Athletes engaged meaningfully at home

Thinley Namgay    

Jogging in the sitting room, stretching rubber or doing numerous sit- ups. This is what Bhutanese athletes did to stay fit and competitive when the area they reside in was  under lockdown.  

Turning homes to fields and learning skills on YouTube is what many athletes did not only to  stay fit, but to be competitive in the field they are interested in.

Para archer Pema Rigsel from the Bhutan Archery Federation began his training  early in the morning. “First, I exercised and did rubber stretching to maintain aiming, which resembles pulling the bow’s string,” he said. 

Pema doesn’t have a bow with him during lockdown. He followed the same routine in the evening. 

“I used my lockdown meaningfully based on my ability,” Pema Rigsel said, adding that he watched popular national and international recurve archery matches to upgrade his skills. 

A footballer with the Transport United FC, Tsenda Dorji, said it was paramount for the athletes to maintain fitness even though there were no sporting activities during the lockdown. 

Tsenda Dorji, striker, said he engaged himself at home, focusing on core exercises such as abs workouts, plank, squads, and jogging.  

However, Tsenda Dorji said that working from home was not very effective. He said athletes could also maintain fitness at home through dieting and muscle recovery, but on the actual ground, more practical activities are taking place, which is more productive.    

“On the ground, we focus more on ball pass and touches, and we remain fit, “he said. 

Another para-athlete, Chimi Dema, said her expertise in shot put throw has been hampered as she couldn’t practice due to the lockdown.  “I did the same regular exercise that I used to do in the training hall,” she said.   “We also have to do other work at home, and sometimes you feel lethargic, but even a simple regular exercise could help us a lot to maintain stamina,” she said.  

Chimi is skeptical about participating  in international games due to the pandemic, but she is disciplined to be prepared at all times. “It is critical to keep track of what you are doing,” she said.