Coaching classes engage students in sports, music and arts

As schools are closed for a short summer vacation, several programmes are underway in Thimphu to engage students. Most students are enrolled in music, dance and sports coaching classes. Tutors and coaches say that these summer programmes not only keep the students away from their phones but also teach them valuable skills and lessons.

The National Library and Archives of Bhutan in Kawajangsa hosted a summer book fair that ended on Sunday.

Currently, there are seven classes underway at the library campus engaging students from different schools.

While some students are learning Zhey and mask dances, some are practising Zhungdra and Boedra songs, while others are involved in music, calligraphy and art classes.

Students from as far as Haa have come to learn how to play traditional musical instruments.

Sonam Choki, a student from Chundu Armed Forces Public School in Haa said “ I have been interested in traditional musical instruments since I was small. There was a sister near my house who used to play the instrument. So, I observed and learned from her. I slowly got the hang of it and have been taking classes during summer and winter vacations.”

Chencho Wangdi who is an instructor at Traditional Performing Arts and Music Division said “It is beneficial when it comes to learning a new skill. If they are interested and passionate about instruments and learn them properly, it is an opportunity to learn a skill for a lifetime.”

Meanwhile, another class is dedicated to calligraphy.

“We all know it is a technological era nowadays. So, to inculcate and pass down the typical Bhutanese writing culture, which is calligraphy, we want to impart the knowledge which is dying. And I have seen that students are interested,” said Yeshi Lhendup, Deputy Chief Librarian at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Public Library.

He added that with students showing interest, similar classes will be conducted in the coming years.

Similarly, the Bhutan Badminton Federation is conducting basic badminton summer coaching camps in four locations including Thimphu engaging over 260 students.

“The reason for this summer coaching camp is to help the young athletes or young youths to come up, come in the front and participate in badminton as well as to keep them physically fit and secondly to reduce the screen time. It not only benefits them but for us, it also helps bring talented youth to participate in international tournaments,” said Phuntsho Dema, Bhutan Badminton Federation’s coach.

“I came from Dagana to Thimphu to attend the badminton coaching. I attended the coaching last year and I acquired a lot of new skills. Therefore, I came this year as well,” said Tshering Dorji, a student from Gesarling Higher Secondary School.

Likewise, the Thimphu Aquatic Centre is training students with several structured programmes. A 10-day intensive summer camp is underway.

“So we are doing the same thing which is familiarising them with water and getting the fear of water out of them. So, a lot of students have improved in the three days we have conducted our classes,” said Viki Norbu, Thimphu Aquatic Centre’s coach.

“Firstly, this kind of exercise and entertainment help them improve their health. Secondly, they get engaged. So this is a good facility and prepares them for life,” said Meghraj Adhikari, a guardian.

Meanwhile, students from other districts have also travelled for volleyball coaching at the Changlimithang court.

“These days, most of the students are always on their phones and are not going out. If we get coaching like this, I think most of the students can go out and play with friends and also make new friends. Most importantly, they can stay healthy,” said Ugyen Tshewang Khenrab, a student from Damphu Middle Secondary School in Tsirang.

Currently, the federation is coaching students in four categories.

“Our main motive is for them to avoid drugs. Some of the participants in the under-16 category are from other districts such as Tsirang, Samtse, Dagana and Zhemgang. We are also happy when we receive such participants,” said Leki Wangdi, Bhutan Volleyball Federation’s Grassroots Coach.

Similarly, other federations also have ongoing summer camps for students in full swing.

Devika Pradhan

Edited by Kipchu

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