Jason jets to Japan

West meets east in exchange scheme

West meets east in exchange schemeHawick Rotarian Jason McDonald leaves tomorrow for Japan, where he will represent Edinburgh and East, Central and South Scotland on an exchange study scheme.

He will be accompanied by three other young people from the district. The team leader is David Geddes, a member of Peebles Rotary Club.

Group study exchange was conceived by Rotary International as a method of promoting friendship and understanding between countries. The idea that if young people visit other countries, meet people of their age group, sample their culture, get to know their aspirations and problems, this could be the first step in the ultimate goal of world peace.

Jason was nominated by Hawick Rotary Club for membership of the team. He is a keen sportsman, a past captain and member of the YM Rugby Club. He has a sporting pedigree, his father Bobby played rugby for the Trades, but now is better known on the bowling green, as a master of that sport. Older readers will possibly remember his grandfather, Pat McDonald who was associated for many years with the Greens as trainer and groundsman and life member.

Jason made his way through a series of interviews as part of the selection process which began early last year when he was nominated.

Last year a Japanese group study team visited our area, so this is a reciprocal visit. The team will be hosted by District 2550 based at Tochigi, about 40 miles north of Tokyo.

During their stay in Japan they will be delivering presentations about themselves and Scotland to a variety of audiences. This will include a presentation to the host Rotary District s annual conference to about 2000 people.

Given the high representation from the Borders, there will be a significant focus on this area and hopefully this will in turn provide excellent publicity for this area within Japan, promoting tourism, knitwear, and woven fabrics from the Borders.