Mark Munro is clearing his desk this week, decamping from his position as chief executive as Scottish Athletics. Yet, in reality, he is going nowhere. Taking up the newly-created role of director of development at UK Athletics during a pandemic means his spare room will remain his hub, even when some normality returns.

The 42-year-old transitions with his stock on a high. Since arriving in 2011 from the Scottish FA, the former athlete has been at the epicentre of a golden epoque which has seen Laura Muir and Lynsey Sharp secure European titles and challenge mightily on the world and Olympic stage. A fresh wave, including the likes of Jake Wightman and Jemma Reekie, is now following suit. It is no secret that, in British terms, Caledonia punches well above her weight.

“And that is not just in track and field,” he injects with some pride. “We've got cross country, where we've got lots of medals on the European level. You've got hill and mountain runners. You've got the ultra guys who are doing great things. So I truly believe that, as I leave Scotland, Scottish coaches and athletes believe they believe they can be world-class. And when you've got that mentality, it makes a huge difference.”

There are broader lessons to heed from such naked ambition, he hints. Perhaps at his former employers or at Murrayfield. “You just have to look at some of the other team sports where they possibly don't believe that,” he adds. “You see that in some of the performances. But we’ve got Laura Muir, Jemma Reekie, Jake Wightman and Josh Kerr.”

Strength in numbers. A valuable legacy and a luminous torch to pass onto his successor, expected to be his current deputy: Scottish Athletics’ impressive head of development, Colin Hutchison. Munro was fortunate to build on a winning strategy enacted by his own predecessor, Nigel Holl, who began to address flaws in the club structure and a disunity of purpose at ground level. Rectified, it has spawned activity and talent in abundance.

”I don't really take any credit for that,” Munro says with needless modesty. “I think what we've tried to do is build a system, where we are supporting coaches, we are supporting the clubs, we're supporting the athletes.

“We're trying to develop officials. We're trying to improve our event, and trying to do all together and get everyone believing that we can improve things and work together.

“And I think that the biggest legacy is that everyone is, in the main, working together to achieve the same things and have bought into that.”

He will now need to replicate the trick in the rest of the UK where the ailing club pyramid could do with a shot in the arm. Munro arrives with some currency, following a pact between the four home nations and UKA which will see a pooling of ideas, resources and goodwill to nourish from the ground up.

“I wouldn’t have walked into the job if those bits weren’t in place because you're not going to be fully functioning,” he candidly admits. Inevitably, some internal politicking remains, with a humming of discontent already emerging against the approach of his new boss, UKA chief executive Joanna Coates, since her arrival last year.

Freed from the grind of day-to-day administration, Munro will relish the liberty to look through his window at the opportunities and threats outside. “There's a big challenge in the athletics workforce there, and what's it going to look like when we come out of Covid. How many will want to come back? So there's lots to focus on. But it's about people and supporting people.”