Football: A five-day FIFA advanced grassroots course is currently being held in Mongar. It began on July 20.

This is the second such course organised by the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) to promote grassroots football in the country.

BFF focal person in Mongar, Tshencho Dorji, said the participants include school teachers, sports instructors, BFF coaches, and civil servants from the 20 dzongkhags.

Tshencho Dorji said the grassroots programme in Mongar started in 2013 and was implemented in nearby schools in 2015. He added that there are eight qualified grassroots educators and six young coaches who are yet to receive grassroots training in Mongar.

Around 800 students take part in the programme every week.

The FIFA advanced course provided by a FIFA instructor is expected to further improve the programme in the schools, said Tshencho Dorji.

BFF technical director Chokey Nima said that since 2011, four FIFA and at least 16 BFF grassroots courses have been held.

“If the player is better than others at the grassroots level age (6-8), the programme will help them when they turn nine years old,” Chokey Nima said. “We don’t want to miss the golden age of learning at the age of six to 12. Within this age, we want to do fundamental coaching such as basic practice, small sided games, and learn defending and attacking at an early age,” he said.

FIFA instructor, Dato Yap Nyim Keong said if more creativity is included in the training and coaching, players would be better motivated. Football for young children is all about motivation and playing the game is the best teacher, he said. The key to develop football anywhere, he said, is when children go home satisfied and return wanting to continue playing.

The programme will end on July 24.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar