Australian FM visits Commonwealth Games stadiums, announces hockey scholarships

      Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith visited two key stadiums that will be used for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, including the hockey venue, the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, which will also be the site of the March 2010 Men's Hockey World Cup. "I inspected the sites with representatives of the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and the President of the Indian Hockey Federation, Mr A K Mattoo. I am pleased to note that the playing surface of the hockey stadium will be supplied by an Australian company - STI/APTA," Smith said. "I announced the establishment of the 'Australia-India Council Hockey Scholarships' for promising young Indian players and coaches in hockey, one of India's national sports. The hockey scholarships will provide outstanding young Indian players and coaches with a unique developmental experience. The selected players and coaches will train at the AIS elite national hockey program in Perth," Smith said. There will be three scholarships each year - one each for a male and female player, and one for a coach. This initiative builds on the ongoing 'Border-Gavaskar' Cricket scholarships offered by Australia-India Council in partnership with Cricket Australia and the Board of Cricket Control India (BCCI). Australia is looking forward to the 2010 Delhi Games with great anticipation. The Games will be a wonderful event for India and the Commonwealth. Australia will be sending its largest Commonwealth Games team to leave our shores.

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