COWDENBEATH athlete Jack Lawrie has set his sights on breaking a Scottish record as he prepares for the start of the outdoor season.

The 23-year-old, who is a member of Dunfermline's Pitreavie Amateur Athletics Club, says that while he won't be making any assumptions, he is confident he can set a new 400 metre hurdles benchmark if he continues to progress the way that he hopes.

Lawrie, who last year was crowned Dunfermline and West Fife Sports Council's Sports Personalty of the Year for 2017, says he feels ready for the summer after some warm weather training and that he can break an 18-year-old national best of 50.24 seconds set by Charles Robertson-Adams.

Speaking to Scottish Athletics to mark the launch of the 4J Studios National Athletics Academy, he commented: "Two years ago I was within one-hundredth of a second of the Scottish National National Record - I ran 50.25, and it is at 50.24.

"I don't want to make assumptions or predictions but I'd like to think if the progress comes the way I hope it will, then my own PB will get quicker.

"Getting the Native Record at Grangemouth last summer late itn the season was actually a big boost, and I ran even quicker at Manchester the following midweek, so I take confidence from that."

Having previously worked with Roy Buchanan and the late John Macdonald at Pitreavie, Lawrie is now being coached full-time by Jared Deacon - a former 4x400m relay European champion and Olympian at the 2000 Games in Sydney - and believes he is reaping the benefits.

"I feel ready for the start of the season now," he continued.

"A wee hamstring problem at the start of the winter ensured that I would not take part indoors and could just put all my focus on working towards the summer season.

"Jared Deacon is coaching me full-time now and that has made sense for us all. I'd great coaching help from Roy Buchanan and the late John Macdonald over a four or five year period.

"I was out in Lisbon for warm weather training recently and Jared set it up that I could be there alongside the likes of Dai Greene and Seb Rodger. That was a brilliant experience because you are talking about guys with experience of winning world and European medals.

"It was an eye-opener and a learning curve for me to see just what it takes and the things that they do - both in training and in between sessions and that kind of thing."

Meanwhile Lawrie believes that additional support for the academy programme, which he joined when it first started before going on to win GB vests at under-23 and under-20 European events, is positive news for athletes.

He added: "If that support allows Scottish Athletics to help athletes and coaches individually as well as collectively, then I think that is of real benefit to the sport.

"The academy gatherings help you meet others who are thinking the same way, and then there is the education programme, which helps coaches and parents learn what it might take to continue progress too."

Lawrie will be in action on Sunday for Scotland in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay at the Loughborough International.