Football enthusiasts in Kanglung and Trashigang can play on a better field with the artificial turf at Sherubtse College nearing completion in February.
This would be a drastic improvement from the dust bowl that the football ground is right now particularly during dry, windy days and muddy monsoon.
One of the most popular football competitions in the college known as the monsoon tournament was not conducted last year as works on the artificial turf were in progress.
Many students were unhappy due to this but with the artificial turf nearing completion; excitement in the college is peaking.
Sherab Gyeltshen, a college student said that he was unfortunate he could not play the tournament last year. “But I am happy that I will be one of the few to kick off the monsoon tournament on the artificial turf.”
Another football fan, Chimi Wangchuck feels that so far the majority of national football stars are from Thimphu because of ready availability of facilities in the capital. But now, he hopes to see the rise of champs from the east as well.
“I am dying to play on the turf,” he said.
The artificial turf installation works began in mid-May, 2016 after His Majesty The King during a visit to the college in February 2014 announced that the turf would be a gift from him.
Yontoen Chophel, football coach at Sherubtse College said that students are already looking forward to playing on the turf and creating such recreational infrastructure would go a long way in keeping youth away from unhealthy activities.
Some locals in Kanglung said they were seeing an artificial turf for real in Sherubtse College for the first time. Most had seen one only on television so far.
“Besides football, the ground will be good to host events like sports meets and bigger national events,” said a teacher from Kanglung Primary School.
According to Chador Wangmo, a business woman from Kanglung, the turf will not only benefit footballers but has the potential to boost local business as there will be a larger audience for the matches. “I am happy to see such facilities coming up in a remote part of the country. Development should be balanced in all the regions.”
After the turf is completed, a tournament, “Chancellor’s Cup”, will be held in tribute to His Majesty The King.
Jigme Wangchen from Kanglung, Trashigang