Staff of the WHO country office in the Islamic Republic of Iran took part in the futsal, table tennis and chess competitions in the Peace and Friendship Cup in Tehran. WHO participated in the games under the slogan “Let's be active: Everyone, everywhere, everyday”.
The Peace and Friendship Cup, also known as the First Diplomatic Sports Tournament, was an initiative of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was held to mark the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in the country. The tournament brought together diplomats and staff from embassies and international organizations, including the United Nations.
“All of us as individuals, as members of communities, public or private organizations or as officials in government organizations and ministries, or in international organizations can contribute to the promotion of physical activities,” said Dr Christoph Hamelmann, the WHO Representative in Islamic Republic of Iran. He made reference to the WHO slogan “Walk the Talk” and emphasized the importance of taking part in collective activities to initiate and foster change that we wish to make in our own lives and in organizational culture, including WHO, which has adopted a transformative agenda to support countries in reaching all of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals within the framework of its Thirteenth General Programme of Work for 2019–2023.
“It really makes a difference whether we do what we say or we only talk, it makes a difference for our own health and well-being and for the life of others, even if it is only by providing good examples and the positive image that everybody wants to aim for,” Dr Hamelmann added.
Mr Mehrzad Baba Ahmadi, who works as Administrative Clerk at the WHO country office, said that the games had had a “wonderful impact on the working atmosphere of the office”. “These games helped us to expand our friendship with the staff of other organizations and diplomatic entities,” he said.
Mr Mehdi Beheshti, a Senior Driver at the office, said that the event had provided a chance for all staff to be seen as team members and work together to achieve the Organization’s objective of building happier and healthier lives.
“There are structural determinants in the social, economic and environmental spheres which make behaviour change difficult, and the degree to which we can change our behaviour or reduce our risk exposure is also largely effected by the resources we have such as ourselves as team members of an international organization,” said Dr Mansour Ranjbar, National Professional Officer at the WHO country office.
Mr Amir Tashakori, the Logistics Assistant at the WHO office, reiterated that the tournament represented a “good opportunity to practise even greater teamwork and achieve common objectives,” under the brand of WHO in the country. According to WHO, regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast and colon cancer. It also helps to prevent hypertension, overweight and obesity and can improve mental health, quality of life and well-being.
Let's be active: Everyone, everywhere, everyday!