The 50-day countdown to the 2011 International Children's Games began today with a special race day at Hamilton Park.
The racecourse is hosting the meeting to provide race-goers with an opportunity to learn more about the Games, which is the world's biggest youth sporting event and is being hosted from August 3-8 in venues around Lanarkshire.
Some of the young athletes will be special guests at Hamilton Park this afternoon, as well representatives from the various venues for the Games and the promotional bus.
Visitors will also have the chance to try some of the sports involved in the Games through golf and tennis simulators.
Vivien Kyles, chief executive of Hamilton Park Racecourse, said: "The International Children's Games is a major event that will help bring the profile of the area to the attention of a global audience.
"Our message to local people is to get involved – the Games promise to be an exciting six days of competition and an opportunity to showcase the best of Lanarkshire and Scotland to our visitors."
Hugh Waters, Games project manager, added: "It is great that Hamilton Park Racecourse is showing its further support of the Games.
"There are now 79 cities from 34 countries coming to the Lanarkshire Games, with an estimated 1250 athletes and 250 coaches taking part from as far afield as Australia, Russia, China and Africa.
"We know they will receive a warm Scottish welcome wherever they are based and at the sports venues where they will compete.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for the businesses and people of Lanarkshire to sell our county to the world, and I would urge them all to get behind the Games in any way they can."
Today's first race is at 2.20pm. Tickets from £13.