Friday, October 21, 2011

Sports, Sports, Sports!

I think one of the biggest surprises for Canadian teachers coming to Bhutan is how important sports are in this country. Here, children's athletic progress is tracked and celebrated as much as their academic work.
Recently, my school hosted the Dzongkhag School Sports Meet. For an entire week dozens of student athletes from every corner of Tashiyangtse slept in our classrooms and played their hearts out on our basketball court, our football field, and our volleyball mud puddle:

All of the participants were served three meals a day from our school kitchen. They could also purchase snack foods like chili chops (battered green chili peppers) from our school's scouting program. I made the sign:

The Dzongkhag School Sports Meet was the grandest celebration of athletics I had ever been to but that record was broken the very next week by our School Sports Day. It completely amazed me. The Opening Ceremony included a march past, the lighting of the Olympic flame, and a fitness dance performed by all 750 TYLSS students in perfect sync:

Throughout the day every class participated in a creative relay race like this one, called The Chariot:

There were also Tae Kwon Do demonstrations in which small children shattered wood with their fists and an amazing gymnastic display by my class fives. Check out this ten-person pyramid!

In Bhutan, even the teachers are involved in sports. Just a couple of weeks ago, my school hosted a Volleyball Day for staff teams to meet, mingle, bump, and spike:

Athletic fun for everyone!


  1. Amazing that the kids are so versatile--But ofcourse it is right to appreciate physical abilities as well as intellectual ones.
    I love the chariot! Imagine how well it would work on snow!

  2. Did one of the pictures show a giant yoga session?

    So happy to have you back in my life via the blog :)