Thinley Namgay

Bhutan Volleyball Federation (BVBF) could not participate in the 13th South Asian Games due to lack of well-trained national team. Financial complication is also an issue.

To perform better in the international competitions, there should be clubs in the federation to select a good national team, but in case of BVBF, this apparently has not happened until now.

Until last year, there were no clubs in the federation and a national team.  

BVBF’s programme officer, Sangay Tempa, said that only in April last year the federation affiliated nine clubs and conducted volleyball super league in May; Thimphu volleyball league in October to December; and selected national team for the first time. Samtse club withdrew from the federation. 

From the eight clubs, six are based in Thimphu and one each from Punakha and Trongsa.

The human resource in the federation also plays an integral part in supporting the overall functions. The federation is currently running short of staff and is manned by honorary members on a voluntary basis.

“Only in January 2018, the first volleyball coach was regularised and from July last year, an assistant coach is in probation period,” Sangay Tempa said, adding that the federation would want to recruit one marketing officer this year to ease the shortage.

Budget shortage remains. Comparing the budget ceiling for the federation for the past five years, the highest was in the financial year 2015-2016—Nu 2.12 million (M).  It was decreased in the next financial year to Nu 2.03M. In the last three financial years, however, the budget hit Nu 2.04M.

Sangay Tempa said that the minimum budget outlay in the financial year made it difficult to meet all the expenditures for coaching and competitions, salaries for the staffs, procurements, coach and referee development, meetings, and affiliation fees.

Currently, there are multi-sports hall in Thimphu, Punakha, Trashigang, and Samdrupjongkhar under Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC).

“These halls are perfectly fit to play volleyball but BOC has never kept provision to be used also for the volleyball unlike other indoor games. It seems like BVBF was neglected by the BOC,” said Sangay Tempa.

Volleyball is an indoor game by nature, but there are no indoor facilities at present to host competitions and training.

The official said that they could generate revenue to develop the game and also curb the shortage of human resources if there were indoor facilities.

The major events organised last year such as national volleyball super league and Thimphu Volleyball league were all conducted outdoors at Changlimithang.

BVBF Official said that developing the game was their main focus. “Twenty three participants took part in the level one coach’s course in April last year in Thimphu with support from International Olympic Committee. The International Referee Course was facilitated by the resource person from the Iran Volleyball Federation in December.”

Starting February 29, National Volleyball League will be held in Thimphu, Punakha and Trongsa. Five clubs will compete in the league which includes three clubs selected last year from Thimphu volleyball league and one each from Punakha and Trongsa.