September is physical activity and mental health month so we thought of touching base with some of our returning athletes from the recent Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea to get their thoughts on physical activity and mental health.
Our next athlete is Hector Smith who represented Fiji and won Gold as part of the men’s hockey team.
What are the first images that come to mind when you see ‘physical activity’ and ‘mental health’?
I imagine running and seeing a person talk to themselves.
Okay, what about the first words?
Sports and stress.
Along with your brother who we profiled last week (Adrian Smith) you’re a gold medallist from the Pacific Games so clearly physical activity is very important to you. What about growing up as a kid, before playing at international levels and even now, outside competition?
Very important – My dad was a great influence in making sure everyone was healthy.
So what do you notice most about yourself when you’re not physically active or you’re feeling ‘down’?
Besides feeling lazy, I get sick, frustrated and angry easily.
What about bouncing back to reach your goals?
I try to talk to friends and get things off my chest to keep a positive mind.
You have 2 boys and a girl, how do you promote physical activity at home with your family?
I try and keep it simple like cutting down on screen time, doing stuff outside and going for walks with family.
Finally, what message would you give Fijians about physical activity and mental health?
Be active as a family together! Everyone should do something!