This is to better prepare Bhutanese archers for participation in international tournaments

Archery: In order to facilitate the Bhutanese archers to be at par with the international standards and to compete at an international level, Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) has approved the use of accessories on compound bows during the 19 Yangphel Open archery tournaments.

Since the arrival of the usage of compound bows in the mid 1980s, the use of accessories, such as triggers and scopes on compound bows, was disallowed in the country in order to preserve the tradition with the usage of indigenous bow. 

The general secretary of Bhutan Archery Federation (BAF) and Yangphel Archery, Tshewang Rinchen, said although many Bhutanese archers have the talent to compete at an international level, lack of practice with such mechanical aids restricted them to compete with international counterparts.

“We’ve very talented archers in the country, but all their talent are wasted when they’re not able to use the accessories, which are a must during any international competitions,” Tshewang said.

Yangphel archery tournament is the competition where archers compete using compound bows.  Tshewang Rinzin said that, although indigenous archery shouldn’t be tampered with any foreign fittings, using accessories with compound bows shouldn’t be a problem.

He added that, contrary to what most people believe that the advent of the compound bow has declined the usage of the indigenous bows, the popularity of the compound bow has proliferated the use of traditional bows as well in the country.

The tournament, which begins from July 16, will allow interested archers to use the mechanical-release or the trigger release, small equipment to release the arrow, and the use of scope and sight that help to magnify the target and adjust the range.  “Using these mechanical aids will not only ensure safety but will also help our archers get the hang of the accessories, which will be useful during the international competitions in the future,” Tshewang said.

BAF will facilitate a daylong training course to interested archers on the usage of the accessories before the tournament.  The federation will help in the procurement of the accessories, based on the demand of archers. 

Passang Tshering, a compound bow archer, said that the consent on the usage of accessories during the Yangphel tournament is a positive sign for archers in the country. “With this approval, we can sharpen our skills and be able to compete with the international archers without any disadvantages like before,” he said. “I’m very excited about the competition and hope that these accessories will help discover many new talents through this competition.”

Tshewang Rinchen said that it was not mandatory that an archer must use the accessories during the tournament.  He said that the tournament would allow the usage of the accessories to individuals on interest basis. “Personally, the accessories won’t cost much.  When you can buy a USD 2,000 worth bow, the accessories are just a nominal investment,” he said.

The price of a trigger release ranges from USD 20 to USD 500, and for the scope it starts from USD 35 and goes on depending on the quality.

Meanwhile, the 19th Yangphel Open archery tournament has announced two new categories of prize during the tournament, apart from the regular trophies and prizes, to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. 

Any number of teams that hits 60 kareys or more in a league match will be given a cash prize of Nu 60,000 each.  And the top archer from each regional venue will be invited to a shootout for an individual cash prize of Nu 60,000.

The registration for the tournament is now open and will close on July 4.

By Younten Tshedup