Thinley Namgay 

The introduction of pickleball in the country is set to enhance the diversity of sports.  

Pickleball is a racket or paddle sport in which two or four players hit a hollow plastic ball with paddles over a net. This game can be played both indoors and outdoors. 

Paro FC launched pickleball on September 3 at the Woochu Sports Arena and  the club will be the centre of this sport. With simple rules and accessibility to players of all ages, pickleball is expected to foster physical activity, recreation, and community engagement.  

Volunteers from the United States contributed around USD 47,300 to start pickleball in Bhutan. With this fund, Paro FC constructed three pickleball courts at the Woochu Sports Arena which can accommodate 12 players.   

As part of the project,  a new concrete court has been constructed at Talakha Goenpa in Thimphu. Two existing courts at Dechencholing Higher Secondary School will be resurfaced with asphalt.   

Paro FC’s head coach, Puspalal Sharma, said that comprehensive training and certification programmes for coaches will be conducted in collaboration with Paro College of Education and Royal Thimphu College.  

“The coaches are currently pursuing Diploma in Physical Education and Sports Coaching, as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Sports and Health Sciences. Their expertise will play a crucial role in promoting and sustaining the growth of pickleball throughout the country,” Puspalal Sharma said. 

Kathleen, who is the pioneer of pickleball in Bhutan, said the sport has the potential to connect people and make a positive difference in their lives.