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International Day of Sport for Development & Peace: a Reflection

Letters to Strangers + Zimbabwe Ball Game
Letters to Strangers + Zimbabwe Ball Game

Letters to Strangers +Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Letters to Strangers commemorates this day because we acknowledge the importance of sports for development and peace toward one's mental health. Sport plays a crucial role in keeping our mental state healthy. Sport activities can boost positivity and act as a relief to unhealthy pressures. In all, sport has proved time and time again to be a powerful way to enhance our mental wellbeing and protect our mental health in general by allowing us to engage in physical activity, especially in camaraderie-focused team settings. Indeed, many studies show how physical activity has a strong and positive influence on mental wellbeing and some mental illnesses. Participation in regular physical activity can increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. Physical activity can help play a pivotal role in preventing mental health problems and improve the quality of life of those experiencing them. This day also celebrates development and peace, both of which are critical to improving one's mental health. Development can bring a chance for inclusion of segregated issues in a country's economy, for example. Mental illness is segregated, with few developing countries having mental health facilities which are accessible or available to its majority of citizens as compared to developed countries. Peace, on the other hand, provides a safe environment which promotes healthy mental states. Lack of peace, AKA "conflicts" are often stressors and causes of mental disorders, especially Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety Disorders,, Major Depressive Disorders, among others. In commemorating this day, Letters to Strangers is in support of upholding sporting activities to achieve development and peace. The impacts matter not just for an individual's mental health but the wellbeing of an entire community and beyond.

Photos of Ball Game courtesy of Letters to Strangers+Zimbabwe

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