One of 12 teenage boys saved in the heroic Tham Luang cave rescue mission in northern Thailand four years ago has been offered a scholarship to study at Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicester, England. Duangpetch “Dom” Promthep, who is now 17 years old, says his “dream has come true.”
On June 23, 2018, 12 members of the ‘Wild Boars’ football team – aged 11 to 16 years old – got stuck in a flooded cave system in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand with their 25 year old football coach Nopparat Kanthawong. At the time, 13 year old Dom was the Wild Boars’ team captain.
No contact was made with the team for two weeks. On July 2, two British divers miraculously found the group alive on a rock, but the hardest part was yet to come – getting them out of the narrow, flooded cave system.
In an international rescue mission that involved more than 10,000 people, all 12 boys, and their coach were brought out of the cave alive between July 8 – 10, the mission ending 18 days after they went missing.
Saman Kunan, a 37 year old former Thai Navy SEAL, died from asphyxiation during an attempted rescue on July 6 after delivering diving cylinders containing oxygen to the trapped team. The next year, 2019, rescue diver and Thai Navy SEAL Beirut Pakbara died of a blood infection that he contracted during the rescue mission.
Dom posted online to inform his friends of the good news…
“Today, my dream has come true. I’m going to be a football student in England. I would like to thank Sport Education and the Zico Foundation for getting me this scholarship in England. Thank you to Brooke House College Football Academy to give scholarships to allow “upcountry” kids like me to develop themselves. Thank you also to Oronas Ltd. and Sports Hero Co. Ltd. for supporting me with this important, one of a lifetime opportunity. Thank you to the principal and all the teachers at Wachiralai School and all those who have supported me so far. I would like to thank Coach Zico especially.”
The Tham Luang cave mission inspired three films so far, “The Cave” (2019), “The Rescue” (2021), and most recently, “Thirteen Lives” (2022).
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