The Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) organised a social responsibility programme titled ‘Bridging the Gap’ for children with little access to the beautiful game.
Aimed at improving integration, promoting education and personal development, whilst instilling a passion for learning, more than fifty students aged between eight and 14 from five remote schools in Bhutan gathered in Changlingmithang, Thimphu to participate in the five-day programme.
BFF President Ugen Tsechup outlined the importance of the programme in providing children with a fun experience and greater exposure through football.
He said: “We focused on the youth from remote schools because we want to give them exposure. Some of these children have never been to Thimphu or other dzongkhags. We want the children to enjoy their time here and experience things that they do not in their villages.”
He also outlined the BFF’s ambitions to inspire children from the remote schools to pursue football as possible careers in the future, adding: “Academic achievements are important, but the overall development of the child is important, too. Football, like many other sports, teaches children discipline, which will go a long way in life.”
Nimtola Primary School Principal Pem Tshering emphasised that such programmes presented a game-changing opportunity to children from the remote parts of Bhutan.
“My students have been excited to come to Thimphu ever since I told them about the event,” said Principal Tshering.
“Some of them even made a ball out of rags to play football. Coming from a remote area, some of the children have never been to Thimphu, let alone seen a football ground like this.”
In thanking the BFF for creating such unique and meaningful opportunities, Principal Tshering added: “This is probably the first time these students got the chance to wear boots and football kits. They were so excited that they woke up from 5am this morning.”