Kilbarchan AAC athlete Callum Hawkins says that coming back to Scotland five years ago helped his career soar writes Jack Crawford.

Hawkins capped another impressive year with being named FPSG Athlete of the Year at the Scottish Athletics awards ceremony last weekend.

The 25-year-old spent two years at Butler University in Indianapolis before moving back home in 2012.

His time Stateside was blighted by injury and, two surgeries later, Hawkins admits coming home was the best option.

He said: “Coming back was probably the best thing for me. It was while I was at Butler University that I damaged my knee and I still don’t quite know how it happened. It was puffy for a year-and-a-half and then, via ultrasound, we found the cartilage had been torn.

“I probably wasn’t the best behaved to be honest out in America. The lessons helped make me the athlete I am today and I have no regrets. Young athletes are seeing that leaving Scotland is not necessarily the best option for them.”

Hawkins says that a strong end to 2016, which included a ninth placed finish in the Olympics, gave him the motivation to push on in 2017.

He said: “The end of 2016 gave me a lot of confidence to go on and do what I done this year.

“Going onto the World Championships I was in a different frame of mind from what I was in before. If you had told me I’d have finished fourth last year then I’d have ripped your hand off.”