Zainab Imran addresses a press conference in Karachi. – Photo by AFP
Zainab Imran addresses a press conference in Karachi. – Photo by AFP

KARACHI, June 22: When young Zainab Imran puts on her running shoes on June 28, she will be doing it for her country and her people. The 16-year-old Karachi girl, a student of Nasra Trust School, Malir, will be carrying the Olympic torch as it makes its way to London.

Zainab, who has only recently done her Matric, is one of 21 people selected as torch-bearers from Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Palau, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Zambia through the International Inspiration programme.

The programme looks to use the power of sport to enrich the lives of tens of millions of children, young people and grown-ups, too, of all abilities in schools and communities across the world, particularly in developing countries, by offering them the opportunity to access and participate in high-quality and inclusive sport, physical education and play.

“There are young as well as older people [who have been] selected as torch-bearers through the programme and I’m the only one from Pakistan,” teenaged Zainab, who will be flying off to Nottingham on Sunday, excitedly told Dawn. “The oldest person selected as torch-bearer through the programme is a 53-year-old,” she added.

Each International Inspiration torch-bearer was selected either for their dedication and commitment to inspire children and young people in their communities through the power of sport or for the personal challenges they have overcome in their lives.

Zainab, who was nominated by the Nasra Trust School after she demonstrated strong leadership qualities, is also a member of the Young Leader of International Inspiration Club. She has taken Young Sport Leadership training and is also very active to cascade this training in her local community.

The spirited all-rounder enjoys playing netball for her school team. She has also done volunteer work as coordinator for the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), she said. “Then I regularly take part in Dawn’s Spelling Bee competitions, although I’ve yet to win it,” she chuckled. “But I got a position in the Pak-Turk Math Olympiad. I was 20th,” she said with pride.

About her selection, the young leader informed that she had to go through an entire process. “My school, as you may know, is one of British Council’s partner schools also taking part in the International Inspiration programme. So we, the students of Nasra Trust School, were given questionnaires to fill out. From there I was shortlisted for interviews, and I guess my interview must have gone pretty well because I got selected,” she remarked. The school partnerships are managed by the British Council, which has extensive experience of linking schools internationally, working in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, which utilises its expertise in developing teachers and young leaders through sport.

Asked if she has trained well for the Olympic relay, Zainab laughed, saying: “Well, I think so. Although I am not as yet sure what distance and exact route I’ll be taking. That will be disclosed to me after I reach Nottingham.”

But what she is sure of is that she will be running in an area in Nottingham, which has a big Pakistani community, who will be cheering her all the way. She would be needing that, too, as she is travelling alone to the UK, and that, also, for the very first time.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (53)

