Triathlon grabbed the headlines last month when Marc Austin won Scotland’s first medal of Gold Coast 2018 and plans are afoot to ensure there is a steady stream of talent following in Austin’s footsteps.

Last weekend, ‘Project 3’ was launched in Loch Lomond, an initiative which aims to develop elite triathletes of the future while, at the same time, assisting with the development of amateur triathletes in Scotland.

A selection of Scotland’s most promising young talent has been selected to be a part of the programme and for Crawford Whyte, the coach who is leading the project, things could not be looking brighter for the sport in this country. And he hopes that Project 3, which is supported by title sponsor Big Bobble Hats, will aid them further with their development.

“At the moment, the junior ranks of triathlon in Scotland is really strong,” said Whyte.

“It’s been developing for the past five years and it’s been getting stronger, with some really promising talent coming through, particularly between the ages of 15 and 18.

“The goal is to move the athletes through the pathway and get them racing at the highest level like World Triathlon Series level and also the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.”

Stirling is currently where the national triathlon centre is based but Whyte would like to see greater opportunities for athletes in Glasgow, something he will be putting significant efforts into developing.

“With Project 3, I’m really trying to harness the ability to train within Scotland," he said.

“Glasgow is full of fantastic triathlon facilities but it’s never really been utilised the way it could on the performance side of things.

"I feel really strongly that Glasgow can be a base for elite triathletes and those aspiring to be elite triathletes so it’s about making that more accessible for more people.”

Marc Austin’s bronze medal at last month’s Commonwealth Games came off the back of an impressive few years for the 24-year-old and Whyte is quick to stress the importance of the young athletes who are a part of Project 3 having a Scot who is competing at the very top of their sport to aspire to.

“It’s a big thing having a Scot competing at the highest level,” said Whyte.

“The Brownlee brothers pulled triathlon in Britain up a lot and got the sport a lot more attention and Marc is helping to do that in this country too. He trained and raced in Scotland as a junior so it has definitely inspired a lot of juniors and it’s shown them the kind of progression that’s possible for Scottish athletes.

Marc has come along to quite a few junior sessions and chatted to the young athletes and he’s always keen to give his input to the junior set-up, which is great. He’s been really helpful in driving the enthusiasm and the take-up of triathlon in Glasgow.

“And he has helped show that getting to the top of the sport is achievable and that doing what he has done is something that they can all aspire to. He is just a normal boy from Glasgow who’s worked very hard.”

It will be a big summer for triathlon in Scotland this year, with the sport’s European Championships coming to these shores as part of Glasgow 2018 in August. And so there is not, admits Whyte, a better time to be involved in the sport.

“It’s a really exciting time to be involved in the sport and Glasgow 2018 will be another great opportunity to showcase the sport and the city,” he said.

“Glasgow 2014 was obviously a huge success and gave people the chance to see the athletes racing at the highest level.

“One of my Academy camps in the summer will see us finishing the camp by cycling from Stirling to Strathclyde Park to watch the women’s race at Glasgow 2018 so it’s a really exciting time for triathlon in Glasgow and in Scotland.”

Project 3 is supported by sponsors Big Bobble Hats, McTaggart Construction, Lomo Watersports, Zone 3 and Burnt Custard and Bloc.