Sarpang – The archers of Singye gewog in Sarpang are improving the safety of the archery range located below the gewog centre road in Yarpheling chiwog.
While there have been no mishaps, safety walls are being installed to prevent any potential accidents as the range is close to the road.
Singye Gup Jigme said that these measures will ensure the safety of spectators, passers-by, and animals on the road.
“Initially, bamboo and wood were used to build the safety walls since the players used bamboo bows, and the risk was low. But now, with more players switching to compound bows, safety measures have become necessary,” he said.
The archers have raised Nu 40,000 to purchase cement and other essential materials. Young players are contributing labour to help build safety walls.
Gup Jigme said, “Some players from Gelephu who play here sometimes have also donated with financial support. We cannot use the gewog budget for these activities.”
The person catering food to the archers during matches agreed to chip in five to 10 percent of the daily sales income to support building a canopy. The community also plans to hand over the archery range to the Singye youth group.
“They can organise archery tournaments and manage the funds, which can be also used for maintaining the archery range,” said Gup Jigme. “Our objective is to keep the youth engaged in playing our traditional game and prevent them from moving to urban areas.”
Singye Dorji, 30, a player, said that having a well-maintained archery range in the gewog has become essential. “I am unemployed, and I spend my days playing archery. If we don’t nurture our passion for the traditional game, it might just fade away.”
However, he said, many youths are not interested in archery.
Another player, Gautam Subba, 44, said, “I began playing archery a few years ago, and my interest has grown over the years.”