Neten Dorji

Trashigang—The archery range in Trashigang has undergone significant safety improvements, making it suitable for both indigenous and compound archery enthusiasts. 

Trashigang Sports Association has taken measures to enhance safety by constructing multiple safety walls within the archery range.

According to Karma Choeda, a member of the Trashigang Sports Association, seven safety walls have been erected to ensure the well-being of both archers and residents. 

He said, “In addition to the two safety walls required by the Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA) for the archery range, we’ve added three more. This additional safety feature allows archers to avoid potential accidents if others accidentally release an arrow.”

These safety measures have significantly improved the overall safety of archery activities on the range, addressing past concerns. The Trashigang Sports Association invested Nu 1.3 million in various upgrades, including a pathway, safety walls, lighting, restroom facilities, and other amenities.

The archery range has concrete safety walls

To encourage and support archer players, the association will charge a nominal fee of Nu 75 for using the archery range.

Residents have expressed relief over these safety enhancements, citing incidents in the past where arrows strayed far from the archery range, posing risks to nearby residents. 

One shopkeeper recounted incidents of stray arrows ending up in the Bhutan Development Bank branch office and neighbouring houses. She added that archers using compound bows are particularly concerning.

Another resident emphasized the increased danger when untrained archers use the archery ground. He noted that many archery-related accidents occur during local tournaments in villages, often due to archers’ carelessness and the influence of alcohol.

One archer pointed out that safety measures should be a joint responsibility, with individuals taking precautions to avoid accidents. He suggested that competitions should be prohibited if safety measures are not followed diligently.

The Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA) has established specific rules and regulations for archery fields. These regulations stipulate a minimum safe distance of 20 meters behind each target area, excluding space for spectators. 

Public thoroughfares and vehicle parking within the archery field are strictly prohibited. For areas designated for spectators, a minimum width of 40 meters is required.

Additionally, the regulations mandate the presence of safety barriers or walls at least two meters high and long. Behind each target, a wall with a minimum height of six meters, topped with a two-meter-high wire mesh with small eyes, should be erected. 

The minimum width of this wall should be seven meters, as per the regulations. These stringent guidelines aim to ensure the safety of archery enthusiasts and nearby residents.