Happyrat Baterbek, an ethnic Kazakh from Xinjiang , is trying to promote unity among ethnic minorities through sport. The 22-year-old physical education graduate from the Central University for Nationalities organised a frisbee club in Beijing last year as part of that goal and has since moved to Tibet What did you do to promote unity in your ethnic group? I organised a frisbee club of 40 students at the Central University for Nationalities. The participants came from remote areas and their outlook was limited. I taught them English and urged them to practise their language skills with foreigners. The team was formed in May last year and two months later they produced a national champion. The team have made their name in Asia. I hope team members can learn different ways of thinking and open each others' minds. Why is this so important to you? Some of my classmates went back to their hometowns after graduation and started jobs that required no education, such as security guards. It was a waste of talent. If this issue is not addressed, our society will be backward forever. I'd like to do anything that can raise the profile of ethnic minorities. My fellow Kazakhs are not handicapped, but they are neglected and need help. If I finance one student, he will probably become an MBA holder and will think of nothing but making money, but now I have a team of Kazakhs who have vision, and that's more interesting. My ultimate goal is to focus attention on education for ethnic minorities and encourage them to walk out of their little worlds, and change their views about themselves and the world. Have you seen progress in your project? Of the 40 original team members, 26 stayed on. When I left for Tibet, some of them said they would talk to me in fluent English next year. Some said they wanted to take on responsibilities for the team, such as marketing. Many used to think they came to Beijing just to finish school and return to their old ways in their hometowns after several years. Some of them could not even speak Putonghua. Now they have goals and ambition and their views on the world have changed. I think I have achieved my goal. I am also deeply moved to see how hard they have worked to get where they are. I told them to be ambitious and to try to do better than me. What is the most difficult part of your project? It's got to be money. Setting up the team was totally my own idea and it is not for profit. Everything, including the food, equipment, training and court rental, was paid out of my savings. But as the team get stronger and sign up for international competitions, my pockets will not be deep enough. The project needs commercial involvement. Has the project affected your personal life? It has affected my career development, for sure. I had a job offer in Kazakhstan at the end of last year, but I missed my team and went back early this year. Normally people of my age give their money to their parents or buy beautiful dresses for their girlfriends. I can't do any of those things, though my father is totally supportive of my project. Why don't you start such a project in Xinjiang? As much as I want to do something similar in Xinjiang, everything needs money and it's much easier to work such problems out in Beijing than in Xinjiang. To me, Tibet is the place where the culture of an ethnic minority is best preserved. I also admire the humanitarian environment and ethnic culture. I have moved to Tibet to see what I can do to promote their culture. Most likely I will set up a sporting team, because you don't have any barriers on the field and it's the best way to build team spirit. Are things going smoothly in Tibet? It's totally different here. I have seen some local investors, but it's difficult.