The journey of the Phuentsholing Sports Association (PSA), country’s oldest sports association, is a story of many ups and downs. Due to lack of financial support and infrastructure, many youth-oriented sports activities could not be organised.
However, the PSA sustained and survived.
Since the first inter-departmental football tournament in 1961, PSA has come a long way and brought major sports changes for the community.
More than five decades later today, PSA boasts of facilities such as astro-turf football ground, multi-sports hall, and lawn tennis courts.
PSA was a non-profit association, which is registered with the civil society organisation authority (CSOA) as a public-benefit organisation (PBO) on August 1, 2011.
With the institution grant of Nu 200,000, PSA established its secretariat office in April 10, 2012.
Football craze has reached a new high with the launch of artificial turf in January 2017. The most important open tournament of the year is underway today. About 20 teams are participating and the tournament has attracted many club players.
The general secretary with PSA, Gyem Tshering, said that since the coming of the turf, several changes have been made for better service.
“There were only four bulbs on the light poles,” he said. Today, all the five light poles have eight bulbs.
Ground usage has increased drastically. More than 900 matched have been played on the PSA ground since the artificial turf was installed.
However, women participation has been lacking, Gyem Tshering said.
“PSA has even declared that women teams would not be charged fees if they come forward to play,” he said. “It will be free for women.”
To encourage the youth, PSA also gives the ground free of charge for youth teams.
Starting 2015, winter programmes for youth-oriented sports have improved, Gyem Tshering said.
“PSA gets funding support from Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) and technical support from the federations concerned,” the general secretary said.
Football, badminton, lawn tennis, table tennis, basketball, taekwondo are some of the sports organised in winter for youth. At present, selection for the Annual Youth National Football Championship for youth under 13, 15, and 17 is underway.
PSA also holds two annual archery events – Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck Open Archery Tournament and Ugyen Dorji Memmorial Open Archery Tournament.
Gyem Tshering said that a Master Plan was developed this year. As the plan, PSA would need about Nu 41 million to develop various sports facilities and infrastructure in Phuentsholing.
“We have also submitted the document to the BOC,” he said.
“Sportsman spirit with healthy mind and healthy body.”
“To be the leading sports activities promoting association in Bhutan.”
To develop and promote sports activities in Phuentsholing region
To coordinate with the private sectors, corporation, and government entities for their collective efforts in supporting the development and promotion of sound and healthy sports activities.
To organise sports tournament and competitions in various sports disciplines.
To encourage the sponsors and participants for further promotion of sports competitions.
To develop an ideal platform for the physical, mental, and moral development of our youth’s mindset in sports activities.
To contribute for the development of positive attitude and utilisation of free time meaningfully in sports activities for physical fitness.
To develop preventive measures in combating anti-social behavior and habits amongst youth by engaging in healthy sports culture.
To promote integration of people through socialisation in sports.