If everything goes as planned, Dagana will get its first football ground with artificial turf this year. Without a reliable ground, football enthusiasts in the district have been visiting the nearby districts just to enjoy a game of soccer.
In the absence of a public football ground, football fans have been heavily relying on Dagapela School and the RBA football grounds. And with the worsening covid situation in the country, lately, access to these grounds has also been limited.
A few football enthusiasts have even constructed a mini football ground on their private land to help aspiring footballers develop their football skills.
“Before the pandemic, the school management and the RBA have been kind enough to allow us to play and train young kids in their football grounds during weekends. But for the last two years, we couldn’t request for the grounds since most of the time the school and the army have to function under strict containment mode,” said Lepo, a football enthusiast.
“Youth here are interested to get themselves trained in football. They are ready to spare their weekends too. But without a reliable football ground, every time, we have to seek approvals to use the school and the army grounds for the training. It has been a difficult task for us,” said Suman Rai, focal person for the Bhutan Football federation.
But these problems are expected to solve soon. Bhutan Football Federation said they are currently in the process of tendering out the works including laying of artificial turf, instalment of lighting equipment, construction of changing rooms, and fencing. Foundation works for the construction of the football ground in the district began in 2020.
“We no more have to play football in hard grounds with dust and gravels. The upcoming football ground will help us to reduce our expenses on the sport as we will no longer require to travel to far places like Tsirang, Wangdue Phodrang, and Gelephu. We are eagerly waiting for its completion,” said Hem Bdr, a football enthusiast.
“The upcoming artificial turf football is centrally located and it will be convenient for most of the football enthusiasts in the district. We can also promote the sport in the district by organising tournaments once the ground is ready,” said Bijay Pradhan, another football enthusiast.
The upcoming playground is located just below the Dagapela hospital towards the Dagapela fuel depot. The federation is confident and said that if everything goes as planned, the entire ground pitching works will be complete within the next five months.
Pema Tshewang, Dagana
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