The World Firefighters Games, founded in 1988, is “an international sporting event that welcomes all full-time, part-time, volunteer, retired, structural and bush firefighters, fire service support personnel, aviation fire services, military emergency response personnel and their direct family from across the globe.”

The Games promotes health and fitness, is a forum for information exchange between fire services and fosters comradeship amongst firefighters. The event is taking place in Lisbon from 30 April until 7 May and includes more than 40 sporting events including Cycling, Karate, Tennis, Swimming, Rugby and Boxing.

Positive outlook

Through competing in the cycling event at the Games, Rob is leading by example with a positive outlook and hopes to encourage and inspire others dealing with issues and to show them that “we can get back to a good place, mentally and physically.” His goal being to raise awareness and raise funds for the Alerta Charity in the Algarve and The Firefighters Charity in the UK.

“Alerta is dedicated to information about the Bombeiros and in the event of any fires, posting information on the fire, to aid the community and the services.” Additionally, “The Fire Fighters Charity provides specialist lifelong support for members of the UK's fire services community, empowering individuals to achieve mental, physical and social wellbeing throughout their lives.” If you would like to support Rob and kindly donate to either charity, please see https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/robert-evans56 and you can donate to Alerta by visiting https://www.algarvefire.info/ and by including ref. With FTE Cycle Lisbon 2022.

Connecting

“The Games are about connecting with brothers and sisters, which we call ourselves in the fire service where there is that global connection. Every one of those men and women are dealing with things they have witnessed and accumulated and I have dealt with my mental health by turning to exercise as an alternative therapy which I am guessing is what they are doing as well.”

“Entering the Games is not about me, I have put myself out there, being really vulnerable by writing books, ultimately I have put myself on the line, open to ridicule and banter and everything else but by doing so it shows other people that they can also have a voice and should not suffer in silence.”

Rob wanted to highlight that Fireman’s Tired Eyes is about raising awareness but also about “offering support to everyone and that you don’t have to have the uniform to be affected.” Adding that, “the stigma is just so easily put on everybody but we need to start talking about mental health, after all none of us know how or when it may affect us.”

More information

For more information about the World Firefighters Games please see https://www.wfg2022.pt/. Alternative therapy comes in many forms so to keep up to date with Rob Evans please see his blog page at www.firemanstiredeyes.com where you can also find links to his books available on Amazon. You can also search Fireman’s Tired Eyes on YouTube and to listen to Rob’s podcast visit https://anchor.fm/robert-evans7.

Rob’s first book is being translated into Portuguese which will be published soon and he hopes to continue cycling and fundraising for the fire service. He is also working on a self-help journal which he hopes will be available to everyone at low cost. For more information about Rob’s books, you can also see https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2021-10-12/through-a-firemans-eyes/62894.