Thanks to the push from the Bhutan Olympic Committee, the 11FYP will see a major push in sports in Bhutan. The major highlights of the plans are:

  • Development of school curriculum for sports and physical education.
  • Regional and National level sports competitions conducted by the BOC
  • Establishment of 27 multi-sports halls, 5 regional sports complexes and 1 National Sports Academy (NSA)
  • Construction of an Indigenous Sports museum at Changbando
  • Construction of biking trails across the western and central regions of Bhutan
  • Establishment of 85 sports clubs and associations
  • Introduce and implement a national regulation against doping in sports

As a school that is absolutely committed to wholesome education and sports in particular, we welcome these initiatives wholeheartedly. There will be challenges and risks no doubt, but something happening is far better than nothing at all.

The profile of sports has taken a major hit over the past decade or so. Sports has had to compete with the singled-minded ambitions of almost every parent to turn their children into government civil servants. Children are simply dissuaded from playing sports and encouraged to get good grades. The introduction of television has been another major problem with the public more interested in watching international sports than local games and leading to empty stands.

The sports sector itself has done itself no favours by not doing much at all. As sports in South Asia has taken off, even in war-torn Afghanistan, Bhutan has not even been able to maintain the status quo.

Sports has many reasons to justify its development. Besides the obvious benefits of health and fitness in general, and national pride when medals are won, sports is also a business industry. At least it can be one, if we succeed. It can be a major employer and export sector if our top sportsmen are recruited by clubs in India. It is already happening and can be expanded. Today our top athletes end up with jobs as security men or some similar. Perfect for mothers to point out when discouraging their children from sports.

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