Aiming for gold

Getting ready … finally

Our population base is small. And we lack the resources. That’s why it’s almost impossible to bring home medals in any sport from any recognized international competition.

But what if we had about 1500 sportsmen, spread across the country, all using the latest equipment, and all putting in long training hours to compete in one national tournament? If that were to happen, we would then surely achieve the best international standards at that sport.

In fact, that did happen, very recently. A record-breaking 260 teams, consisting of 1,560 archers, took part in the Yangphel Open Archery Tournament. The tournament, which was conducted in 10 different venues over 7 whole weeks, saw Jigme Norbu of Blue Poppy Tours hit an incredible 46 kareys in his 45 league rounds.

Yangphel’s archery tournament is big. But it is just one, among many tournaments and matches held continuously throughout the country.

Now, surely, that sort of enthusiasm should produce sportsmen capable of competing with the best archers any where in the world. The answer, unfortunately, is a “no”. We may produce a disproportionately large number of archers, and the may use the world’s best equipment, but we can’t compete outside the country for one simple reason: the way we play archery is different from the way the rest of the world plays it.

But that’s about to change.

The Bhutan Archery Federation, in collaboration with Yangphel Archery, is conducting a seminar on international style compound bow archery. With over 80 of our best archers undergoing the intensive training program, interest in international style archery using compound bows has been sudden and overwhelming.

Interest in the new archery format is so big that Michael Peart, the archery coach, who is an accomplished archer himself, tweeted: “Probably my best seminar ever, 100 archers, 10 days & they want to learn World Archery style compound shooting!”

The seminar will conclude with Bhutan’s first ever international style compound bow archery tournament during which our finest archers will be ranked, in accordance with international standards.

In general, we don’t have a viable population base, and we don’t have the resources, so it will be difficult to produce world-class athletes.

But in compound bow archery, international style, we do have the numbers, and they already carry the best equipment. Plus they’re being trained. And, most importantly, they are enthusiastic.

At this rate, we will produce world-class archers. And they will bring home medals from major international tournaments; they will bring glory to our national sport.