A DAY of fun sporting competitions is set to connect people while fighting the stigma associated with addiction.

Forth Valley Recovery Community is set to hold its sixth annual Recovery Olympics – taking the event national for the first time.

The free event, to be held on July 1, is open to teams from any organisation with an interest in recovery from addictions and people will also be encouraged to come along and show their support.

Christina Feaks, substance use recovery development team leader, said: “The purpose of the event is to bring recovery communities from across Scotland together, as well as the partners we work with.

“It's a day about celebrating recovery, trying to reduce the stigma that surrounds addictions to substances and just a chance for people to have a bit a fun and make recovery visible in the Forth Valley, showing the successes of people who have really transformed their lives by getting into recovery.”

The pandemic has impacted on the recovery community, but face-to-face activities are restarting and Christina reckons they are “back busier than ever”.

“Some of our now staff members have actually found recovery through the lockdown, which was outstanding and it's inspirational for them to do that in the stress and isolation of the lockdowns that we had,” she added.

The National Recovery Olympics will go ahead between 1pm and 6pm on Friday, July 1, at Forthbank Stadium in Stirling.

Speaking of the benefits of physical activity, Christina said: “Physical activity in general is good for people's health but for people in addiction it can be that lifeline to get them out the house, to get them connected to people that have been in the same position as them.

“Getting out in the fresh air releases endorphins so that they start feeling better about themselves and more motivated to continue and try to work on their recovery.”

Christina hopes to see not just competitors but anyone from the community out on the day to show their support.

She said: “We want people to come from the community to see the wonders that recovery can do for people.

“We all know the downside of addiction and the issues that it causes within families and communities but very rarely do you actually see the success stories of people who have managed to find recovery.

“Addiction doesn't just affect the person who has the issues with the substances, it affects their own family, affects their community.”

Teams looking to attend can email cfeaks@recoveryscotland.org.uk or call 07920234694.