The Goshen College men’s tennis team is made up of six individuals, three of which are new to campus, but what may be shocking to learn is that one of these student-athletes committed to the college just a few months ago while being over 8,000 miles away and never seeing the campus before.
Possawat (Insee) Akarapan grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, but he always knew that he wanted to continue his collegiate tennis career in the United States; however, he was unsure which institution would be the best fit.
“To get to Goshen,” Akarapan said, “I was at the website called Universal Tennis Rating, where you put your skill level inside the website and it matches you with many colleges.”
Akarapan considered many different institutions to continue his tennis career before deciding that Goshen College would be the best fit for him to continue his studies and athletic career.
“Around, like, three months ago,” Akarapan said. “I committed to Goshen, but I applied to many colleges [but I saw that] Goshen is one of my best fits.”
Although coronavirus is much more prominent in the United States than it is in Thailand, Akarapan’s parents were still supportive of his dreams to play tennis abroad.
“Before getting here, my parents were a bit worried,” Akarapan said. “Especially my mom because she knows that COVID in the U.S.A. and COVID in Thailand is way different.”
And it is. As of 19:02 on September 6, 2020, Thailand has only seen a total of 3,444 coronavirus cases, whereas the United States has recorded 6.26 million cases of coronavirus.
Knowing that coronavirus is widespread in the United States, Akarapan has been taking the necessary precautions to ensure that he and his team can complete their fall season.
When Possawat Akarapan arrived to the States on August 5th, he had to quarantine for 14 days. “
In Thailand, the whole cases of COVID is only [approximately] 3,000 people, the whole country,” Akarapan said. “But here, the Indiana state itself, is more than Thailand.”
Akarapan and the rest of the Maple Leafs squad went 1-1 in their opening weekend. The updated tennis schedule can be found at goleafs.net .