The winner of the championship will play in those organised outside
Basketball Club Championship: More than 150 basketball enthusiasts, mostly young players, have registered with Bhutan Basketball Federation (BBF) to become club players before entering the professional level and begin earning their livelihood.
At least, that is what the players hope for and look forward to becoming eventually.
“The basketball club championship to be held annually will pave the way for many young players to be professionals and earn a living,” Jigme, who has keen fingers for the ball and has a club of his own, said. “We’ll not just be playing for local clubs but other big clubs in south Asia.”
Another regular basketball player Karma said that not everyone could participate in the usual tournaments because of the high entry fees they charged but with clubs, sponsors step in to not just pay the entry fees, but provide other necessary gears.
Federation’s secretary general Tokey Dorji said a total of nine men’s team and a women’s team has registered as clubs to compete for the championship that is scheduled for mid February.
For each club, the federation charges a registration fee of Nu 2,000 and additional participation fee of Nu 200 each from all 12 players in a team.
Teams are also required to have adequate number of non-playing officials to sustain the club that include club president, manager, coach and referee.
The federation would provide technical assistance such as training players and non-playing club officials.
Like football club championships, Tokey Dorji said this basketball championship would also be an annual event.
“The winners of the championship will get to participate in championships outside the country,” he said. “BBF will provide the funds and once we get more teams we will also award divisions based on the clubs strength.”
The federation, he said was looking for sponsors within and outside the country.
“We’re also looking for more clubs for the women’s division,” he said.
Meanwhile, the national men’s basketball team is gearing up for the second South Asian Basketball Championship that Bangladesh Basketball Federation, under the supervision of South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) is organising.
Championship begins on January 17 at the Dhanmondi Wooden Floor Gymnasium and Mirpur Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium in Dhaka.
All South Asian countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka would be participating in the five-day tournament.
By Passang Norbu