New Delhi, Jun 27: In a bid to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key Monday announced sports scholarships for Indian students.
Key said he wants to connect the two countries with sports and for that his government wants to give out sports scholarships to Indian students. The programme will include a number of scholarships for Indian students to study sports in New Zealand universities.
Greater connections between New Zealand and Indian sports scholars, coaches, trainers, and students in physical education and sports medicine will also be encouraged under this new scheme.
‘India and New Zealand enjoy a very warm relation. The two countries connect with each other through sports. So, we have decided to provide some scholarships to aspiring Indian students to come and study sports in New Zealand universities,’ the 49-year-old Key said while announcing the programme at the Ferozeshah Kotla cricket ground here.
The programme was also attended by former New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming and New Zealand High Commissioner to India Jaan Hendersen.
Key informed that at present some 11,500 Indian students are studying in different universities in New Zealand.
‘In New Zealand a number of universities provide education in sports. There are about 11,500 Indian students currently studying in New Zealand,’ he said.
Recalling the Indian cricket team’s last visit to New Zealand, Key said: ‘Last time I had the privilege of inviting the Indian team to the New Zealand parliament. I also had the honour of meeting the great Sachin Tendulkar.’
Congratulating the Indian team on winning the cricket World Cup earlier this year, Key hoped that his rugby team would also win the World Cup, which will be hosted by New Zealand later this year.
‘Congratulations to India for their success in the World Cup. Later this year we are also hosting a World Cup, rugby, and I hope New Zealand wins it,’ he said.