Thinley Namgay 

Two years after the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) began the Bhutan Higher Secondary School Football Championship (BHSSFC) for boys, the same tournament will begin for girls this year. 

BFF officials said that the federation tournament would commence by the end of next month.  

The objective for extending the opportunity to female students is to ensure inclusive football development, cultivate a vibrant football culture in schools, develop a talent pool for the future, engage students meaningfully, and impart the required life skills. 

BHSSFC provides a platform for students to experience the football game professionally. 

High school female students in classes XI and XII are eligible to participate. However, schools with classes VII and above may also include students from classes VII to X. 

There are 82 HSSs in the country. The tournament will be held in three stages: dzongkhag, regional, and national levels. 

Teachers and students view that the upcoming BHSSFC for female students will encourage them as such opportunities are minimal. Moreover, students said that sporting activities are not vibrant in most schools.

Students also mentioned that the new initiative would create a positive impression among all students, as opportunities are mostly cherished by students in urban areas.

BHSSFC is a collaborative tournament of BFF and the Department of Education Programmes under the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. 

BHSSFC for female students was decided during the recent meeting of officials from the BFF and the education officers from 20 dzongkhags and four thromdes.

It was also decided that U-13 and U-16 School Youth Tournaments would be organised to nurture grassroots initiatives and cultivate budding talents. So far, these tournaments have been concentrated only in the capital. 

The first BHHSFC began in 2022.