Thinley Namgay 

Sporting tournaments were allowed starting March 1 based on the new protocol developed by the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC)in consultation with national sports federations and associations.

However, except for archery, the number of players for all other sports are as usual.  For archery, the number of players has been limited to 10.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said the government restricted the archery players to 10 because archers visit different places to play the game. “Archery is different from other types of sports. As part of the game, archery involves spectators, refreshment servers, and dancers.”

He said: “For instance, football is an hour-long match, whereas archery takes a whole day, and there are lots of unaccounted risks associated with it. Learning lessons from the second lockdown, the government has concern about archery.”

Due to current restriction, main activities of Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA), such as final match of the fourth Mewang Gyalsey traditional archery tournament between the teams from Trashiyangtse and Samdrupjongkhar, and other major competitions including the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Memorial Archery tournament, National Sorsum tournament and Coronation Silver Jubilee National Archery tournament, will be further deferred.

BIGSA’s President, Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji, said that the association held its executive meeting on March 3 and decided to stick to the government decision.

BOC’s head of sports research and development division, Namgay Wangchuk, said the committee was strictly following the press release issued by the Prime Minister’s office on January 29.