Bradford University Chancellor Imran Khan: spearheading a project by the Peace Museum for the Olympics

The Vaulting Ambitions initiative will see a series of young people interviewing iconic sports people on how sport has been used historically to encourage peace across the world.

 A meeting between Mr Khan and Mia, a pupil at St Augustine’s Primary School, Leeds, was set up by the University of Bradford and the Bradford-based Peace Museum.

Mr Khan said: “It was a real pleasure to be interviewed by Mia. Her questions were thoughtful and thought-provoking and I am really encouraged by the fact that ways in which we might be able to find peaceful solutions to conflict are being addressed in a project like this involving the next generation.” 

Imran Khan agrees that sportsmen can become ambassadors for peace and has many friends in India but, asked about the possibility of peace with India, explained that, as the underlying cause of conflict is the situation of Kashmir, peace is only temporary and tension comes back again after time – and there can be no lasting peace with injustice. See the video here. 

Clive Barrett, museum chairman and honorary visiting fellow at the university, explains that the project is important because the links between sport and peace that it highlights are part of an almost forgotten heritage: 

“Our research indicates that young people, in particular, are not aware of this history. Nor are they aware of the key historic role Britain has played in using sport to foster peace. Vaulting Ambitions will capture a wealth of stories relating to peace and sport from the Ancient Games onwards. 

By showing how sport and peace have an historic tradition of being linked together for good or ill, Mr Barrett said that Vaulting Ambitions will make a unique contribution to London 2012. 

In May 2011 a post on this website reported that Imran Khan led a peaceful march in protest against the drone attacks said to have killed thousands of people in northwest Pakistan’s tribal region. 

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