Fallowfield student Muaaz Khan is a walking, talking example of overcoming adversity and has seen his reward come in the form of the Olympic Torch Relay this summer.
The 25-year-old has been chosen to carry the Olympic Torch after a nomination, made by older brother Wakkas through Lloyds TSB’s nationwide search, was made official.
Muaaz’s inspirational story began aged ten when he had a kidney transplant and he has gone on to run a number of programmes aimed at helping young children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
He also does charity work for The Young Muslims UK and, after being confirmed as one of just 8,000 people to carry the London 2012 Torch, Muaaz admitted the moment, when it comes along, would be truly special.
“It wasn’t something I was expecting or anticipated,” said Muaaz , of Wilbraham Road and who is studying for a diploma in community and youth work studies at the University of Manchester.
“The Olympics is obviously an event that is held every four years and I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to experience it.
“My elder brother Wakkas nominated me and it is just one of those things. I was initially nominated on a bit of a whim and I thought I had no hope of getting through.
“He has always been one of those people who has looked after us as a family – it is in his nature. He is active in the community himself and he just thought that I did similar stuff and we will see what happens.”
Muaaz, whose Torch Relay leg will take place in Rusholme on June 24, has been involved with The Young Muslims UK since the turn of the millennium and believes through that, and his other work, he is having a positive impact.
“I primarily work with young kids from disadvantage backgrounds who don’t have the opportunity to reach places they are capable of reaching and that may be because of family problems or being from a deprived background,” he added.
“I run a number of programmes every week and things vary from week to week to just chatting in a cafe with some youngsters to playing on the PlayStation with them.
“I have definitely seen an effect with things like youngsters gaining the confidence to speak in public and chairing big seminars.”
As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the excitement of the Games and Olympic Flame closer to you. Find out what we’re doing in your community and who is carrying the Flame at lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame