Thinley Namgay

The Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) has made a decision to prioritise five potential sports, namely athletics, archery, boxing, judo, football, and taekwondo. 

This strategic move comes after careful consideration of various factors, including medal potential, performance at the last three South Asian Games, and overall athletic advantage.

The prioritisation of these sports aims to streamline athlete development, optimise the allocation of limited resources from the government to the sports sector, and maximise returns on sports investments. This landmark decision was made during the BOC’s sixth general assembly, held on May 31 in Thimphu, where the agenda received unanimous support.

According to a BOC official, the selected sports will receive enhanced support from the committee. “Starting from the next fiscal year, the BOC will collaborate closely with the selected sports federations and associations,” the official stated. “We will create a comprehensive plan and establish a performance agreement. However, it’s important to note that the selected sports’ status is subject to performance assessments and reviews conducted by the BOC.”

While these five sports have been prioritised, BOC officials emphasise that other sports remain equally important and will continue to be taken care of by the committee.

Looking ahead, the general assembly also approved amendments to the BOC constitution, with a focus on strengthening the existing governance system, enhancing accountability, and promoting transparency within the committee. Ensuring gender balance in the decision-making body was one of the key objectives of these amendments.

Sports federations and associations were urged to review and implement their respective constitutions and governance structures, creating an environment conducive to athletes achieving their full potential. The BOC was directed by the Executive Committee and the general assembly to conduct governance assessments of its 35- member affiliates.

To foster professionalism in sports, the general assembly endorsed revised entitlement guidelines, aiming to provide benefits to athletes and coaches based on their performance. Recognising budget constraints, dzongkhag sports associations were encouraged to optimise the utilisation of sports infrastructure to generate additional income.

The BOC’s 23rd Executive Committee meeting, held on May 30 in Thimphu, was chaired by His Royal Highness Prince (HRH) Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, president of the BOC. During the meeting, HRH emphasised the importance of collaboration and synergy, stressing the need for sharing knowledge, expertise, and embracing best practices in the pursuit of athletic excellence.

In a further move to strengthen the BOC, the former president of the Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association, Kinzang Dorji, was appointed as an advisor by HRH, contributing invaluable insights to the committee’s endeavours.