Hua Hin’s Marches Towards Becoming one of Thailand’s Sporting Hubs

Hua Hin’s Marches Towards Becoming one of Thailand’s Sporting Hubs
Hua Hin’s Marches Towards Becoming one of Thailand’s Sporting Hubs

“Which sports can you join in Hua Hin?” is an easy question to answer. The question “which sports can’t you join in Hua Hin?” is much harder. There’s almost no sport you can’t join in Hua Hin unless they happen to need either snow or ice!

From water sports to combat in the ring, from bat and ball sports to bicycle or distance running, from indoor courts to taking on the great outdoors, they are all available. Add to that world-class training facilities, coaching and high level competition and it’s easy to see why the reputation of Hua Hin as an international all-round sporting destination is without peer. Golf has long been the most visible sport in Hua Hin commencing with Royal Hua Hin being Thailand’s original golf course opening in 1924 and award winning golf courses such as Black Mountain and Banyan often featuring in our golfing pages.

Hua Hin’s sporting facilities include the multi-sport venue of True Arena, Vana Nava Water Park (flowboarding) and Kiteboard Asia. But this is just the ‘tip of the sporting iceberg’. True Arena – the epicentre of Hua Hin’s Sporting Future We spent some time with George Grecia, the Director of Sport Development at True Arena Hua Hin to get a handle on how True Arena has progressed to become Hua Hin’s most versatile and progressive sports venue.

At the time of our conversation the E@ Hua Hin Tennis Championships were happening on centre court. Our previous experiences had included the visit of the West Bromich Albion FC youth development squad to admire the ‘Premier League standard football pitches, including Chenaiyin FC, Yokohama FC, and several 1st division teams from Thai Premiere League making True Arena their preferred training ground. We also met the 2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck during a road cycling event and seen the Women’s Fight Muay Thai World Championships. Coming soon, True Arena will be hosting group cycling training rides and offer novice running and swim training programs. But our conversation with George revealed there’s much more to come!

George is part of a very special team of sports promoters and trainers based at the most professional sporting venue in town. A big part of what’s to come involves Thomas Hallquist in his role as Head Coach of Multi-Sports. This includes grappling, mixed martial arts and triathlon training. Thomas is a past National Swedish wrestling champion but also excels in triathlon.

What’s in store for Hua Hin, commencing in January, is the bi-monthly ‘True Arena Fight Series’. This Series will be professional events featuring Muay Thai and an introduction to the grappling arts accompanied by crowd pleasing music and other forms of entertainment.

Thomas was very eager to reassure sports fans that the wrestling will not be the theatrical style we’ve all seen on the small screen but competitive sporting events (No Gi Grappling) similar to ADCC held in Dubai and various local and regional events. Aside from the martial arts future there’s also a change in focus for True Arena’s rooftop swimming pool. Lanes have been delineated so that swimming training as a very desirable form of exercise can be another feature of the already extensive exercise facilities and swimming lessons that are already a part of the BECC School program happening at True Arena.

Football is also on the agenda with the ongoing development of a True Arena Football academy and rumours of a major overseas league being involved, but that’s another story that’s coming soon. It’s apparent that George and his team are taking a very entrepreneurial approach to the future of True Arena and as the focus of Hua Hin as Thailand’s place on the world sporting stage,