The 12 members of the Wild Boars soccer team who grabbed world’s attention with their ordeal inside Tham Luang cave have finally returned to where they truly belong — their class-rooms.
A ceremony was held at the auditorium of Mae Sai Prasithisart School in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district this morning to welcome them back.
The ceremony was chaired by Somboon Sirivej, the Chiang Rai deputy governor, and attended by representatives of education offices supervising the schools.
A Lanna-style baisi ceremony and traditional Lanna dances were performed to give blessings to the 12 young footballers, aged 11-16.
Six of the Wild Boars are secondary education students of Mae Sai Prasithisart School while the others are primary education students of Ban Payang, Ban Wiang Phan, Darun Rat Withaya, Ban Pa Muat and Anuban Mae Sai schools.
Monchai Panathup, director for the Zone 36 Secondary Education Office, said they will be given extra learning classes to make up for the study time they lost while in the cave and after being rescued.
Sawasakorn Wiboonwiriyawong, general manager of Sport Thai-Bavaria which represents Germany’s Bayern Munich Football Club in Thailand, presented a sport jersey of the club to each of the 12 children. One of them, Adul Sam-on, who made headlines world-wide with his conversation in English with the British cave divers who found him and his teammates, received an extra jersey from Javi Martinez, a star of the Bayern Munich FC. Martinez had earlier said on his Facebook page that he would give Adul a jersey as a special gift from him.
The 12 Wild Boars were ordained as novices for ten days as a dedication to Lt Commander Saman Gunan, an ex-SEAL member who died in the operation to rescue them from Tham Luang cave where they had been stranded with their coach from June 23 to July 10.
They returned to schools after leaving monkhood last week.