Volleyball success for St Mark's Old Scholar

Conrad Hill graduated from St Mark’s in 2016, and is now a student-athlete at Belmont-Abbey College, where he is working toward earning a double degree in International Business and Sports Management.

Conrad is currently competing in the Division 1 NCAA Volleyball program in Charlotte, North Carolina in the USA, and is heading into his third season as captain of the team, known as the Crusaders, in his fifth and final season as a collegiate player.

'My interest in volleyball started when I became involved in the program as part of the Physical Education Studies course. I was fortunate to be a part of the St Mark’s Volleyball Teams that competed in Singapore in 2015, successfully finishing the tournament with the Championship Cup, with both U19 Teams ending up in the final,' said Conrad.

'I was also able to represent St Mark’s in the interschool programs, including CAS Sport, as well as participating in the Australian Schools Volleyball Cup in Melbourne.'

Conrad believes that it was his experience at St Mark’s that lead him to receiving the volleyball scholarship and his participation in the NCAA Division I program.

'I could not have achieved this without the support of our coach at the time, Mr Mark van Winsen, and the Physical Education Department at St Mark’s. The work they put in has undoubtedly helped me get where I am today,' explained Conrad.

Mr van Winsen, who is now the Head of Year 11 at St Mark's, said that Conrad's work ethic and commitment were big factors in his success, both while at St Mark's, and now in the US.

'Conrad didn't initially make the cut for in our volleyball team,' recalls Mr van Winsen, 'but he didn't let that stop him.'

Mr van Winsen said Conrad came back after selection, and asked what he could do to improve his game and make the team.

'At the time, I said he could keep training with the squad, and if we have any injuries, he could take their spot. Conrad worked harder than anyone, and became our strongest libero (a back-row defensive specialist) and earned a spot on the team'.

'Not only did he earn a spot, but his work ethic and positive outlook made it impossible to deny him a leadership role. It is how Conrad bounced back after initial failure which impressed me the most, and I have no doubt this mindset and approach has got him to where he is today,' said Mr van Winsen.

Last season, the Crusaders won their first Conference ring, which took the team to the NCAA National Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, where they ended up 7th in the nation after a tough loss to Penn State.

Conrad says he is not the only St Mark's graduate to have gone on to achieve their sporting dreams in the USA.

'In my time here, I have come across many other Old Scholars involved in sports such volleyball, soccer and swimming, in both the United States and in Canada. The programs at St Mark’s are of a high quality. I cannot thank them enough for their support of me during my time at the School'.

If you would like information on St Mark's Year 11 and 12 Physical Education Studies program, which is available as both an ATAR and a General course, or would like information on enrolment opportunities in Senior School (Years 9 to 12), please contact admissions@stmarks.wa.edu.au.