Thinley Namgay

The Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) revised a long term strategic road map (SRM) earlier this month encompassing two Olympic cycles, Paris Olympic Games in 2024 and Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028.

BOC had been focusing on long term strategy since 2011, which was missing until 2009.

Officials said that since 2011, the committee focused on sports governance, human resource development, infrastructure, finance, media and communications, sports for all and strategic partnership.

They said limited budget, human resources, infrastructure and coaches are some of the major challenges.

BOC’s senior programme officer, Tshering Zangmo, said that the new SRM was framed based on the gap analysis documents and past performance reports and was expected to improve the quality of sports. “We have seen progress in sports, but SRM should revise considering the sports scenario.”

The SRM has four targets like athlete development, human resources development, strengthening the sporting base and creating enabling environment.

Under the first target, stringent national team selection process and investment in high-performance sports such as football and archery will be increased.

Tshering Zangmo said quality coaches will be the priority under human resource development. “We have limited quality coaches. To perform better in the international platforms, quality coaches play a vital role.”

So far, only BFF has focused more on coaches’ development course as the federation gets funds from FIFA and AFC.

To strengthen the sporting base, BOC plans to focus on the talent development process. “Sports development model is based on foundation, talent, elite and mastery (FTEM), but we are behind in talent development process.  Currently, we try to shift from foundation to elite level, which is not good,” Tshering Zangmo said.

Sports economy such as marketing, branding and strategic partnership will be addressed to enable sports environment.

Bhutan took part in the Summer Olympics since its debut in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, but the country is yet to win its first Olympic medal. So far, only archers and shooters got the chance in Olympics.

Bhutan has not participated in the Winter Olympics so far.  “Bhutan will not participate in the Winter Olympic Games at Beijing in 2022, but we will try to explore in 2026,” Tshering Zangmo said.