“I Want to Play Football for as Long as I Can”

Sangay Budhar became a footballer for the women’s national team in Bhutan when she was thirteen years old. Sangay is now twenty and has been playing football for 11 years. She initially started as a player for her school football team in Loseling Middle Secondary School when news got out on her football skills.

by Sonam Pelden   Supported by the Women in Sports Committee, BOC

When the Bhutan Football Federation heard about the skillful footballer, they asked her to join for the national team. But when they found out Sangay was just eleven then, she had to wait 2 more years. Around a year after she joined Sangay was already playing in the senior national team in Sri Lanka. She was fourteen and the youngest player among others who were sixteen and seventeen.

After graduating from Pelkhil High School last year she has been dedicating all her time on being a national athlete. She is up at 6 am, eats her breakfast and waits for about 2 hours to digest it followed by trainings after trainings with 2 hour breaks after each one. That’s pretty much how her daily routine is like. “I love how this activity increases your stamina and flexibility. It works your whole body. Your body can feel a lot lighter and more active when you train or workout”.  Some other benefits of football include, promoting teamwork, improving coordination and concentration and reducing anxiety – benefits Sangay describes as her work “perks”.

Although playing for the women’s national team has been a dream come true, Sangay admits she does get taunted by some members of the crowd during the club matches, “Some people still think football is a guys sport and they don’t take girls playing this sport seriously. It’s sad that there are polar differences in how people take gender in sports. If we women footballers got the same facilities as the men we would be improving so much more.” But Sangay handles these challenges well her love for the game doesn’t let these remarks get to her and concludes, “I want to play football as long as I can.”

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