Bhutanese Female Archer makes a Comeback

Email

Sherab Zam is a former national archer with the Bhutan Archery Federation. The 35-year-old retired in 2013 to become a coach for the federation’s grassroots archery programme in the east.

Drawing the bowstring, Sherab Zam takes a deep breath. As she releases the arrow, she takes another deep breath.

Sherab Zam is a former national archer with the Bhutan Archery Federation. The 35-year-old retired in 2013 to become a coach for the federation’s grassroots archery programme in the east.

Since joining the federation in 2005, Sherab’s biggest feat came in 2012 when she was selected to participate at the London Olympics. She was the lone archer selected along with a rifle shooter to represent Bhutan at the Olympics.

As a young girl, she fancied bows and arrows. She drew her inspiration from her brothers who were into traditional archery. She would pick one of her brother’s bow and practise above her house in Damchu.

“It was not normal during those days to see a girl carrying bows and arrows,” said Sherab. “For as long as I can remember, I was always attracted to games like archery, khuru and degor.”

As a traditional archer, it was difficult for Sherab to pick up the modern form of game, the recurve archery. “Like everything else, things are always difficult at the beginning. But once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy it. And when you hit a few karays, your motivation and interest grow further.”

In a game that is still dominated by men, Sherab’s passion for the game got her into the national team. She specialised in the Olympic-style of archery for eight years and also took part in several international competitions, winning medals for the country.

Four years after retirement, Sherab is all set to make her comeback into the national competition when she takes part in the upcoming BAF (Bhutan Archery Federation) international style compound archery competition next month.

For this, the archer has been practising compound archery for the last three months. “Compound archery is new to me. It is almost like recurve archery which I’ve been practising but at the same time it is very much different in many aspects.”

Sherab said that compound archery is easier than recurve because of the use of accessories like trigger that allows steady release of the arrow, providing a better accuracy. “However, since the target is just 50 metres compared to 70 metres in recurve, the target face becomes smaller, making it difficult to score well.”

The archer has also been competing against the men’s team in some of the local compound archery tournaments. “Had it been in the past, it would have been considered unnatural to see a female competing against men,” she said. “But now with the change in time, people have become more open and encouraging especially when it comes to female participation in any kind of sports.”

Sherab said that the BAF international style compound archery competition has provided equal opportunities for both men and women alike to showcase their talent. “It would be very competitive as it is the men who have dominated in compound archery so far. But since this is a new format to all, I wish to perform as good as if not better than them.”

 

This article has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

This article first appeared on Kuensel.


Related Posts

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

Football Tournament to commemorate Birth Anniversary of His...

To commemorate the 37th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King, the Jigme Namgyel Engineering College (JNEC) in...

Jun 05, 2017 19:51

Bhutan prepares to face Palestine

Going by the performance of the two in the last five games, Bhutan has a draw and a win against Bangladesh in AFC Asian...

Aug 24, 2017 16:25

Japanese Volunteers Taught Football Skills To Some Young Monks...

Held on World Children’s Day on 20 November, the programme was spearheaded by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers...

Nov 24, 2018 06:06

Female Archer Dorji Dema Hopes To Inspire More Women To Take Up...

Dorji Dema, a mother of three is among the first women in Bhutan to play in an archery tournament.

Nov 05, 2018 08:11

Bhutanese Bagged Gold In Both Men And Women’s Category In The...

In a gruelling race where both locals and foreigners participated, Bhutanese won gold medals in both the men and women’s...

Oct 24, 2018 18:01

Latest

News

Letter From The Editor: We’ve Changed Our Name To Daily Bhutan

Daily Bhutan was formerly known as New Bhutan Times.

Jan 16, 2019 09:56

EU Commits To Support Bhutan Beyond 2023, After Its Graduation From Least Developed Countries Status

“We’re happy to continue working with Bhutan in improving services delivery to the citizens of the country.”

Jan 15, 2019 17:00

Features

Bhutan Is The First Country To Record The Life Cycle Of Ludlow’s Bhutan Glory Successfully

Over 367 days, Tshering Dendup closely observed the metamorphosis of the national butterfly, recording each change in the physical...

Jan 13, 2019 14:42

Community Forest Members In Bumthang, Bhutan Undergo Training In Furniture Making

For some of the trainees who are still in their early 20s, the training enables them to be equipped with new job skills.

Jan 12, 2019 11:41

Sports

Japanese Volunteers Taught Football Skills To Some Young Monks And Hope to Reach Out To All Other Monastic Institutions In Bhutan

Held on World Children’s Day on 20 November, the programme was spearheaded by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV).

Nov 24, 2018 06:06

Female Archer Dorji Dema Hopes To Inspire More Women To Take Up Archery In Bhutan

Dorji Dema, a mother of three is among the first women in Bhutan to play in an archery tournament.

Nov 05, 2018 08:11

Business

Housing.Bt Received Funding From An Investor Through The Jab-Chor Platform For Young Entrepreneurs In Bhutan

The Yarkay Group Private Limited supported Housing.bt with Nu 2 million.

Jan 07, 2019 13:58

Founder Of ‘Sushi’s Candles & Crafts’ Wants To Inspire More Women In Bhutan To Become Entrepreneurs

Sushanta wants to set a shining example for more women in Bhutan to fulfil their dreams of starting their own businesses.

Jan 05, 2019 15:19

Travel

A Tourism Office Slated To Be Established In Every District In East And Central Bhutan

Establishing a tourism office in every district will help to promote tourism across the country, said the Lyonpo.

Jan 16, 2019 08:16

Hidden ‘Igloos’ Of Dochula – Caves Where One Can Meditate And Find Inner Peace

The caves will benefit those who seek inner peace.

Jan 10, 2019 16:29

Lifestyle

Bhutanese Boyband O'Strangers To Play In Pattaya For 2 Months

They are the first Bhutanese rock band to perform at Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya in Thailand.

Jan 04, 2019 15:13

Learn How Some Kids Engage Themselves Meaningfully This Winter Vacation In Bhutan

Attracting more than 200 participants, the programme attempts at making children and youth learn some skills and explore new interests.

Dec 29, 2018 10:09

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!