SELF MADE SUCCESS – Volleyball athlete Rendy Tamamilang shares the tale of his journey to success, his proudest moments and his personal goals
During the LienVietPostBank Cup international volleyball tournament in Ha Nam, Vietnam, a couple of months ago, Indonesia’s men’s volleyball national team were crowned champion. This is the same team preparing for the 2018 Asian Games. One of the athletes that played in that tournament was Rendy Tamamilang. As an open spiker for the team, Tamamilang did everything from passing to attacking, blocking, serving and playing defense.
“I knew about volleyball since elementary school. When I was in junior high, I was selected for my school’s volleyball in order to compete in the POPDA (Pekan Olahraga Pelajar Daerah or Regional Students Sports Week),” Tamamilang recalls. “At the time, my family had no idea that I can play volleyball,” he goes on. “For them, it was a big surprise. Why? Because the one that was taught how to play by my family was my brother. On the other hand, for me learning volleyball was a self-taught process.”
After winning in the 2009 regional POPDA, Tamamilang was “promoted” as a PON (Pekan Olahraga Nasional, National Sports Week) athlete representing the province of North Sulawesi. During preparations, he was approached by the Surabaya Samator club (now Bhayangkara Samator) and was asked to play for them. Tamamilang agreed, and he switched from playing for North Sulawesi to East Java.
Since then, Rendy Tamamilang drew more and more attention. At 18 years old, he became the youngest MVP (Most Valuable Player) at the Proliga 2014 tournament and won the championship with Surabaya Samator. These achievements brought him to the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore. “Playing for Indonesia was one of my proudest and memorable moments in my life,” Tamamilang says with pride in his voice. “Who would’ve thought that a kid from North Sulawesi could get into the field, representing his own country and fight with all of his teammates in an international event?”
Speaking of international events, we met Tamamilang while he and his teammates were still in the volleyball camp at Sentul, Jakarta, to train and prepare for this year’s Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang. Indonesia will be in a group A, along with Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan. “Right now, it’s not about Vietnam and Thailand again,” Tamamilang says of his team’s strongest competitors. “Japan, China, South Korea and Iran are the countries that I consider the strongest.”
But, as they say, everyone needs something to look forward to. “The one thing that’s really hard in the world of volleyball is self-control,” Tamamilang goes on. “Because if we manage our focus in the field, our emotions and control over ourselves, then today, tomorrow or any other time we can be champions. We need to have this kind of control in the field in order to win and get the gold medal.”
As our conversation turns to the future and his dreams, whether he has other dreams, he says: “Yes, obviously I want to get a gold medal in this year’s Asian Games with my teammates. Aside from that, I also want to play volleyball abroad. A couple of years ago I got an invitation from a team in Saudi Arabia. They wanted me to play in their league. But unfortunately, the schedule is too near the 2015 SEA Games and I turned the offer down because I want to play for my beloved country. But still, I want to try playing volleyball outside Indonesia.”
At the end of the day, will he eventually achieve his dreams? Only time will tell. But, one thing for sure, millions of Indonesians will be rooting for him as he takes to the field.
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