Fifteen-year-old Dorji Dema lifted a cricket bat for the first time. She had only heard of it before from friends in the school.

Dorji found it to be an interesting game, one in which she does not have to bother about not being tall. “I like this sport and it is fun,” she said.

Dorji Dema joined more than 1,500 students from six schools in Wangdue who had gathered at the Tencholing ground to celebrate the Olympic Day on May 6.

A trainer shows the basics of weight lifting

Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) secretary General Sonam Karma Tshering said that every year BOC chooses a different dzongkhag to celebrate the day in keeping with its objectives to take sports to all citizens.

The students and guests participated in 14 sports including a five-kilometer fun run. “The objectives of the celebration are participation in olympic sports, meeting Bhutanese olympians, learning and practicing olympic values and discovering new sports,” he said.

He said that BOC was working intently on making Bhutan a sporting nation, as sports and games could inculcate in the youth, all the values integral to our national philosophy of Gross National Happiness.

Two aspiring boxers give it a go

The different sport federations, who took part in the celebrations capitalised on the occasion to create awareness on their sports.

National Badminton coach, Dorji said that such celebrations gave them the chance to generate interest in youth. While the BOC accepted the federation in 1998, there are only two national coaches today, lack of infrastructure, and has only 17 national players.

Most training and awareness workshops are conducted in dzongkhags by dzongkhag sports committees because of lack of professionals. “We’ve yet to make our mark in international competitions, so we’re training the youth to win us medals,” the coach said.

National Olympic Committees celebrated the day globally based on the three pillars: move, learn, and discover organised sports, cultural, and educational activities to celebrate the day.

Tshering Palden | Wangdue


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