Trashigang, Bhutan—In a significant step towards ensuring the safety of archers and local residents, the archery range in Trashigang has recently undergone substantial safety enhancements. Trashigang Sports Association, in collaboration with the Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA), has taken proactive measures to create a safer environment for archery enthusiasts.
To bolster safety, seven safety walls have been meticulously constructed within the archery range. These protective barriers are designed to prevent accidents and mishaps that may occur during archery practice and competitions. In addition to the two safety walls mandated by BIGSA, three additional walls have been added to offer an extra layer of protection.
Karma Choeda, a dedicated member of the Trashigang Sports Association, highlighted the importance of these safety improvements. He stated, “Our primary concern is the well-being of archers and the nearby residents. These additional safety walls significantly reduce the risk of accidents, particularly when arrows are accidentally released.”
These measures represent a substantial improvement in the overall safety of archery activities conducted within the range, addressing concerns raised in the past. The Trashigang Sports Association has invested a total of Nu 1.3 million in various upgrades. These enhancements include the construction of a well-lit pathway, restroom facilities, and other amenities to create a more comfortable and secure environment for archers.
In a bid to promote and support archery enthusiasts, the association will charge a nominal fee of Nu 75 for using the archery range, ensuring its long-term sustainability.
Local residents have expressed their relief and gratitude for these safety enhancements. They recounted incidents where stray arrows posed risks to nearby establishments and homes, including the Bhutan Development Bank branch office.
One shopkeeper recalled these incidents and mentioned the particular concern regarding archers using compound bows. Another resident emphasized the increased danger when untrained individuals use the archery ground, often during local tournaments where carelessness and alcohol consumption can lead to accidents.
An experienced archer added that safety should be a shared responsibility, with individuals taking necessary precautions to prevent accidents. He proposed that competitions should be prohibited if safety measures are not adhered to diligently.
BIGSA has established specific rules and regulations for archery fields, aiming to ensure the safety of participants and nearby residents. These regulations stipulate a minimum safe distance of 20 meters behind each target area, excluding space for spectators. Public thoroughfares and vehicle parking within the archery field are strictly prohibited, and areas designated for spectators must have a minimum width of 40 meters.
Moreover, the regulations mandate the presence of safety barriers or walls at least two meters high and long behind each target. These walls should have a minimum height of six meters and be topped with a two-meter-high wire mesh with small eyes. The minimum width of these walls should be seven meters. These stringent guidelines are aimed at creating a safe and secure environment for archery enthusiasts and nearby residents alike.
The safety improvements at the Trashigang archery range reflect a commitment to preserving this cherished Bhutanese tradition while prioritizing the well-being of all who participate and live in the vicinity. With these enhanced safety measures in place, archers can continue to pursue their passion in a secure and protected environment.