2 years later he played as a setter on a team that now boasted Nik West and Travis Moran as its main hitters and lost an Open Honours gold to an invicible Brighton team comprised of Andy Earl, Luke Hunyadi, Craig Sibbons and Jonny Byron (Wonthaggi finished with a respectable Bronze medal). He played U16 nationals (making the all-star team in ’98) and Junior Nationals too.

Last night, past and current Rostrevor players honoured their coach Glen Urbani with a BBQ celebrating 15 years of Rostrevor Volleyball. Adam Maskell and Travis Moran spoke. Harrison Peacock flew back for the weekend to be there. An excerpt of an email from Mark was read out where he fondly recounted the days where as a teenager his team piled into Urbani’s brown combi van to play Friday night junior league games, and the thrill of medal matches at AVSC. I’m glad he remembered those days because they were fine days indeed.

8 Responses to “From All-star 6 to Balibo 5”

  1. Eldo said

    He was a very good player. Played under 16’s in Perth. Jacob Holmes (Adelaide 36er and Australian basketballer) was also in the team. Team had a great attack but could not pass well enough in the grand final and so suffered from some heavy blocking.

  2. Just like announcing a wedding said

    Oh Puh-LEASE !! Gimme a break, surely the line has to be drawn at VOLLEYBALL RELATED STORIES.

    We have had announcements of weddings (ok, the one for Matt – let that one slip by because its his Dads site)….but this one takes the non-volleyball cake.

    • devo said

      Did you actually read the whole post?

      • Alexis said

        Agreed Devo

        To me it reads like a story about a coach who started by carting around a team in a brown combi, and ended up 15 years later with 3 National team players, as well as a player who has moved off in a completely different but successful direction, all of whom (along with many others I understand) care enough about where they came from to make an effort to thank the coach for it.

        Couldn’t be a better example of a junior coach contributing to the long term success of the athletes, regardless of ‘volleyball’ success.

        Isn’t this what the ‘Coach of the Year’ award is all about?

    • Murph said

      Lets not forget that the whole post was filed under the heading ‘its not volleyball but…’

  3. Jase said

    Agree with Alexis and Devo, I think its good to hear what volleyballers are doing after they stop playing, especially ones that are being so successful in their chosen fields.

    It’s also a great example of how volleyball can leave such a lasting memory with people later into their lives, and that they still remember their junior coaches coaches. As someone who played in state teams for many years and recently started coaching because I’m now too old to play, it really inspires me to give everything I have to it, knowing that I am giving the kids not only volleyball skills, but lasting life skills experiences and memories.

    I think we should be encouraging these sort of stories, to show young volleyballers the skills they learn (discipline, team work, motivation etc.) can benefit them in their lives even if they choose (or have it chosen for them) that they will not be professional volleyballers.

  4. they may be some of the only stories we have left if they cut High Performance funding!

    Given the possible consequences of this crawford report it may be time to start finding as many prominent and high profile ex-volleyballers to help out at the barricades!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: