The Youngest Women’s Head
Pema Choden Tshering, the head of Women’s Football is an exceptional football player and is the only woman in Bhutan to have pursued FIFA Masters. The 25 year old is the youngest one to take up her current position. She is very down to earth, loves being silly and having a good laugh. Aside from that, she enjoys reading and going on hikes, she said. We also learned that she is a really outdoorsy person who enjoys anything that includes being outside.
Pema comes from a one of the well-known, football fanatic family which personifies the phrase of “Football running in one’s genes”. She has her father, Mr. Hishey Tshering, the President of Thimphu City FC, her mother, Mrs. Sonam, who is a mother figure to all the players and her brother, Orgyen Wangchuk Tshering, who has found his place in the Bhutan National Football Team 2022.
As expected, Pema mentioned that, her family is her biggest support system and they know how much she loves football. She added, “They have always been by my side so as cheesy as it sounds, I cherish every moment I get to spend with my family.”
She says, she has always looked up to her father and to share similar interests with him has always been a major plus point for her. Pema went on to say that having his support has been uplifting and has made it easier for her to pursue her dream.
Having said that, she emphasized that the girls she met in her footballing journey has had a bigger influence on her instead. The girls at the Gelephu Academy, the National Team and her club team are all, in her words, “so amazing and have such good energy. I wanted to be part of that culture. They mean a lot to me and I will be forever grateful to each one of them for walking into my life.”
When asked about her experience in the Bhutan National Women’s Team, she said that it was an immense honor to represent the country on an international stage. She feels proud. “When I was on the National Team, I was the eldest player, so I felt like I had to lead by example for my teammates, which was good for me because it kept me disciplined as well,” she continued.
It also inspired me to “always bring my A-game,” proving that if you want to reach your goals, you must have a sense of responsibility and a desire to improve.
She further added, “I love the sport wholeheartedly. I know the physical, mental and cognitive benefits of football. I think Bhutanese Women’s football has a lot of growth potential but still has a long way to go. I along with the help of everyone else can contribute to that growth. So, I feel energized, eager, and passionate to help in the development of women’s football in the country.”
Furthermore, the new women’s head has experience not only on the field but also in management. She is the first woman from Bhutan to study FIFA Masters, and she is thrilled to be able to put her newfound knowledge and expertise to use in her current position.
She is, however, a bit skeptical of being the youngest woman to lead women’s football. “I’m quite excited, but I’m also very worried and scared.” When asked how she feels about it, Pema replied, “I set some really high expectations for myself and others, and I’m scared I might let myself and others down.”
Nevertheless, she stated that she is optimistic and looking forward to what the next two years has in store for her.