The Korean Sports Promotion Organisation (KSPO), Republic of Korea handed over Nu 600,000 worth of sport equipment to the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) yesterday in Thimphu.

BOC secretary general, Sonam Karma Tshering received the equipment that comprise of balls, racquets, shuttlecock, and other basic sports equipment. Representatives from the dzongkhag sports association of Punakha, Paro, Haa and Wangduephodrang were present at the event.

The sports equipment will be distributed to 14 BOC affiliated dzongkhag sports association.

Secretary General, Sonam Karma Tshering said that the KSPO support of providing basic sports equipment would help in the development and promotion of sports in other parts of the country.

Officials from the KSPO are in the country for a mid-term review of the sports gymnasium hall that is under construction in Jungshina, Thimphu. KSPO is funding the project worth USD 600,000.

The construction of a sports gymnasium hall which will have an indoor basketball court, badminton court and volleyball courts of international standards began in September last year.  The project is expected to complete by March, 2018.The multi sports complex is constructed on a six-acre land that was leased from Thimphu Thromde.

Chief Operating Officer of Sports Leisure Business Association, Yongphil Hwang said that KSPO as a non-government organisation is focused on promoting sports and healthy living. “The support from the KSPO is aimed at promoting sports through happiness in the country,” he said.

He said that the organisation would continue to support promotion and development of sports in Bhutan through exchange of sports know-how and focus on professional development of sports. “Though our sole objective of the visit is the mid-term review of the multi sports complex, we will extend our support in future through professional development and other exchange programs,” Yongphil Hwang said.

Sonam Karma Tshering said that the support provided by the foundation has helped BOC take sports outside Thimphu. “BOC provides Dzongkhag Sports Associations with monetary support to conduct sports programmes and the equipment provided by KSPO will supplement the support given to the DSAs,” he said.

The initiative is also aimed at generating collective sports opportunities between the two countries.

KSPO support includes providing coaches to enhance professional development of sports, fund sports infrastructure development and support countries in Africa and Asia with basic sports equipment.  The organisation got involved in supporting sports here in 2014 during the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea when HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck and the Bhutanese delegates met a Member of Parliament of the Republic of Korea, Elisa Lee, who expressed willingness to support the development of sports in the country.