Olympic Day In Punakha
More than 1,000 people gathered at the Lekeythang ground in Punakha to celebrate Olympic day.
By Nima | Kuensel
On April 7, more than 1,000 people gathered at the Lekeythang ground in Punakha to celebrate Olympic day.
Event held to enable mass participation in various sports
The event was held to enable mass participation in various sports. The playground where football and cricket matches are held at other times, was used to hold 10 different sports including archery and khuru.
Unlike last year, karate, table tennis, judo and basketball were not included at the sports festival this year. Karate, which is played in 11 dzongkhags with over 2,000 registered players, was not part in the event for the last two years.
The President of the Bhutan Karate Association, Ugyen Wangchuk said that the association could not participate because of inadequate manpower.
Bhutan Olympic Committees’ secretary general, Sonam Karma Tshering said that the Olympic day celebration was vital in introducing young children to sports.
Values that sports can impart
The annual event was celebrated in Wangdue last year. The initiative of taking multi-sports event to different dzongkhag every year was in line with the BOCs’ vision of engaging youth with sports.
The event saw Olympians, coaches, national athletes, and children experiencing sports together. It also had parents attending the event.
Rinzin Wangmo, 37, from Punakha saw her children play sports for the first time. “I don’t understand many of the sports but it is fun to watch,” she said.
The event also provided national federations opportunities to raise awareness on respective sports, and to encourage Bhutanese youth to take it up.
Fun-race to welcome upcoming 18th Asian Games in Indonesia
About 500 students also ran a five-kilometre fun-race along the Punakha – Gasa highway to mark the celebration. This was the 11th Asian Fun run organised across Asian countries to welcome the upcoming 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
Bhutan was among the 30 Asian countries to organise the fun-run, which provided the runners an opportunity to be part of the Asian Games.
Karma Yoezer, 18, from the Kabesa Central School reached the finishing line first. The student athlete from Punakha said that the fun run was an opportunity to promote fitness and healthy living.
“I wish to become a national athlete in future,” he said.
Nineteen more fun runs will be organised across Asia before the 18th Asian Games opens on August 18, which would bring together athletes from 45 national Olympic committees from Asia.
A total of 26 athletes from four national federations will take part in four different sports event later this year. Asian Games is the second largest multi-sports event after the Olympic Games.
His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck and the President of the Bhutan Olympic Committee graced the event.
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.