“If you do something with your heart, it will turn out fine”

Photo: Manou Vellekoop- Dijkhuizen

An interview with basketball player and TaalTaal student Deividas Kumelis

He is a Lithuanian guard and captain of the professional basketball team ‘The Hague Royals’. Both on and off court, Deividas Kumelis is an example of leadership, effort and magnanimousness. Recently, Deividas followed a Dutch Immersion course for beginners at the Language Institute TaalTaal in Scheveningen. This is a great example of how a sports club and a company can work together!

Deividas was born in Vilnius and from his early childhood and onwards he has been extremely keen on sports. Formula 1 and basketball were his favorites and it was no surprise that he joined a basketball academy at the age of six. His days from then on were filled with basketball, basketball and more basketball. He then went on to play for the school team, the city’s team and the amateur league.

Years went by before Deividas finally became a popular basketball player with ‘The Hague Royals’. And although this season's results are slightly disappointing, there is no doubt that with Kumelis as a captain the team will grow and bounce back. Because, in his own words, if you do something with your heart, things will turn out fine.

The ambitious Deividas also really wanted to learn Dutch, because he thought it would be beneficial to his career as a sportsman. He couldn’t speak Dutch at all, but he did know a few words and basic sentences. Deividas: “The Hague Royals started a cooperation with TaalTaal and I was able to join the Dutch Immersion 1 course. I think that Immersion courses are great in order to learn the basics. It’s wonderful, I understand much more now, I can easily follow maybe 60 per cent of all conversations!”

Deividas likes living in The Netherlands, but he struggles with the pronunciation of the letters ‘g’ and ‘h’. Another ‘odd’ thing for him is Dutch people following the rules. Deividas: “Why are they so strict? Rules are meant to be broken, right? Haha!”

Can't wait to see Deividas and his team in action? Just go to www.thehagueroyals.nl and order your tickets. Would you also like to know how Deividas is now able to understand ‘60 per cent of all conversations’? Then go to www.taaltaal.nl Free intakes are available at www.taaltaal.nl/en/intake. There are in-person Open Days again on March 26th and April 9th.

TaalTaal courses for all languages will start again at the end of April for all 20 languages, including Dutch, English, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese and many more. 

More information: www.taaltaal.nl – if you need more information, check out the free intake at www.taaltaal.nl/en/intake/ or call 070-3226091. Starting this season, it will be possible to study Ukrainian at TaalTaal with 25% of course fees going toward humanitarian charities.