Mini Dragons League kicks off

The second edition of the Grassroots League of Bhutan also known as the “Mini Dragons League” kicked off today at Changlimithang stadium. A total of thirteen teams from Paro and Thimphu are participating in the league. It is aimed at promoting grassroots football and encouraging parents’ support. The Bhutan Football Federation is organising the one-and-a-half-month tournament.

13 Football Academies from Paro and Thimphu are participating in the Mini Dragons League 2022-2023 being held at Changlimithang. The event is being organised to encourage mass participation of children and keep them engaged in football during the winter break.

“As far as possible, we want to keep the kids engaged during winter break. The other one is we want to encourage parents to support their kids. And the other one is we want to let the kids enjoy the beautiful game of football,” said Yeshey Dorji, the Head of the Grassroot Football Division under the Bhutan Football Federation.

The parents of the participants said that the league is a platform for the children to hone their skills.

“My daughter is participating at the grassroots level. It is a platform to show their talent. It is not necessary to have a government job to sustain our lives in the future. We can do it through football. Such opportunities for girls would be helpful,” said Jigme Jigme, a parent.

“The only reason that I am supporting my son is that he is passionate about football, not just because of the world cup this year but because he has been passionate about football since he was a child. And now with all the emphasis that the government is giving to grassroots development and so many football clubs for the juniors, it is a very good opportunity that we are taking up. This is a win-win situation for me because I could help my son pursue his passion,” said Tshering Wangmo, another parent.

The league is divided into three age categories, Under 12, Under 10, and Under 8 for both boys and girls.

It will allow the children to gain some match experiences, make friends, and learn about the real game plan which they have been learning and training at the clubs and academies.

“I am happy coming here. It is a golden chance for us because we won’t get this opportunity often. They have categorised the event age-wise to showcase our talents. I will play well and make good use of the opportunity,” said Sherub Dechen.

“I feel happy. Staying with friends, playing football, and scoring goals make me feel happy,” said Khenrub Dradul Tshering.

The league for the U-12 boys and U-10 boys and girls categories kicked off today.  The matches for the U-8 boys and U-12 girls will be starting on Wednesday.

From this league, the grassroots Football Division plans to select potential children and enrol them in the BFF Grassroots Elite Football Program and even enrol them in the BFF Academy.

Chenga Dawa

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