Self Made Success
Rendy Tamalilang shares the tale of his journey to success in volleyball, his proudest moments and his 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 selfcontrol,” 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.
“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?”
When you’re working for a fashion magazine, it always comes as a delightful surprise when the person you’re interviewing turns out to know a thing or two about fashion. Aero Aswar arrived on set for his photo shoot wearing an Audemars piguet watch and Off-White X Nike white sneakers. Before the cameras started rolling he chatted playfully that his interest in fashion really grew during his teenage years, and how he always opted for Brioni for his suits. Now, while his approach to fashion and style has become more subtle, it’s clear that it still means a great deal to him. he also talked fondly of his favorite brand Balmain, and his extensive watch collection, including the aforementioned Ap piece.
But, of course, Aswar is known first and foremost as a prominent jet ski racer. A world champion jet ski racer, to be exact. he gained the title of world champion back in 2014, which he dubbed his best and most memorable year. Not only was he crowned pro Runabout World champion, that year also saw him win a gold medal for the Endurance Open number during the 4th Asian Beach Games in phuket, thailand. topping it all off, he was only 19 at the time and he achieved all of those incredible feats while nursing an injury.
“that was actually my best and hardest year,” Aswar reflects. By hardest, he was referring to his torn Acl, lcl and meniscus—three very common knee injuries for jet ski racers. “i couldn’t walk for a week,” Aswar went on, “but then i had to continue racing for the second round. i already won the first round with the torn Acl and then i got third place in the second. So, that whole year, i managed to get two national titles with the torn Acl.”
injuries are not unusual in Aswar’s field. “it happens all the time,” he says with an eerie casualness. “Racing-wise, it’s a risk. i’ve broken three of my ribs, all my fingers were broken, i tore my Acl, meniscus, lcl, Mcl and my ankles too.”
he never let all this affect his performance, though. And the proof lies in his records, as Aswar continued to reap many more titles in jet ski racing after 2014. this includes World Ranked #1 Rider at the p1 AquaX in 2016 and runner up at the 2017 international Jet Sports boating Association (iJSBA) World Finals, where his brother, Aqsa Aswar, who is also a jet ski racer, won third place. then, earlier this year, in May, he scored a back-to-back win at the pro Watercross’ pro Stock in panama city Beach and pensacola Beach, while his brother won second place. And the list goes on and on like a never-ending grocery list.
On a more technical note, Aswar specializes in three specific types of racing: close course, circuit and Endurance. Additionally, his biggest strength is racing on rough water, as this is how he trained since he was a kid. At the time, his father, Saiful Sutan Aswar, who is the chairman of indonesia Jetsport Boating Association (iJBA), played a huge role in developing young Aswar’s interest for jet ski racing. “Ever since i was basically a newborn, like two months old, i started going to the ocean. And then eventually jet ski started to play a big role in my life,” he contemplates, before adding that seeing his dad playing jet ski and watching his friends race in thailand and Malaysia eventually emboldened him pursue the sport professionally.
Aswar also revealed that he was never good in teamwork, claiming that if he weren’t in jet ski right now, he would probably be in either motocross or car racing. “Anything racing,” he later added. “i don’t know why, but i’m not good with teamwork. it has to be on my own. Because in racing, i’m racing on my own terms. So, i can’t rely on other people like in soccer where you have to pass the ball.” Fast forward a couple of years and you have an established jet ski racer who is doing about 12-14 races each year, excluding invitations from other countries, which he said could bring the number up to 18.
“it’s really demanding, crazy and insane.” Aswar says of his time commitment to jet ski racing. But one thing’s for sure, he doesn’t mind the load. When asked what he finds hardest about his chosen field, he replied: “it’s pretty hard to answer that one because [ jet ski racing] is a passion. So, i like the difficulties that come with how i train.”
looking to the upcoming Asian Games— which, by the way, will be the first time that jet ski racing is officially included—Aswar is optimistic, and is “very sure” to win. But the races he’ll face there will be different from his usual fare as it will be on home ground. “it’s the pressure of your peers and your country, you know,” he replies when asked on what he thinks will be the biggest challenge for him in the 2018 Asian Games. “i mean, it’s my home town; you can’t back off from anything.”
Meanwhile, on a grander scale, Aswar says that his goal is to win another World champion. “My goal is to have 10 World champion titles,” he exclaims. he also expressed interest in trying his hand at freestyle racing. “Freestyle is when you get to do back flips and barrel rolls. i like watching people do that and i tried it a couple times but maybe it’s not for me,” he says before adding: “though, i’m willing to learn.” And he’s certainly one to try his best. After all, he has the phrase “Nil Satis Nisi Optimum” inked on his arm. it means “Nothing but the best is good enough.”
“I DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT I’M NOT GOOD WITH TEAMWORK. IT HAS TO BE ON MY OWN”