While Thai people were anxiety awaiting the result of the ongoing search-and-rescue mission to save 12 football players and their assistant coach trapped in a flooded Chaing Rai cave, youngsters in schools nationwide on Friday prayed for the team and performed card stunts to express their support.
Some 420 primary and secondary students of Traipop Wittaya School in Lampang’s Muang district performed a planned, co-ordinated card display at the school field on Friday morning. They formed cards into the shape of the number 13 inside a heart before praying for the success of the mission to rescue the trapped youths, school manager Rassameepen Paripunanont said.
In Chai Nat’s Muang district, 2,000 students from Chainatpittayakom School also formed the number 13 inside a heart with cards, along with the school’s Thai initials, “Chor Nor Por”. They shouted in unison: “We from Chainatpittayakom School wish to send encouragement to the Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai’s 13 members who are trapped in the cave to be safe, rescued and go back to their homes safely.”
In Suphan Buri’s Dan Chang district, deputy governor Pipop Boontham led 2,000 Suphan Buri College of Agriculture and Technology students and officials to perform a card stunt at the district office’s field to support the trapped youths and the ongoing rescue mission.
They chanted, “May the 13 members of Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai team survive safely and come out for us to see their faces again”, and waving the “love” sign-language gesture to express their belief that love will conquer all. The students said they hoped that their expression of support for the trapped youths and their families would keep them strong.
Student president Phubodi Ngampheuk said he and fellow students had closely followed the news and wanted to help the rescue mission. As they couldn’t go to the site, they thought it better to follow the state advice and pray for the missing team. “All Thais stand behind the trapped youths’ families in this, so please don’t give up hope,” he said.
Mathayom 2 student and school footballer Jirapat Klamklin said he hoped his fellow young athletes were safe and would soon return so they could play football together in the future.