Details Of Thai Coach Rescued From Cave With Football Team Emerge
As reported earlier, the 12 young boys from the Wild Boars football team and their coach have all been safely rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex in Thailand.
Since the rescue, details have been emerging about the 25-year-old coach.
As reported by the Daily Mail, his name is Ekapol Cantawong and he's originally from Mae Sai, Manmar. According to his cousin, Thamma Chantawong, he lost both his parents at an early age.
"His mother died while he was still very, very young," she told the paper, "and his father passed away when he was just 10."
She also said that he takes care of his grandmother and that his only sibling, a brother, passed away when he was young.
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Ekapol - whose nickname is Ake - apparently became a football coach after a number of years spent as a Buddhist monk and local community worker.
The Daily Mail reports that he was trained as a monk in Lum Phun, and it's believed that he used the techniques he learned, such as staying calm and conserving energy through meditation, to help the other boys while they were trapped, passing on his techniques while underground. He left his place in the monkhood three years ago.
The eldest member of those rescued, he also reportedly spent a number of years as a local community worker before becoming a football coach.
He reportedly refused to eat any of the food offered to him by the rescue team, giving it all to the boys on his team instead - something that has left him in a weakened condition.
While still trapped, the coach reportedly sent out as letter apologising to the parents of the boys, which read as follows: "To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care. I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologise to the parents."
While some people have criticized Ake for leading his team into such a dangerous situation, it seems that most people are just glad they all made it out alive.
"'The whole world has been watching over these 18 days and they are celebrating with us," said Prayuth Jetiyanukarn, the local abbot at the temple where Ake works. "It was 18 days but it felt like years."
Featured Image Credit: PA