Hugh Dolle is set to become the latest Tasmanian swimmer taking the same plunge which catapulted Ariarne Titmus to world domination.
The Launceston freestyle sprint specialist is joining the Queensland club and coach that helped Titmus to world records and titles.
After training in the state in January, Dolle applied to St Peter's Western Swimming Club and was subsequently offered a scholarship to attend its college and train under super coach Dean Boxhall.
"It's one of the best clubs in Australia right now and I'm really excited to go up there and have the chance to train with a more nationally-focused team," said Dolle, who turns 16 in August.
"Dean has made it clear I will have to work hard but I cannot wait to work with him. Training will be tough but exciting. I think it's going to be fun."
And while Titmus learned her craft with Riverside and Launceston Aquatic, Dolle's progress is a testament to the city's third club, South Esk.
"I owe everything I've achieved to South Esk," Dolle said. "Everyone has been so supportive, especially head coach Ketrina Clarke. She took an uncoordinated kid and moulded me into a national level representative. She fast forwarded my improvement overall."
Based in the western suburbs of Brisbane, St Peter's Western is the leading swimming club in Australia with large numbers of national representatives and excellent facilities overseen by Boxhall, who was named 2019 coach of the year by the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association.
Hobart Aquatic's Stef McCarthy also joined the club in 2019, adding to a growing stream of Tasmanian swimmers moving to the mainland including Shani Burleigh, Kaity Ellston, Freya Jetson, Jacob Vincent and Paralympian Jacob Templeton.
"Ariarne was a bit before my time but is still there so hopefully I get to catch up with her," Dolle said. "I'm good friends with Stef who has also been there for a year and a bit now so that's another positive. Stef said it's a really good team environment and everyone is really supportive of each other."
Dolle started swimming with South Esk as a 10 year old and has since become a multiple state champion, competing at the Pacific School Games and three national age championships, setting personal bests at the most recent despite recovering from a broken wrist.
The Launceston Church Grammar student is ranked fourth in Australia for his age in both the 50 and 100m free and was hoping to be a medal contender at the 2020 Australian age championships which were cancelled due to the threat of COVID-19.
He said he couldn't wait to make the move which will see him attend school as a boarder for year 11 and 12.
"I'm 100 per cent committed to this.
"At the School Sport Australia champs in Melbourne last year I qualified fourth fastest for the 100m freestyle final and came second so experiences like that will help but have shown me there are a lot of quick kids in the other states.
I owe everything I've achieved to South EskHugh Dolle
"Heading into next year I'd be hoping to make a national final and maybe get a medal then see where I go from there, but Olympics are the end goal."
Clarke said South Esk is delighted for Dolle who has become one of the club's leaders and most respected swimmers.
"I am extremely proud of Hugh," she said.
"It is exciting to help any swimmer along the athlete pathway from club junior to national level competitor.
"If not in the pool himself, he can always be counted on to lead the cheering for his clubmates and give some words of advice and reassurance to our younger members.
"Hugh will be greatly missed at South Esk, but the opportunity to become a part of a large team of national level swimmers, coached by Dean Boxhall and his experienced team, is one that will give him the chance to continually step up and be the best swimmer that he can be.
"He will most certainly be a very welcome face on pool deck when he returns to his home state during school breaks."
Catering for swimmers from eight years of age, South Esk has produced a succession of state representatives and Australian championship qualifiers with 23 year old Morgen Hawkins its highest-ranked performer after coming fifth in a national breaststroke final.
Swimming Tasmania has also played a significant role in the development of Dolle who benefited from being a part of the performance pathways program development squad.
"I really enjoyed the development squads and state teams and all the stuff Swimming Tas provide," he said.