Thinley Namgay 

Twenty-three students from Thimphu, Paro and Trashigang are participating in the second recurve archery selection camp at Langjophakha archery range in Thimphu that began yesterday.

Eleven are female participants.

Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF) is organising the event for students between nine and twenty years.

The best archers would be selected for the junior recurve national archery team. It is also to engage students in sports during the winter holidays.

Students will undergo basic training every day from morning till lunch break under the guidance of head coach, Park Young Sook and six elite archers from BAF.

A participant, Phub Singye Namgay, 17, said, “I started playing archery since class seven. In my school, we practise archery twice a week and it helped me to improve my skills. I am hoping to get selected.”

“I have done my class XII exam well, but if I don’t qualify for scholarship, I aspire to join as an archer in BAF.”

It is the first time for Nima Wangmo, a class IX student of Zilukha Middle Secondary School in Thimphu.

“In my school, we don’t have archery coaching session. Even if I don’t qualify for the junior team, I will impart my skills to other friends in school,” said Nima Wangmo.

BAF’s Programme Officer, Pema Zangmo said the programme will at least take a minimum of two months to complete.

Pema Zangmo,  said, “Although our female recurve archer, Karma, had qualified for an Olympic quota in recurve women’s archery spot for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, recurve archery is still unpopular. We want to improve it by encouraging youth.”

Head Coach, Park Young Sook said that selecting a junior team will help to form a good national team in future.

In the 13th South Asian Games in December,  archers from BAF had won six bronze and three silver medals. However, the budget constraints limit archers from participating in major international competitions.

Park Young Sook said that if BAF could organise international competitions in the country, it will address the growing financial issue.

More than 20 students took part last year and the BAF had selected six boys and one female as a junior recurve team.