It is truly amazing how tiny Tassie can shine so brightly as a source of the nation's elite sporting triumphs.
It makes you realise the potential for our sporting prowess on the national and international stage and the bountiful economic value.
Only in sport are we capable of economic and social parity with other states.
Two-thirds of our state government revenue comes from Canberra.
We receive far more in welfare payments than we collectively pay in taxes, and our island status makes it hard to compete economically with other states, despite various subsidies.
We lack the output to invest heavily in infrastructure without heavy federal assistance and matching funds.
Sport is the one industry where we compete on a level playing field. That is, where we can compete against hurdles like AFL's indifference.
A talented swimmer from little old backwater Launceston has shone a light on this enormous potential.
Ariarne Titmus beat the best in the world. I must admit to joining the legions of Australians that mentally swam every metre of those races with her to beat Katie Ledecky.
Go girl. Go girl.
In my ignorance and small town standards I didn't think Titmus would knock off an Olympic legend. It's always the way. We dream of lofty things but we're used to falling short, even just short because we're the runt of the litter.
Don't blame me for the metaphor. I get it all the time from interstate friends.
Arnie Titmus is such an inspiration for a whole new generation of dreamers. She showed how it is possible for the nation's smallest state to produce legends, as we have with Ricky Ponting, David Boone, Tim Paine, Matthew Wade, Richard Porte, and legendary footballers like Roy Cazaly, Darrel Baldock, Peter Hudson, Royce Hart and Ian Stewart.
We must stop viewing sport through the lens of an optional pass time, not purely for the economic potential, but because Tasmania exhibits this extraordinary ability to produce champions.
It was well illustrated in that race, when Katie Ledecky glanced sideways at that upstart from Tassie, and thought to herself "Oh, she's right there."
We are right there. The tourism potential of Ariarne Titmus, the local swimmer from a backwater, is infinite.
Just like our naming rights on Hawthorn's football guernsey, Olympic junkies the world over heard the place Launceston mentioned several times in Arnie's post-race interviews.
We could never afford to buy this international plug. She handed it to us on a platter.
So, it doesn't mean the state government has to suspend a whole stack of expenditure and divert it to sport.
But, we could spend more on our champions and our sporting codes and reap the direct economic benefits in terms of tourism, sponsorships and product awareness.
The bigger Tasmania's sporting industry grows the more likely things will happen, like the AFL finally granting Tasmania access to the national league.
All states and territories produce champions but all of them outlay a similar amount on sport. As the smallest state we have to proportionately outspend them. Not that we have to. We ought to.
I looked at the sporting outlays of Tasmania and South Australia as the nearest state for a comparison, and they're similar.
We don't necessarily underspend on sport but we have to spend more over a prolonged period to produce the champion individuals and the teams.
Look at the dividends. We have successful Olympic rowers, cyclists, boxers, two test cricket skippers in recent years and a stack of AFL greats.
Sport only gets a million out of the government's Community Support Levy from gambling revenue, the Tasmanian Institute of Sport has a small budget of $3.3 million and the government funds things like the Hawthorn sponsorship.
To its credit the government is pouring money into the Derwent Entertainment Centre in Hobart for a national basketball team and that's exactly what's needed.
I reckon the gambling CSL could easily be doubled or tripled so that gambling mitigation gets its fair share but the 25 per cent carved out for sport could make a useful contribution to growing sport.
Tasmania has supplied 300 budding champions for elite level sport over the years.
We had 11 Tasmanians in the Australian Olympic team in Tokyo and that's without a concerted effort to produce outstanding athletes.
So I don't see a heightened investment in sport as a feel-good waste of time and money. There's a huge benefit in bankrolling the various codes, whether it be swimming, footy, cricket or archery, even darts.
We are a sports mad state, just like other Australians but we punch above our weight.
We have to go hard with the expenditure, even if athletes like Arnie Titmus have to relocate to other states as part of the preparation for elite level competition.
To me, a budget of say, $100 million annually on sport is worth it if we are to capitalise on Arnie's dream.
It sounds a lot but there's a pretty hefty dividend waiting out there.
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