AGM: Bhutan Olympic Committee’s (BOC) first annual general meeting (AGM) in Phuentsholing gave indication that games and sports in the country could reach new heights in the coming years. But that will require sports officials to share, learn and enhance relationships, among others.

Members called for comprehensive participation from the grassroots aligned with result-based budgeting system was the two major issues deliberated at the meeting that was attended by representatives of15 National Sports Federations (NSF) and 10 Dzongkhag Sports Association (DSA).

However, sharing concerns about the overall sustainability of activity programmes and its processes at the DSA levels, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, president of Bhutan Taekwondo Federation (BTF), said that participation from the grassroots will require funds.

Participants also pointed out the need to sports participation on a career-based system. “People need to take sports and games as career,” said Sonam Yanglay, general secretary of Bhutan Golf Federation (BGF), adding that consideration should be made to at least some sports.

Member said that currently, all participation is Thimphu-centric. This is happening because of clear lack of mandate, said president of Bumthang Sports Association (BSA), Phub Dorji. This, he said, could be because there are no ministries or departments that particularly look into the matters.

Phub Dorji added that there is a need to concentrate on region-based competitions, and budgeting and planning carried out accordingly.

President of Wangdue Sports Association (WSA), Sonam Jigme, said that fundamental change is required in planning and the way budget flow to the grassroots. “Done right, we may even have many Chencho Gyeltshens and Tshering Dorjis,” said Sonam Jigme.

BOC’s secretary general (SG), Sonam Karma Tshering, said that result-based budgeting and impact-based planning is happening due to lack of proposals and channelized planning, adding that, in fact, budget has actually quadrupled in the last four years.

BOC is conducting its first AGM since its inception in November 1983.

The two-day AGM will conclude today.

Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing