Scoring a new life

PhD in Sport Recreation

A life-long passion for soccer led Dr Hung Huynh Quang to quit his engineering career, move countries and enrol in a PhD at Griffith University.

Like many young boys in Vietnam, Dr Huynh, grew up playing soccer and dreamt of the day he would become a football star.

He fondly remembers the sense of comradery and countless hours spent kicking the football with the children in his neighbourhood.

“Soccer is very popular in Vietnam,” he said.

“There wasn’t a big oval nearby, so I used to play on the street near my house or on a concrete field next to my school.

“I loved the team work, it was a wonderful time to be with my friends.”

While his love of the game remained, Dr Huynh chose to get a degree out of high school, graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering and establishing a 10-year career in Ho Chi Minh City.

He always harboured a desire to work in the sports sector, but did not seriously consider making a change, until applying to do his Masters in Sports Management at the National Taiwan Sports University.

“The selection panel told me I had no experience, but I persuaded them to let me try and convinced them what I lacked in experience, I would make up for in passion and ambition,” he said

True to his word, Dr Huynh topped his class and was encouraged to pursue a PhD, taking his talents to Griffith, where he examined the changing behaviour of soccer fans in different regions of Vietnam.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get to do something like this, it was an amazing opportunity,” he said.

Griffith’s Nathan campus became a second home to Dr Huynh providing him with the tools he needed to succeed.

“I had a lot of support from my supervisors,” he said.

“They were a dream team. Not only did they teach me about research, they also helped me with English and settling into life in Brisbane.

“The facilities and resources were excellent, and I was given the opportunity to tutor and earn an income.”

Dr Huynh said the support from Griffith was critical to his success, as he had relocated his wife and four young children to Australia.

“Support is very important for PhD students, especially when studying away from home,” he said.

“You need more than resources and finance, you need to learn how to live in a new country.”

It has been 12 months since Dr Huynh completed his PhD and his passion for sports and community is as strong as ever.

He currently runs a student education recruitment business between Australia and Vietnam and is in the process of developing grassroots sports programs for children.

Dr Huynh credits his success to choosing the right PhD and pursuing his passion.

“You have to love your topic,” he said.

“It can be difficult to get across the finish line, but if you really love your research, you can overcome any obstacle on your journey.”

Dr Hung’s Griffith PhD thesis

The Influence of Social and Cultural Context on Sport Consumer Motivation

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