The President of the Bhutan Olympic Committee, His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, inaugurated the first Football Academy in Thimphu today. The academy at Changjiji was instituted to help footballers give equal time for both studies and training.
Although academic sessions have already begun, the academy officially opened today. Currently, there are nine teachers and 60 students. They begin their academic classes at eight in the morning and end at 1 PM. Then the professional coaches train the young athletes.
“When I was studying at Paro, we used to have many students in one class. So, teachers have problems clearing our doubts. But here, since we are very less in number, we even get one on one lessons,” said Pema Yoezer, a student.
“We had to study till 4 PM in Zhemgang. We didn’t get enough time to rest or play. But now we get ample time to train here,” added Sonam Dorji, a student.
The Football Federation selects young people from across the nation based on their footballing talents.
“It is very important that our boys, our future players get ample time to practice or have a gym session with the coaches. Previously we had to send our students to other schools. They had a tough time training because they had to get up early morning. We were losing a lot of training time and also the coaches, especially the foreign coaches that we bring here felt that the time is not sufficient to train the boys,” said the Head of Media and Marketing with BFF, Phuntsho Wangdi.
“What they teach in government schools is taught here. Uniforms, books, shoes, and socks are all free. The parents don’t have to spend on anything,” said Chencho Namgyel, the Principal of Football Academy School.
The academy is opened at a cost of over Nu 60 M. The federation also plans to start a similar infrastructure for girls in Gelephu.
Edited by Sangay Chezom
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