There will always be tension between sport for all and for the talented minority who hold the key to future national success. Ideally, there would be no problem: participation in large numbers would uncover individuals whose talents should be specially nurtured. But in Scotland we have a smaller base in some sports than other countries - rugby is an example - and there is a high chance of gifted players never becoming involved.
Early and intensive specialisation by the artistically gifted has long been available. A similar regime in sport still raises the spectre of East European "forced feeding" and of lost academic careers. But if Scotland does not follow the example of other countries our faltering national performances will decline further. And that would discourage both happy duffers and the future elite.