SCOTTISH Athletics is to petition new IAAF president Lord Coe to allow Scotland to field teams in major competitions outside of the Commonwealth Games.

Previous calls for some form of international independence have fallen on deaf ears with UK Athletics chiefs targeting resources to fund the elite to compete for Great Britain and Northern Ireland from youth level up to the Olympic Games.

The decision to directly approach Coe is likely to meet with a nervous reaction in some quarters, with a plea for a return to separate home nation squads at some European events. But Scottish Athletics’ Nigel Holl claims that even though the governing body is committed to its links to Team GB, a switch would allow more young talent to get chances to prove their worth.

“We would urge for dialogue to begin about ways in which meaningful but appropriate competition could be identified that supports the wider structure, but recognises – in these islands – the unique ‘federal’ opportunity that we could present,” he said.

“That’s not to threaten the GB remit. Quite the reverse: it is to support it by enabling a slightly broader base of emerging athletes to experience international competition at the right level, benefit from that and kick on to then compete for GB at a higher level.

“Not so long ago Scotland used to compete at the Euro Cross Country Champs and many from that era reflect positively on what impact that had on cross country running at GB level.”

Holl has also petitioned Coe – who has promised to revise the current calendar – to move the continental and world championships to avoid any clash with future Commonwealth Games.