Eilidh Doyle knows exactly what it feels like to win major medals on home soil.

Scotland’s most-decorated track and field athlete twice won major championship silverware in Scotland – both in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 in the 400m hurdles and in the 4x400m relay at the European Indoor Championships in 2019 in what was her last-ever competitive race – and she has no doubt that the home comforts, as well as the increased incentive to do well in front of what will be a partisan crowd, will be enough to push Scotland’s current crop of athletes onto some impressive performances at the World Indoor Championships, which will also take place in Glasgow, and will begin in under six months time.

Olympic relay medallist, Doyle, who is now four years into retirement from elite athletics, is in no doubt as to the significance of Scotland hosting what will be the biggest athletics event ever to come to these shores.

“This is massive for Scotland. Obviously we had the European Indoors here a few years ago but this is the first time we’ll have global athletes competing in a major championships in Scotland and so it’s a huge deal,” the 36-year-old says.

The Herald:

“These World Indoors are going to be a part of what’s going to be a very big year with the Olympics also in the calendar. Athletes across the world will want to be at their very best in 2024 and coming to Glasgow will, hopefully, be what kick-starts the season for them.

“It’s massive for Glasgow, it’s massive for Scotland and it’s also massive for the sport of athletics in Scotland. 

Throughout her decade-long international career, Doyle competed in every corner of the globe. 

But there is, she insists, something different, and comforting, about competing with the world’s best on home soil.

“It’s such a huge thing having a major championship in your home country; often it’s the little things that make a real difference to you,” Doyle said while appearing at the launch of the campaign to recruit volunteers to support the 2024 World Indoor Championships.

“There’s the obvious things like having the crowd behind you and having your family and friends in the stands watching. But there’s also the other positives of competing at home, which I really enjoyed – things like knowing so many of the officials and volunteers and having so many faces behind the scenes that you recognise can really help settle your nerves. It’s really reassuring having so many familiar faces. 

“At the home championships I’ve raced in, it was great because everyone knew me and was so friendly and that, for me, made me feel really relaxed. I’d be going out for my final and the volunteers were whispering “good luck” as I walked past and that’s really nice.”

Doyle remains heavily involved in athletics; she’s an ambassador for the 2024 World Indoor Championships, is on the board of the scottishathletics and also hosts a newly-launched podcast about the sport.

But during her time in the GB team, she was, more often than not, flying the flag alone when it came to Scottish medal contenders.

The current state of affairs could not be more different, though.

These days, there is no fewer than four individuals in the shape of Josh Kerr, Jake Wightman, Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie who can consider themselves as true medal contenders at every major championship, with a further group of athletes following closely on their heels when it comes to competing with the world’s best.

The Herald: Josh Kerr (left) and Jake Wightman may both race at the World Indoors in Glasgow in MarchJosh Kerr (left) and Jake Wightman may both race at the World Indoors in Glasgow in March

And it is this strength-in-depth that Doyle believes bodes particularly well for next year, which includes the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris just months after the World Indoors come to Glasgow.

Having so many Scots achieving success on the global stage, as well as the increased representation of Scottish athletes within GB teams is, believes Doyle, invaluable.

“This season was great for the Scottish athletes; we’ve got a world champion in Josh Kerr, so you can’t ask for any more than that,” she says. 

“What’s been good to see is that we’ve had good representation on GB teams but not necessarily from people who we’ve relied on in the past; we’ve had like likes of Jake Wightman, Beth Dobbin and Zoe Clarke missing this season through injury and we’re still achieving the same numbers when it comes to selections, but with different athletes and that’s really excellent to see. 

So, next year, if you have athletes like Jake, Beth and Zoe back fighting fit and than on top of that, you can add in the athletes who broke into GB teams this year like Megan Keith and Alyson Bell, we could have a really good year.

Having so many individuals doing well also spreads the pressure, and that’s good for the athletes. 

“Success feel more achievable when you’re surrounded by other Scots who are doing so well – it then doesn’t feel like it’s out of the question for you to be successful too. 

“We’ll never know for certain but perhaps Jake winning world gold last summer helped Josh to believe that it was a completely realistic target for him this summer. That applies to Laura and Jemma too – they seem to feed off each other.

“It’s that cliché of success breeds success, but it’s true. And hopefully that has a real effect on the results of the Scots next year too.”

Volunteer recruitment is open now until 22 October: apply at wicglasgow24.com