IF you build it, they will come. Under the glowering skies of a Glasgow Sunday, the £113m Emirates Arena sits proudly, the athletes’ village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games cosying up to its side.
On a dull afternoon there are intimations of a bright future. Inside the arena, there is the clamour and energy of an after-school class for the hyperactive.
This weekend the stadium has hosted the McCain National Age Groups Indoor Track and Field Championships. That is the long of it. The short is that 848 young people competed at the event compared to about 400 last year.
They came from North Uist, Mull, Stornoway, Galashiels, Pitreavie, Greenock, Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Mid-Argyll, and Caithness. They came too from Shettleston, Giffnock North and East Kilbride.
The foundations of a stronger future for Scottish athletics have been built. And they came.
In the middle of the vast arena there was a bench with a line of young boys sitting patiently. The regular, shocking reports from the starting pistol gave a sudden impression that they were waiting for some sort of awful punishment.
Instead they were in a long line for the long jump.This was an event with no entry minimum. The only requirement was for them to run and jump. It’s what kids do.
Yesterday’s action was confined to events for the under-14s and under-16s, and there was a premium on participation. There was extraordinary quality, too.