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A comprehensive information on Sports in Bhutan

Sports in Bhutan

Bhutan is a culturally rich country with high respect and value for old culture, traditions those are immaculately carried from one generate to another and this attachment and appreciation can be experienced in country’s sport also.

The popular sports in the country are:

Archery is most popular sportsports-in-bhutan in the country and favourite past time for locals. It was declared the national sport in 1971 when Bhutan became a member of the United Nations Organizations. Archery is in fact one of the seven national symbol of Bhutan and an expression of Bhutanese way of life, and country’s identity & sovereignty. Archery competitions and tournaments form an important part of major celebrations such as religious festivals and public holidays.

Although Archery became Bhutan’s national sport only in 1971 but love for the sport dates to 600 B.C. Since then and throughout history, the bow and arrow have aided the Bhutanese in battle, ushering in an era of peace and welcoming archery as a symbol of festivity and competition. It has also served as the most important weapon during conflicts and wars especially during the theocratic rule between 1616 and 1907. The history of archery in Bhutan actually exemplifies fire and the bow and arrow as an important means of survival during war and on hunts thus bow and arrow play a significant role in many Bhutanese myths and legends. Since 1984, Bhutan’s Archery team has been participating in Olympic games also.sports-in-bhutan

During traditional archery tournaments and matches, using bamboo bows (although modern compound bows are now common in cities) team of archers shoot at targets only 30 centimeters in diameter from a distance of 120 meters. The standard game consists of two teams of 11 players each who try to hit the maximum number of bull's-eyes on a fixed target. Each team has a noisy crowd of supporters who, as well as encouraging their own side, try to put off the opposition. Archery competition are among the most picturesque and colorful events in the country and are the integral part of all festivities and special events. Inter-village rivalry is common throughout the Kingdom and this rivalry is no more fiercely expressed than during annual archery tournaments. They are generally held at Losar (Bhutanese New Year) and festive occasions but smaller competitions are held throughout the year and even on weekends.

Though nearly every village in Bhutan has an archery field but Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu is one of the kingdom’s most prominent archery fields and also visiting one of the Archery Competitions in the Himalayan kingdom is one best things to do in Bhutan especially for tourists.

Khuru is traditional dart game and a serious competitive sport in Bhutan. This team sport often played during festival and archery sports in Bhutan Khurutournaments, all over the country and can take up the entire day. Each team cheers and supports each player with songs and dances while throwing darts. It’s interesting to see group of people gathering in a field or small ground or even broad village road where they install dartboard and play the game. In Bhutan, the traditional dart board resembles a rectangular slope, much smaller and harder to hit than a usual circular board. Also, the darts are heavier as throwing distance should not be less than 20 metres.

Degor is other popular traditional sport played with a pair of spherical flat stones that are hurled at two targets fixed in the ground at a distance of about 20 meters. There are no fixed number of players in this game and it can be played as individual or team sport. This sport is traditionally played by village men throughout the country while these days the game is played for social reasons, mostly at annual religious festivals.

It is Bhutanese version of shot-put, and a popular traditional sport, played by throwing a stone, as far as possible. Like shot-put, in this this game also, the throwing movement is from the shoulder, with stone held flat in hand.

This local sport resembles javelin throw in which players throw a javelin at distance of 20 meters.

The modern sports such as soccer, golf, tennis, basketball, boxing, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, taekwondo & cricket also gaining popularity in the country and national teams from these sports participating in various international tournaments.


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