It was just over one year ago that Thailand’s Wild Boar Youth Soccer team were trapped inside the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand. Their rescue was an example of how youth and sport united for the 12 boys and their coach who had been trapped for over two weeks and where volunteers and experts from around the globe dedicated their time to come together for one unified cause. In a heroic effort, these strangers put their own lives at stake to help this youth team who still had their whole lives ahead of them, demonstrating true humanity and what can be achieved if we unite for the same goals.
As they moved through darkness against all odds, a mission that was seemingly impossible brought the team to safety and into the arms of their families. Only last week was the acknowledgment of World Refugee Day and as with the rescue of the Wild Boar soccer team, people united to stand with and for those in crisis.
Since then, these youths have been ambassadors for so many reasons and this past weekend in Mae Sai, Thailand, over 4,000 joggers and cyclists came together in a marathon and bike event to mark the one year anniversary of their rescue and to raise money to improve the conditions of the cave. The team led the joggers and cyclists to pay their respects to a bronze statue of Lieutenant Commander Saman Gunan, a Thai navy SEAL who died while working on the search and rescue.
The Muaythai world last year held a special ceremony to honour all those who contributed at the UNESCAP headquarter in Bangkok at the 2018 IFMA Youth World Championships and an additional event took place during the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires to raise essentials for street youths in need. The unique power of sport continues to showcase that when humanity joins forces for the greater good, so much can be achieved.