Rodger Harkins, the man overseeing the bid to build on Scotland’s athletics successes of recent years, has called on Commonwealth Games officials to release more places to his sport in the national team heading to the Gold Coast next year.

As things stand only 20 athletes will be in the Scottish team, as compared with the 58 chosen for Glasgow 2014 which, even taking into account Laura Muir’s decision not to go to that Commonwealth Games in Australia, makes life pretty difficult for anyone who was not among the 16 who made it to the World Championships earlier this month which, like the 15 that went to the Olympics last year, was a Scottish record.

The much smaller team has been imposed by Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS), but Harkins, Scottish Athletics’ head of coaching, hopes his organisation and in turn its prize assets will be rewarded for the way they have performed.

“I’m having to say to other athletes ‘I’m not saying you can’t go, but consider what you’re going to do, consider where you’re going to do it, because you’re going to have to trump somebody who’s been to the World Championships,’” he pointed out.

“That’s where success bites you because it’s great sending 16 athletes to the World Championships but then you realise that’s nearly a whole Commonwealth Games team. On one hand it’s fantastic for Scottish Athletics having 16 athletes at the World Championships, but getting a capped number of 20 (for Commonwealth Games) is a problem because of what you’re saying to the aspirations of all these kids, that it’s almost an impossibility. Twenty places is going to be easy to fill, but it would be fantastic to have more places, because I would like everyone who qualifies to go.”

Harkins noted that Scottish Athletics has upped its own Commonwealth Games qualifying standards as compared with four years ago so that far fewer will reach the required standard, but even then he still expects up to 25 to make the grade.

“If we had that I would hope the CGS would look at that and say that’s reasonable. It would be great if we could get those places.”

Harkins was talking during a vibrant second day of action at Scotstoun as the nation’s best up and comers in the under-13, under-15 and under-20 age grades battled for national titles on the first of two weekends of national championships, the under-17s and seniors taking their turn at Grangemouth next Saturday and Sunday.

Part of his motivation for speaking as he did was an awareness that part of the motivation for the youngsters whose enthusiasm has been fired in recent years during what is becoming a golden age for the sport in Scotland, has to be to be able to see a route to major championships, with Commonwealth Games a natural stepping stone towards Great Britain honours.

“This is important because this is the next generation. What we don’t want is last week to be a flash in the pan, where we have 16 athletes, which is amazing with every one of them so supportive of each other and they’re doing themselves, their families, their country proud,” he observed.

He noted that the way in which athletes’ progress can be charted through the national championships was exemplified over the weekend by an inspirational social media message from Kelsey Stewart, a 20-year-old Aberdeen athlete who has won Great Britain honours.

“She put something on Twitter yesterday which showed a picture of her when she was an under-13 at her first Scottish Age Groups Championships and she was last and look where she’s gone to,” said Harkins.

“She’s one of those who is transitioning into the senior level. She is following in Zoey Clark’s footsteps up in Aberdeen and she has a couple of GB international experiences under her belt now.

“This is the great thing. It’s one thing to train and wonder where your rivals are and what they are doing, but if you can see that on your own doorstep it makes an immense difference because it doesn’t become some mystical thing.”

Top performances over the weekend meanwhile included:

* Alisha Rees’s championship best in the 200 metres, taking gold in 23.66.

* Double gold for GB Juniors Holly McArthur and George Evans in the under-20s, heptathlete McArthur winning the long jump and 100m hurdles while Evans topped the podium in both shot and discus

*An under-15 National Record and championship best by Edinburgh AC’s Ellie O’Hara in the triple jump.

* A championship best in the under-15 hammer for Kirsty Costello with a throw of 55.18m.