Football: Football trainees at the Bhutan Football Federation’s (BFF) academy at Changjiji, Thimphu need not do their laundry by the freezing Wangchu. The frequent trips to fetch water for toilet would also end soon.

The federation will bore a well by the river to supply adequate water for them next month.

The academy’s warden Kota Namgay said they are planning to bore a well near the river to curb the shortage at least for the academy. “Equipment to drill the well should arrive in the first week of October,” the warden said.

He said sufficient drinking water is available to students but for laundry and to use in the toilet, the shortage is a concern. “Most of the time the students go out to fetch water from the river,” said Kota Namgay.

Changjiji area has been suffering from acute water shortage for a long time now. Like other households in the area, the students at the academy are also suffering from water shortage.

Ajit Bhujel, 15, stays at the academy. The tenth grader who studies at Loselling Middle Secondary School in Thimphu is the skipper of the under-15 national squad.

This is the first time Ajit is staying at the academy. “It has been a fruitful experience here. Exposure to new faces and interactions with individuals having different talents is what I’ll be taking back from the academy,” said that 15-year-old.

“Apart from the shortage of water at times, we don’t really have problem at the academy,” said the 12-year-old, Karma Tshetem. “I don’t have any complaints and I’m sure my friends will agree with me on this.”

The academy, which was constructed in 2003 to house and groom young talents in football currently accommodates 58 students. Kota Namgay said that since a new group of students join the academy annually, it is difficult to manage them. “We don’t have regulars in the academy. Had it been with the same group of students every year, our job would have been much easier,” the warden said. “Disciplinary issues are most common with the new batch of students every year.”

However, he added that the federation’s objective is to hunt for the best and the most potential individuals in the game. “That’s why the federation conducts selection camps throughout the country every year to select the best ones,” he said.

The federation funds all students at the academy starting from their school uniforms to stationaries and meals. Pick and drop services are made available for the students along with facilities like gymnasium at the academy.

Younten Tshedup