Four months after the first multi-sectoral meeting held in November last year, the national sports policy will be presented to the stakeholders concerned at its 3rd multi-sectoral meeting in Thimphu today.
The draft national sports policy will undergo another round of consultation from the stakeholders before getting finalised to be presented to the Cabinet.
Department of Youth and Sports under Ministry of Education started developing of national sports policy with the directives from the Cabinet last year.
At the 2nd multi-sectoral meeting held in March, the stakeholders recommended the policy to include sports for the national well-being and happiness in its vision statement.
Appropriate use of terminologies, high priority on sports economy to support sports development, recognition of private sector’s initiative towards sports development, and the development of sports to be apolitical were some important recommendations expressed by stakeholders at the meeting.
The first draft policy presented at the meeting stated that most of the national sports federations and associations do not have permanent staff members and were administered by volunteers.
“Most sports entities operate independently with no functional and formal linkages with each other or with other stakeholders and communities,” the draft policy stated.
A situational analysis presented by the consultants of the sports policy in March found attracting talent and skills to enable professional excellence in sports as a major challenge because of the lack of career advancement, employment opportunities, and skill development programmes.
The second draft policy that would be presented to stakeholders today is aimed at recognising sports and physical activity as an important development programme, enhancing planning, governance and resource mobilisation towards effective delivery of sports development programmes, pursuing sports for all, and for sports excellence.
The draft policy has eleven provisions for sports development programme, sports excellence, Bhutanese indigenous sports, sports science and anti-doping programme, sports economy, Olympic movement, rewards and incentives, human resource, resource mobilisation, sports infrastructure, and sports governance and management structure.
The draft policy has proposed setting of National Sports council or Sports Authority of Bhutan to ensure proper sports governance and management structure.
“It is essential to have a clear mandate, roles and responsibilities and governance system for all sports agencies. Such governance system shall ensure transparent and accountable system and bring about better coordination and mobilize resources for the effective delivery of sports in the country,” the draft policy stated.
National sports council or national sports authority would play a vital role in ensuring effective implementation and management of the National Sports Policy of Bhutan.
“The National Sports Policy of Bhutan is derived from numerous consultations that took place with a wide range of stakeholders at various levels. This Policy has incorporated all the valuable views and suggestions of the stakeholders,” states the policy.
At the first multi-sectoral meeting held in preparation for the national sports policy in Thimphu last year, president of Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association, former Lyonpo Dr Kinzang Dorji said that developing national sports policy was in the plan for a long time.