Volleyball: In an attempt to revive volleyball in the country, the Bhutan Volleyball Federation (BVF) organized a weeklong National Volleyball Championship (park-volleyball) in Thimphu yesterday.

Since its affiliation with Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) 20 years ago, the federation had failed to make the once popular sport as popular as football and basketball.

According to a survey conducted by BOC, Bhutan Sports Baseline Survey, volleyball is the third most played sport in the country. However, with limited numbers of national tournaments organised by the federation, the sport has lost its glory.

BVF’s national coach, Tshewang Nidup said that because of the limited number of human resource the federation could not function to its full capacity. Tshewang Nidup who was working voluntarily for the federation until last year has now taken up the responsibility as a fulltime national coach.

“There were no office bearers who could contribute his or her full time to the federation,” said Tshewang Nidup. “We have now planned a list of programmes to revive volleyball in the country.”

The federation last month organized a veteran volleyball competition to kick-start the revival of the sport. Tshewang Nidup said that the federation will be also be organizing an annual general meeting towards the end of this month among the member secretaries in the federation. “We will discuss issues on how to improve and promote the game in different dzongkhags,” he said. “Grassroots programmes in schools will also be focused for grooming the youth.”

Meanwhile, in the opening game yesterday, Paro Dzongkhag Sports Association (DSA) lost to Phuentsholing DSA in the deciding set. Paro DSA who was the superior team struggled in the first set and lost 22-25. The team won the second set 16-25 but lost in the final and deciding set.

In the second game, Haa DSA lost to Trashigang DAS.

This is the first national level volleyball tournament organized by the federation since it was established in 1996. Of the 10 DSAs affiliated with BOC, seven are taking part in the competition.

The tournament is organized by the federation with support from the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development, Thimphu.

Younten Tshedup