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

Bhutan Moves Closer To Becoming 100% Organic With National Organic Flagship Programme

The flagship programme’s Annual Performance Agreement was signed between Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering and the Agriculture and Forests...

Aug 24, 2019 22:38

Training Of Trainers On ‘Search Inside Yourself’ To Build Mindfulness Among Civil Servants In Bhutan

The Royal Civil Service Commission and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (USA) organised the training.

Aug 23, 2019 23:58

Features

Bhutan Women Parliamentary Caucus Launched To Promote Gender Equality

It is expected to address the need for women role models at leadership and decision-making levels in Bhutan.

Aug 20, 2019 17:08

Fulfilling His Majesty The King’s Vision, Digital Drukyul Is Set To Improve Public Service Delivery And Empower Citizens Digitally

Digital Drukyul will help create a digital ecosystem for citizens which is unencumbered by bureaucratic red tape.

Aug 19, 2019 15:28

Sports

Two Young Bhutanese Swimmers Competed In 18th FINA World Championship

The duo are proud to represent Bhutan and compete on a worldwide stage for the first time.

Jul 28, 2019 21:32

Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 08, 2019 22:18

Business

Southeast Asian Company Invests Over US$100,000 In Bhutanese Start-up Drukfood

The investment includes a mix of cash and investment-in-kind.

Aug 15, 2019 14:26

Bhutan’s First Crowdfunding Platform Gaining Traction, Opens Doors For Entrepreneurs To Raise Funds

So far, three promoters - Bhutan Alternatives, Freelancer Bhutan and Himalayan food have registered with the Bhutan crowdfunding platform.

Aug 05, 2019 22:10

Travel

7 Facts You Never Knew About Flying Into Bhutan

Druk Asia interviewed Namgyal Wangchuk, Senior First Officer with Drukair to find out what it's like to fly into Paro International Airport.

Aug 07, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Has Great Potential To Be A Top Eco-Tourism Spot: Albert Teo

Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

Jul 19, 2019 23:58

Lifestyle

Many Lives, Many Stories - 10th Edition of Bhutan’s Mountain Echoes Literary Festival Underway

About 80 speakers and performers came from different parts of the world with different stories to narrate.

Aug 25, 2019 22:42

Bali-Bhutan Art Exhibition Hosted By VAST Bhutan To Enhance Friendship And Exchange Of Ideas

Founded in 1998, VAST Bhutan has been promoting and facilitating art exchange programmes with various nationalities.

Aug 22, 2019 14:28

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!