Words: Max Lueck, Tournament Directo
The very first Hartpury Sevens in May 2014: Teams are finally arriving after three months of relentless work
The older you get, the quicker time passes by, they say. That’s so true and I still can’t believe that Hartpury Sevens goes intoitsfifth year already this week.
I am just remembering the early years when a couple of unexperienced 7s event organisers came together to set up a tournament in just three months! In comparison, nowadays we plan at least one year ahead. But, despite being a bit naive and under enormous time pressure we somehow managed to put on a good show.
12 men’s, four women’s teams, a few referees and a group of supporters came together in 2014 to mark the start of a brand-new event in a busy UK 7s-circuit. It was all a bit smaller these days, with hardly any budget available, but it was the start of a wonderful tournament, which always aims to be the “perfect” competition for the players.
Hartpury Sevens 2014: Cup winners Zoti guns on the attack
Rather than putting the money and efforts towards the party and big entertainment, Hartpury Sevens has always been an event where players and teams are the main focus. By providing outstanding playing facilities, referees, sports therapists, smooth schedules, prize money and trophies all in return for a reasonable low entry fee, we are hoping to offer the best possible environment to play 7s.
We are delighted that the tournament has developed significantly over the years and with the invaluable support from Hartpury College, particularly sports academy manager Alan Powderhill, it wouldn’t be possible to get such an event up and running each year.
Since 2016, we are honoured to be a host of the Secure Trading 24/Sevens Series. A concept, which we have followed closely from the beginning and in my opinion something that’s needed to further push the Olympic sport of 7s. This game deserves to become a proper grassroots sport, rather than just an elitist circle, therefore a nationwide series is the way forward.
Let’s be honest, the Series is still in its early days, and it will take a few more years to proper take off. But if we and the other hard-working tournament organiser stick together, this is, without a doubt, one for the future.
This Saturday, we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Hartpury Sevens. We will welcome 24 teams from four nations and hundreds of visitors, the forecast predicts warm and sunny weather. It’s fair to say that the excitement is building.
Here is to the next five years…
Website | Hartpury Sevens 2018
This weekend the Bamboos women’s and men’s team are back in business playing at the West Country 7s in Bath. Just a few miles down the road from Bristol, this will be the fourth tournament of the season for both teams it will be a crucial test with regards to upcoming challenges.
With the women’s team already qualified for the regional final of the 24/Sevens Series on 15th July at the famous Sandy Park in Exeter, this is a golden opportunity for the men’s team to secure a precious place at the next stage of the series.
It will be a tough task for the men’s as they face strong opponents such as the Karuta Turtles, RAF Spitfires and the in-form South-West side Shredded Ducks. However, with another strong squad and a Bowl win at the Frome 7s a fortnight ago, the Bamboos should travel with plenty of confidence to Lambridge, where the tournament is held.
For the women’s team, this weekend will be the ideal preparation for the all-important final two weeks later. While the tournament in Frome was a difficult experience for the young side, finishing with the Vase trophy, they are now in a good position to roll out again in full force in order to continue previous success. The teams in the women's competition include Reading Abbey Nuns, Wasps and Cheltenham Tigers.
The West Country 7s is a true classic on the circuit with a glorious history. Formerly recognised as one of the biggest tournaments in the country, it is a bit smaller these days but still has all the assets to provide a class competition. Hosted by the famous West Country Cavaliers, the event has been part of the RFU 24/Sevens Series since from the start. This is the second time, the Bamboos entered the competition after last year’s performance.
Website | West Country 7s
The fifth edition of the Hartpury Corporate Challenge Cup will take place on the 17th July 2020. The annual corporate touch tournament invites businesses, charities and educational institutions to get involved in this fantastic event.
The tournament is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a day of team bonding, networking and of course loads of fun playing touch rugby, together with fellow workmates.
