Lhamoi Dzingkha’s lone futsal ground opens for meaningful youth engagement

While the sudden surge in football business in the country is starting to see a downturn in many districts, football enthusiasts in Lhamoi Dzingkha Dungkhag in Dagana are delighted to have the first futsal ground in the dungkhag. The pitch constructed around eight months ago is doing a brisk business while also keeping the residents and youths engaged.

Setting up a futsal ground in the dungkhag which has three gewogs has benefitted the residents, especially the youths and fitness enthusiasts.

The newly constructed facility, the YAL Futsal Ground has also become a popular spot to hang out with friends and learn some new skills for students on their vacation. Students are currently taking up a futsal coaching class.

Yuhang Pondhak, one of the students said, “I joined this coaching class because I want to be fit and strong and have a lot of friends during my winter vacation. And when I learnt that there was a new coach, I joined it and the coach taught me lots of skills and I enjoyed it very well.”

Ashis Acharaya, another student said, “Lhamoi Dzingkha did not have a futsal ground before and now that YAL Futsal Ground has come up, the locals and the students come to play here. The ground has benefited us in maintaining fitness. Moreover, it is really enjoyable as we can come here and play with our friends during our vacation.”

“The reason my mother let me join the futsal coaching is to make me learn new skills. Moreover, I can spend time and play futsal with friends and keep my body fit,” said Tshering Chophel Lepcha who has also joined the coaching class.

One of the coaches also shared that they are getting good feedback from the parents. According to the parents, the sleep schedule of their children has also improved.

Ganga Gurung, the assistant coach of YAL Futsal Ground said, “We mainly formed this coaching camp to engage youth in games and sports. Our aim is also to engage them with their friends here on the ground instead of keeping them fiddling with their phones during their free time.”

He added that they are also providing free classes to those children who cannot afford to pay the coaching fees.

The ground is usually occupied by civil servants and adults at nights. Some of the adult futsal enthusiast shared how the ground provided new platforms and opportunities for them.

Chimi Tshering, a futsal enthusiast said that the new ground is beneficial to them to keep themselves physically fit. “It also helps us connect with other people from our community. When we come here to play, we have to interact and that helps us know each other better.”

Similarly, Dorji Norbu, a local resident said, “We have a general perception that futsal is not for women. However, when it comes to YAL Futsal Ground in Lhamoi Dzingkha Dungkhag, women and youths from organisations and the public also participate. So, futsal has gained popularity and improved in our community.”

Currently, more than 30 students are attending the coaching classes during daytime. 15 of them are taking up the coaching class on regular basis.

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