Archery Helps Paraplegic Move

Email

30-year-old Pema Rigsel from Thimphu is one of the recurve archers at Bhutan Archery Federation. He is the first paralysed recurve archer of the federation.

30-year-old Pema Rigsel from Thimphu is one of the recurve archers at Bhutan Archery Federation. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)

 

Seated half a metre above the rest, wearing a yellow polo shirt, he rubs the joints of the bow handle with a piece of cloth. He tightens the nut on handle. The bowstring, spare limbs, bow stands, stabiliser and screwdrivers are spread out on a chair near him.

With the inspection and cleaning done, Pema Rigsel wears a satisfied look. He calls for help to string his bow. He cannot do this alone because he suffers from paraplegia which refers to the paralysis of the legs and lower body caused by spinal injuries or diseases.

The 30-year-old from Thimphu is one of the recurve archers at Bhutan Archery Federation. He is the first paralysed recurve archer of the federation.

Pema hopes to win gold for Bhutan

“I want to represent my country at the international competitions. Winning gold for my country is my dream,” said Pema Rigsel.

Pema Rigsel was recruited as an archer in January this year. He has been training with other archers for the past 11 months. His longest shot record is 60 metres. He has to aim for 10 more meters in order to be selected for international competitions.

Pema Rigsel’s coach Karma Tshering said: “He has the equal potential with good upper body strength like other archers. He has a good shooting style and often hits the yellow rings in the training. I am confident that he will make it to international competitions.”

Pema Rigsel follows the same training schedule and timing as other archers. He undergoes regular exercises and stretching before going for the shootings and draws the equally strong bowstring. The shooting range, however, differs. While other archer practise on the standard range, he is a few months away from reaching the same range.

Pema Rigsel earns Nu 15,000 as salary from the federation and is provided with equipment, diet and other kits. He has plans to hire a taxi for a pick up  and drop off service between home and training ground.

“My brother helps me get to the ground and picks me up in the evening. Hiring a taxi would make things more convenient for him. I want to be independent,” he said.

Pema Rigsel was a taxi driver before. It was in 2015 that he underwent a spinal surgery because of a prolonged pain in his knee. Since then, it has left him paralysed permanently.

“I was left alone in the cabin and then I continued my solitary stay at home. I was not able to wash my face or eat,” said Pema Rigsel.

However, he was fortunate to have a supportive family. “I was dependent on them. I could do nothing on my own.”

Archery helped Pema to regain some mobility

After three years, an opportunity came knocking at the door. He got selected for archery, which he says helped him improve his movements.

“Archery is very important in my life. This helps me to live an independent and normal life,” he said. He is today largely independent and confident.

“I can cook and wear clothes on my own. I think archery training made this possible. I can move around and go to the washroom on my own,” said Pema Rigsel.

 

By Nima (This article has been edited for the Daily Bhutan)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.

 

 


Related Posts

Tandin Dorji Crowned as Best Archer

Tandin Dorji is now crowned as the best archer in the two-day BAF International Style Compound Archery Competition held...

Oct 23, 2017 07:17

The Perils of Dha – Bhutan’s National Game

Dha (Archery), the national sport of Bhutan is a double edged sword – while it is entertaining, it can also be...

Sep 30, 2017 05:33

HM Grants Dhar

His Majesty The King granted dhar to appoint the Wangduephodrang Dzongdag, Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the...

Aug 17, 2017 10:45

Bhutanese Female Archer makes a Comeback

Sherab Zam is a former national archer with the Bhutan Archery Federation. The 35-year-old retired in 2013 to become a...

Oct 06, 2017 07:03

Bhutanese Bodybuilders Hope to Win Medals

The 9th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships is underway in Ulaanbaatar, the Capital of Mongolia. Four...

Oct 07, 2017 18:51

Bhutan wins 1 gold, 2 bronze at 9th WBPF Championships

Bhutan’s Thinley Dorji won a gold medal in the Men’s Athletic Physique (for heights up to 1.82m) category at the World...

Oct 09, 2017 08:15

Latest

News

Canadian Delegation Held 1st Biennial Consultations, Set To Foster Closer Ties With Bhutan

The two sides exchanged views on the recent political, economic developments and bilateral cooperation in Bhutan and Canada.

Nov 26, 2019 23:38

Bhutan Celebrates World Children’s Day, Renews Commitment To Well-Being Of Children

UNICEF’s Bhutan Representative, Dr Will Parks said that children today encounter multiple challenges to childhood that were not envisaged 30...

Nov 21, 2019 23:38

Features

Five High End Hotels From Bhutan Bagged International Awards

The five award winning hotels are: dusitD2 Yarkay, Terma Linca Resort and Spa, Zhiwaling Heritage, Le Meridien Thimphu and Taj Tashi hotels.

Dec 02, 2019 22:38

Accelerating Innovation Workshop Aims To Deliver More Effective Government Services In Bhutan

The UNDP, in collaboration with the Gross National Happiness Commission organised the workshop.

Nov 28, 2019 23:58

Sports

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Business

Doors Open For Further Bhutan-Finland Collaborations In Various Sectors

Called 'Doing Business with Finland', the seminar was organised by the BCCI in collaboration with Finn-partnership

Dec 04, 2019 23:28

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Kinley Rabgyel Of Goximbo

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Nov 20, 2019 23:58

Travel

Bhutan’s Black-Necked Crane Festival Drawing More Foreign Tourists

Some 500 tourists from around the world came to Bhutan to see the Black-Necked Crane festival, exceeding the number of locals.

Nov 14, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Bird Festival Set Bird Watching Haven Of Zhemgang Abuzz

Zhemgang is home to more than 500 species of birds, which is an area much sought after by bird watchers from around the world.

Nov 13, 2019 12:48

Lifestyle

Bhutanese Textiles To Be Exhibited In Paris Trade Fair 2020

The exhibition is an initiative of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project.

Nov 10, 2019 12:48

Launch Of Karen Greenspan’s Footfalls From The Land Of Happiness: A journey Into The Dances Of Bhutan

The book delves into familiar subjects that are what continues to shape Bhutan’s image.

Oct 05, 2019 10:18

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!