Our thanks to George Grecia, the Director of Sport Development at True Arena Hua Hin for sharing his insights about the future of sports development in Hua Hin.
Been in his current position since October 2016, although he has previously been a consultant with True Arena since December 2015. This means that he has had the time to understand the demographics of the True Area Members as well as to consider the development path for this very significant Hua Hin sports facility. He’s seen a move towards a higher percentage of Thai members, an increase from around 30% to 50% of the membership. Not a decrease in foreigner participation, rather a greater acceptance, particularly in the 30+ age group of Thai people.
He’s also had the chance to be at the forefront of the recent and the very successful “Run For Hua Hin’ marathon and fun run event in October last year. However ambitious comparisons with the Boston marathon may be premature; George knows as a witness to that world famous event. George has a background in sports science with extensive management and sales experience. Prior to Thailand, his previous postings have taken him to Hawaii, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Phuket before heading to Hua Hin. He has helped a number of resorts in Thailand and in the region to develop their fitness and sporting options.
George has a vision for True Arena to become a national and international hub for sports training. There have already been visiting sports teams using the facility as a base for off-season preparations and tour companies are becoming more active in arranging group tours with a sporting emphasis at various levels of intensity. The gymnasium at True Arena is already Hua Hin’s premiere venue for indoor sporting activities with the obvious sports of basketball, badminton and volleyball but the lesser known sports such as pickle ball are making their mark and George is on the lookout for more.
For example Muay Thai and MMA or mixed martial arts are on the horizon. There’s an opportunity for even more variety if you have an idea, George is the man to consult. On the outdoor scene, rugby, rather than American football is being considered. Every year the Hong Kong Seven’s is an internationally recognised major sporting event happening in April, although Thailand’s track record has been without success to date. Maybe rugby development at True Arena can change that.
There’s also the Bangkok Rugby Sevens which has attracted over 24 Countries from Oceania to Scotland, from the USA to Dubai and South Africa. We left George to resume hosting a group of 60 international ladies wining and dining on the True Arena upper deck; “it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.” George is a thoughtful an engaging sports management expert with an eye on more innovative approaches in this rapidly developing field. Sport activities development in Hua Hin has clearly reached a new level.