Young Sports Leaders and physical education teachers were excited to greet and interact with the British Army Cricket Team at a dinner hosted by Adam Thompson, the British High Commissioner, held on 29 Novemeber 2011 at his residence in Islamabad. A delegation of 36 YSL welcomed the British Cricket Army team as ambassadors of the International Inspiration project, on their visit to Pakistan to play friendly One-Day and T20 matches with the Pakistan Army Cricket Team.
Members of the British team were equally enthusiastic to meet the bright YSL who were wearing their iconic International Inspiration shirts and caps. The British High Commissioner introduced the International Inspiration project to the British Delegation and former Pakistani cricket captain/star Mr. Majid Khan.
The YSL connected with the players of the British Army Cricket Team over their mutual love for sports and play. “I am really impressed with these kids and their fervour towards sports; indeed they are inspirational young leaders for their peers at school. It can be seen that the project (International Inspiration) is doing a great job here in Pakistan,” expressed Maj. Alex Senneck, Captain British Cricket Army Team.
Najam Ul Hasan, a Young Sports Leader after meeting the British team said, “The players are friendlier than we expected!”
Akbar Mughal from the National Paralympics Committee, Pakistan (NPC) said, “It is a good opportunity for the YSL to meet with these sports players as representatives of young children of Pakistan and the project International Inspiration.”
At the end of the ceremony, the British High Commissioner distributed cricket bats provided by Malik Sports (MB), one of leading cricket bats manufactures in Pakistan, which were signed by Mr. Majid Khan. Kids thronged to get autographs and get their pictures taken with the cricket legend. Zahid Malik (Managing Director) of Malik Sports was also present on the occasion.
Such events enable young people to have a wider, indirect impact on the delivery of physical education and sports in schools and communities. They inspire many young people to develop new skills like leadership, teamwork and more importantly help improve cultural understanding amongst communities in both UK and Pakistan.
The most memorable International Inspiration event to date so far has been an effort to bridge the gap between the Olympians, sports icons and young children. This was achieved through a unique event organised by the British Council in the historic Pakistan Hockey Stadium Karachi. The Inspiring through Sports event on March 18, 2011 brought together 3,000 young children, teachers and parents with more than 20 Pakistani sports champions and Olympians to celebrate sport and its ability to inspire and unify. This was truly demonstrated when disabled children from the Karachi Vocational & Technical Institute graced the stage with their Karate and Dance performances to a standing ovation. An inspiring message by Squash Legend Jahangir Khan set the tone for the evening; “This project will engage one million children. I don’t want one Jahangir, nor ten, I want to see a hundred Jahangir Khans come out of it” and was received with a roaring applause.
Click here to watch Jahangir Khan’s message
The electric atmosphere was further intensified when it was followed by a short movie highlighting Pakistan’s greatest sporting moments. Students from more than 300 schools were on their feet when “stand up for the champions” began.The standing ovation and applause was positively deafening when the Champions and Olympians took to the stage along with the Minister for the Youth, President National Olympic Committee, President National Paralympics Committee with Mashhood Rizvi, Director British Council Karachi, leading the way.