Coach not to blame

Bangkok Post - - OPINION -

Re: “Coach­ing les­son”, (PostBag, July 11).

It’s ex­ceed­ingly rare that I dis­agree with Khun Burin Kantabu­tra’s mea­sured and sen­si­ble com­ments and ad­vice, but in this in­stance I have to dif­fer.

We should not be too quick to lay blame on the coach of the Wild Boars for the team be­ing trapped in the Tham Luang cave. There is still con­sid­er­able con­fu­sion about whether or not the De­part­ment of Na­tional Parks had ac­tu­ally “closed” the cave to vis­i­tors early this year, as this is the state­ment of only one DNP staffer that still needs proper con­fir­ma­tion. The known “ev­i­dence” at this point is lim­ited to the posted signs that clearly in­di­cate the cave to be closed only start­ing from July. As the team en­tered the cave June 23, it is im­pru­dent to jump too quickly to the blame game.

It is also be­yond nor­mal ex­pec­ta­tions for the coach to have been aware of the on­com­ing ex­traor­di­nar­ily heavy rain that hit the area only af­ter the boys en­tered the cave.

Yes; cav­ing can be dan­ger­ous. Yes; youth lead­ers must be ju­di­cious in look­ing af­ter charges. But, let’s not cod­dle kids too much or try to com­pletely pro­tect them from ev­ery pos­si­ble risk or dan­ger in life. Part of the job of youth lead­ers is to pre­pare young peo­ple for the chal­lenges they will face through­out their lives. When we get to the point where youth are shielded from all pos­si­ble threats and hazards, the world will be­come hope­lessly bor­ing and we will stop evolv­ing our knowl­edge and skills. With­out some ad­ven­ture and ex­plo­ration, young peo­ple will have quite mis­er­able and dreary lives. I’m not say­ing youth lead­ers should take un­nec­es­sary risks, but let’s not blame them for ex­pos­ing kids to the won­ders of na­ture and life, even if it some­times in­volves a bit of risk.


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