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Namibia: Sporting Spirit, Mental Health Shine At Nalasra Games

The seaside town of Swakopmund was buzzing with excitement yesterday, as the 12th edition of the Namibian Local Authorities Sports and Recreation Association (Nalasra) Games officially started.

Themed ‘Local Authorities Employees Mental Health Matters’, the event runs till Friday with over 40 local authorities participating in various sport competitions.

Minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni underscored the critical role of sport and recreation in promoting mental health at the games’ grand opening.

“Mental health issues may always be present to some extent in the workplace, but their impact can be reduced through promotion, prevention, and early intervention,” he noted.

With stress being a common factor in local authority workplaces, Uutoni advocated the benefits of sport and recreational activities in alleviating stress, enabling leaders to more effectively address community issues.

“Participation in sport and recreation develops strong social bonds, keeps us safe, and generally leads to healthier, happier communities,” he said.

He also touched upon the challenges of the digital era, noting the rising issues with high workloads, interhepersonal dynamics, and the balancing act between work and personal life. Uutoni stressed the importance of creating spaces for employees to unwind and rejuvenate, much like the Nalasra Games.

Forty-two local authorities despite the economic challenges following the Covid-19 pandemic.