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Mackenzie finds perfect pitch at Bond

Mackenzie Martin with sunlight
Opera singing rugby player Mackenzie Martin 

He’s the tenor who became an 11.

As a schoolboy Mackenzie Martin was cast in Opera Queensland’s 2019 season of Puccini’s Tosca.

These days the boy with the voice of an angel is just as happy to fight like a demon on the wing for the Bull Sharks’ Colts. 

“The whole opera experience was breathtaking for me, I loved every second of it and I still look back on it with such fond memories,” he said.

“But it was very nerve-wracking, I’d say it is more nerves than playing rugby because I know out on the pitch I’ve got 15 mates who will support me no matter what.

“I’ve been told it’s unique to play rugby and also sing but I’ve always enjoyed the balance it gives me.”     

Singing has been a constant in the 19-year-old’s life. He was a mainstay of the Brisbane Boys College choir, winning the coveted solo performance in their Grand Concert and performing at a special event to mark the departure of former headmaster Graeme McDonald.

Throughout high school he was a regular on the GPS music scene and at Brisbane City’s Anzac Day Dawn Service.

A career beckoned when he was accepted into the Conservatorium of Music. 

However, his love of music was rivalled by a passion for sport and he began to imagine himself in a variety of roles from player scout to match-day events management.

Those dreams led him to explore a Sports Management degree at Bond University and suddenly the vocal cords were confined to the shower and, if Bull Sharks coach Rico Gear gets his way, weekly post-game celebrations.   

“It was the most difficult choice I’ve ever had to make in my life,” Martin said.

“The big factor that made me choose Bond was seeing the campus on my personal open day and everything the university has to offer, all the sports and all the social clubs.

“But it was a very hard decision because I do love singing and it has been a very big part of my life.”

Martin squeezed as much as he could fit into his first year at Bond. Injury had ruled him out of the soccer season in his last year at BCC, so he scratched that itch and also took up social rowing and volleyball.

For year two he wanted to get a bit more serious and returned to his favourite game, rugby. Summer has been spent preparing for the season opener against Sunnybank at The Canal on Saturday.

“It’s been absolutely brilliant, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone here,” he said.

“Now we have played a few trials and are settling into teams you start to get to know your teammates on a more personal level and now I have some really close mates that I spend time with outside of the club as well.

“I just really love the brotherhood that Bond Rugby has, it makes you feel really special and included and we’re all very determined to do well this year.”


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