It’s this time of the year, the calm before the storm. It’s February and anything 7s related seems still ages away. But as the cold and dark days slowly disappear, the desire for long hot summer days is growing immensely. So the planning is in full swing and there is so much coming up for all age groups. To keep on track, here is a quick overview:
Since a few weeks, our school programme is underway. The 7 Bamboos Satellite Club, supported by Active Gloucestershire and in partnership with Chosen Hill School, offers weekly training sessions for all year 9-11 students. Everyone is welcome and the first five sessions are free. Participants can expect professional coaching, stash and regular tournament attendances.
Especially for the youngsters, it is important to play as much 7s "under full conditions" as possible. Therefore we worked hard to establish a constant transition from the training to the match field. A number of School 7s tournaments are pencilled in for this spring. At the end of March we are running our very own competition at Chosen Hill School then the team is off to Prince Henry’s School followed by a big tournament in Bristol.
In April we will launch the new 7s season for all senior players with our free and open training sessions at Hartpury College. Come along each Wednesday evening and join the team. Entering the fourth season, we have an exciting tour plan in place.
For the second time this year, there is a big Open Day planned for all 17-21 years old players. This is for everyone who wants to get involved this season or just want to try out some 7s without any commitment. A great opportunity to get to know the sport as well as the Bamboos.
Beside the juniors and the men’s teams, we will – for the first time – run a Bamboos women’s side this year. In partnership with an established club, the training starts in April with tournaments planned for May, June and July.
In my various roles as a team manager, tournament organiser and coach I get the opportunity to speak to many fellow people who are in either one or more of those roles. And even though 7 Bamboos Rugby only exists for a little longer than half a decade, I noticed that there is an increased level of frustration among those who keep the sport of 7s up and running.
The level of frustration varies and certainly, some teams and tournaments are enjoying more success than others, but from numerous conversations and observations, above all, the immense level of “let-downs” are causing the most pain.
Players suddenly decide a night before a tournament that they won’t be able to play now (sorry mate, can’t come tomorrow….) or teams drop out of your hard-crafted tournament two days before, ruin the schedule and the tournament structure because they suddenly noticed they haven’t got enough players available.
In a continuing partnership with the annual South West 7s Festival, we are working together once again this summer to deliver two rugby events dedicated for juniors. The three-day festival is running for the third time this year and has grown significantly in recent years. In 2017 the organisers decided to move the event to Cleve RFC. The Bristol-based club is offering all the facilities required for an action packed weekend including top-class pitches, a modern clubhouse and an easy to access location.
Starting off on Friday, the 'SW7s School’s Cup’ returns after last year’s successful launch. Eight local year 9 school teams compete for the cup in true sevens style. This is an excellent and unique opportunity for youngsters to really get a taste of the new Olympic sport at the highest level - refereed by the official refereeing team of the Dubai 7s. Entering a team is free of charge.
On the Sunday of the festival, we will run an all-day 7s competition for u15s and u16s teams. Advanced from the previous ‘SW7s Development Sessions’ featuring England Sevens star Dan Norton and former England Sevens coach Russell Earnshaw, this year we invite eight teams from each age group to enjoy a fabulous day of festival atmosphere.
The competition gives the youngsters a unique opportunity to play 7s in front of a large crowd, refereed by some of the best refs in the country. Entering a team is just £25 / team.
Our development coaches will come along to support the teams with advice on both occasions. As the sport grows from strength to strength in the UK and across the world, 7s has a massive future and we are making Bristol's mark in that future!
The events are part of a full weekend of 7s and sporting action at SW7s 2017. Featuring Men’s and Women’s competitions (Elite, Open and Social Cups), Dodgeball, live music, local food traders, festival fun and onsite camping! Families and supporters are welcome to join us for the festival.
We are currently seeking sponsorship for our junior activities. Please get in touch if you want to support a great cause.
SW7s Schools Cup
SW7s Development Cup
You have declined cookies. This decision can be reversed.
Change Cookie Consent
You have allowed cookies to be placed on your computer. This decision can be reversed.