Sarfaraz Khan
June 25, 2012 4:44 am
We need more people like Zainab. Godd job!
Hurt Pakistani
June 24, 2012 10:21 am
But unfortunately such assets are not well taken care of in Pakistan. I wish and pray to LORD of all the lords and KING of all the kings to guide us in a proper way (AMEEN).
June 24, 2012 11:35 am Zainab
sach ki talash
June 23, 2012 4:03 pm
Happy To read it
June 23, 2012 4:37 pm
well said dear!
Irfan Qureshi
June 23, 2012 4:48 pm
Allah bless you and our country.
June 23, 2012 5:53 pm
good for you little lady
June 25, 2012 1:42 am
Great, Well done, Girl!!!!!!!!
Naeem Zafar Abbasi
June 25, 2012 4:06 am
well done .people like you are proud for Pakistan
Naseem Shahnawaz
June 24, 2012 5:01 pm
Very well choice, . Zainub; A little advise , please don't get over excited , need some rest, eat balance food, drink pure water and do Prayers for yourself and for the nation. Wishing you the best-Uncle Shahnawaz from USA
June 24, 2012 10:39 am
ladies of the pakistan are not less than those of other countries...they are ahead in all fields mashAllah
June 25, 2012 9:24 am
I have been here for over 4 years this is the first news, where I see happy faces as replies....thank you! We can be united....we just must try very hard!!!! Its nice to see Pakistani's supporting peace for once!
June 25, 2012 12:52 pm
Good luck Zainab, MAy Allah grant your more successes in life.
dr asif
June 25, 2012 11:13 am
Thats nice, these are the real pakistanis, proud of you.
June 29, 2012 7:55 pm
really Great, beta.all our Pakistani community in UK and all over the world proud to u and proud to be a Pakistani, this is the real face of pakistani and you have proved that Pakistani are No. 1 in all over the world except our corrupt leader, who has ruined our country You did really a good job which has raised our head. GOD Bless you, your family and all Pakistani Nation,
June 23, 2012 2:27 pm
A flickering ray of light rises from within a sea of hardship and despair
June 25, 2012 1:58 am
Zainab Imran is Pakistan. We need to work hark and put our best effort to find such treasures around us. Each kid in any family in Pakistan is potentially a Zainab, Irfa, and alike so, please spend time with kids and help them to understands how to make a difference and set examples. Pakistan has a future if we make it.
June 23, 2012 1:14 pm
the real face of Pakistan
June 23, 2012 12:49 pm
good job :)
June 23, 2012 12:45 pm
hats off.....well don......God Bless Pakistan
June 25, 2012 6:29 am
June 25, 2012 12:39 pm
i proud you baby
June 24, 2012 9:16 pm
We are proud of you - Keep the Pakistan Flag high. God Bless.
Hamid Abbasi
June 24, 2012 9:01 pm
Vi-Va .......Zainab Be good & do good. May ALLAH be with you always. Hamid Abbasi
June 24, 2012 10:01 am
shabash mere puttar !! media has responsibility for showing the stories of ordinary people....not the corrupt politicians always !
June 26, 2012 9:15 am
Jean Verlander
June 24, 2012 6:26 am
Welcome to England, delighted to have you here
June 24, 2012 6:22 am
You go Girl!!!
June 24, 2012 6:14 am
aslam nayani
June 24, 2012 8:47 am
congratulation zaineb,you,youngters are the future assets and leaders of pakistan.May God bless you,
Irum Rashid
June 24, 2012 12:50 pm
God Bless You little lady... you are the pride of Nasra School... PAKISTAN Zinabad.. NASRA School Paindabad..
Ahmer Choudhry
June 24, 2012 12:45 pm
congratulations, well done. Behave well. Represent Pakistan its proud women values. Keep up the good work and hope that you have many many more success, amin.
June 24, 2012 1:16 pm
I'll be there to welcome you. Insha'llah
K. M. Nawaz
June 24, 2012 1:02 pm
Great. Selection of a teenage girl leading Pak delegation is so pleasing.
June 24, 2012 12:34 am
Good luck and good job. Wish you all the best.
sarwan kumar
June 24, 2012 4:16 am
nice job. GOD bless on her and on my PAk.
Mr. Mirza
June 24, 2012 4:25 am
True ! this is real face of Pakistan. I congratulate young lady. Hope that International Media show the true picture of Pakistan instead of terrorism which is never been our baby ...
June 24, 2012 4:28 am
thank God,at last I have a good news from Pakistan..ZINDA ABAD MY PAKISTAN
June 24, 2012 5:59 pm
now i really hate asif , amir and salman , thank you media
June 24, 2012 8:02 am
Bravo Young Lady. I feel really proud of you. Allah Bless You Always Beta. Aameen.
Dr Wequar Ali Khan
June 25, 2012 12:24 pm
Its another face of real Pakistan, i am sure if government wants to hunt talents in this country there is no dearth of it. It can be discovered throughout the country.
June 25, 2012 4:20 am
Good on you .
June 25, 2012 5:32 am
Really well for Her and Pakistan . Hope she ll inspire other Pakistani's to encourage their daughter/ Sister to compete in different fields.
Mrs. Munim
June 25, 2012 5:37 am
Go, girl. I hope you have a fabulous run.
June 25, 2012 7:09 am
Congratulations Zainab.
Humble One
June 25, 2012 11:28 pm
Congratulations Young One. Lead by heart. Inspiration, goodwill and hard work.
June 26, 2012 2:48 am
So nice to see a Pakistani name with respect otherwise these politicians have degraded our nation.U go girl!
June 26, 2012 2:04 pm
June 26, 2012 6:57 am
God Bless you...Allah bless you with success my sis !!!
Fauzia Khawaja
June 26, 2012 7:11 am
Well done young lady, make us proud.
June 26, 2012 8:11 am
GO on Zainab, Make us proud, the nation is with you. YOU ARE PAKISTAN!!!
June 26, 2012 8:37 am
Great opportunity coming your way zainab. Celebrate and cherish it. Tell others that when we interact with international community doors start opening. The link of your school with British Council made it happen so my countrymen and women start making a link.
Raana Irfan
June 27, 2012 12:23 pm
Zaiab ,It is very encouraging that a young girl of Pakistan will carry the light-the light of hope from a country blanketed with disappointments of all sorts.I wish you best of luck.
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