India cheers for Scottish gold run
Hundreds of Indian children are backing Scottish athletes going for sporting gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Sports Minister Stewart Maxwell, in Pune for the Commonwealth Youth Games, said children from Hutchings High School, Pune have adopted Scotland as their second team.
Pune 2008 has developed a school programme, 'Bond Forever', where local schools will be linked with a competing nation.
The programme has been specially designed so that each school in Pune learns about, and bonds, with a Commonwealth nation selected by them.
The schools teach their pupils about their selected nation and the children prepare projects about their partner nation.
Hutchings High School will send pupils to the stadium to cheer Scotland's young team competing in the Pune Games.
Stewart Maxwell will also be urging Scotland's Indian friends and their families to visit Scotland next year to celebrate Homecoming 2009.
Mr Maxwell said:
"I am delighted that these school children have chosen Scotland as their adopted nation for the Pune Games.
"Our young athletes flying the flag for Scotland will really appreciate the cheers from the stands.
"The 'Bond Forever' project is an opportunity to promote Scotland, our achievements and culture, and to build lasting friendships with Pune.
"Scotland holds a special place in the hearts of many nations across the world.
"I hope that our many friends in India will visit Scotland next year for our Homecoming celebrations, which will be emphasising our worldwide ties of family and friendship."