Mark Beretta is the Channel 7 sports reporter that Australia wakes up to every morning. In this interview, we find out why he is coming to Armidale in August. Mark also lets us in on a few SUNRISE behind the scenes moments.
> When and where did you begin your career in journalism?
I took a long and twisted journey into sports reporting! I got my degree in engineering, which always fascinated me, and that I really enjoyed, but my real passion was sport. I got my first break commentating on the PA system at water ski tournaments.
One day, my local radio station in Geelong was looking for a new sports reporter, and so I applied and got the job reporting sport in the breakfast show. It was a lot of fun, and I fell in love with talking sport and being in the media.
From there I headed to Triple M Melbourne, then Channel Ten commentating basketball, before moving to the Seven Network, and ultimately to Sunrise.
> How did you make the transition into sports reporting?
My sporting background helped me. I was lucky enough to win ten (10) Australian Water Ski championships, and at the time the Seven Network was televising a big annual tournament called the Moomba Masters in Melbourne. From competing there, I made the transition into reporting and commentating.
> Describe your typical day working on the Sunrise program …
The alarm goes off at 3.30am. I make myself get straight out of bed … otherwise if I doze, I might never get up! Get into the Martin Place studio at 4.30am. Generally bump into Nat and Mel, who get into work a little earlier. Kochie arrives not long after, and we talk about the morning’s sport and whose team will beat whose on the weekend! That leaves me about an hour of research time to catch up on all that’s happened overnight.
By 5.45am I’m in the sports chair and ready to go with all the latest news from overnight in our 5.30am Early News Bulletin. Once that’s finished, I head downstairs to the Sunrise set. At 6am we’re live on-air, and the fun begins!
When we finish the show at 9am, we spend an hour out the front of the studio meeting visitors who come from all over Australia. That’s always a highlight of the morning; it’s great to meet people from all parts of the country.
We then start planning for the new day, and depending on the day I’m generally home for lunch, while staying in touch on the phone and on-line!
> Share a funny ‘Off the Air’ moment with us?
Travelling with the team is always a lot of fun. It’s when you really get to know each other! Mel, Nat and Fifi can talk your ears off, so they’re always a laugh on flights. Kochie can be like a mischievous school boy … he’s always looking for a way to play a gag on someone.
At the moment, we’re all trying to help Fifi find a boy. She had a little setback last week on Hamilton Island when she bumped into the guy who’s been asking her to go out on a date, but he was away for the weekend with another girl!
Needless to say, there won’t be any date! She’s a gorgeous girl, so we know she’ll find a great guy soon.
> What do you love most about being the Sunrise sports presenter?
Two things. I love the relationship we have with all sorts of sports people. Luckily, they tend to watch Sunrise and like the show, so they enjoy coming on and having a bit of a laugh.
Lucas Neill, Eamon Sullivan, Pat Rafter, Emma Snowsill, Nathan Buckley, Jana Rawlinson, Shane Webcke, Melissa Wu, James Tomkins and Samantha Stosur are among some of my favourites.
And I reckon working on a show that lets you do your own thing with a great team is priceless! Our team: Kochie, Mel, Nat and Fifi are really normal, down to earth people, and I really enjoy spending time with them!
> Why did you become involved in the RIDE FOR SICK KIDS campaign?
We have two young kids and we’ve had our share of health scares, as all parents do. So for me, the Ride For Sick Kids is a no-brainer. I’m also a keen rider, so any excuse to get on a bike!
> When are you coming to Armidale?
I’ll be there for the weekend of the ride! I arrive on the Friday night to help raise some money for the cause and then will be limbering up on the start line with the riders the next morning.
> How can our locals contribute to RIDE FOR SICK KIDS?
The best way for locals to contribute is to come along to the function at Armidale Ex Services on Friday 28th August – tickets on sale shortly.
People can follow the ride by visiting our website at www.rideforsickkids.org
> Thank you Mark.