We are living in such a fast-paced world where everything seems to change so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with it. In times like those five years are nothing – the last half decade flew by in no time.
It feels like it’s only a week ago or so since we hopped on the minibus to travel from Hartpury to the National Pub Sevens in Harpenden to compete in the first-ever tournament.
Nevertheless, so much has happened since this bank holiday weekend in August 2013: We became the first-ever GRFU-affiliated 7s Club, launched a women’s team, hosted several events, run a school programme and tournaments from u14s up to corporate teams.
However, above all, the countless memories created by 100s of people is what really matters and what makes this project special.
Five years Bamboos, what a nice opportunity to pause and reflect for a moment. The last five years were eventful, to say the least: Players, teams, tournaments around us have appeared and disappeared in a restless and ruthless 7s environment.
As an organisation which runs teams as well as tournaments, we experienced all the ups and downs full on. But that’s okay, we came to stay and to leave a mark – and the first steps are always the hardest.
Each of the last five years was defining. When we started our journey in 2013 we had a rough idea of which direction we wanted to go. The key from the beginning was to create opportunities for development.
And so, we began to organise coaching sessions. A few turned up at the beginning and then a few more the week after. Sometimes we were four, sometimes 14, but there was some sort of progress.
With the “seed” planted, the “plant” was growing and although we are “only” five years old the roots have spread.
Why the name Bamboo? This is one of the most common questions people ask. The answer is simple: Apart from the uniqueness of the name (as far as we are concerned, there is no other sports team named Bamboo) it’s the characteristics of Bamboo, which we like to associate with:
Fast-growing, versatile and extremely resilient – Not the worst features to have and a solid foundation for the future which will be equally exciting, including all the highs and lows.
Here is to the next five!
To celebrate our 5th Birthday we created this little interactive journey. Sit back, relax and scroll through the last five years of 7 Bamboos Rugby.
5 Key Moments
1 | National Pub Sevens 2013
Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Bamboos entered the National Pub Sevens 2013 in Harpenden, near London. It's one of the longest-running 7s events in the UK and a top-class competition featuring a number of international and national teams such as Italy, Nigeria, Germany, British Army and Apache. Due to links between Bamboos founder Max and the German national side we arranged a training session with the Germans on the day before the tournament which was a brilliant hands-on experience of invitational 7s.
Although the tournament was a rather tough experience for the newly formed squad, Harpenden was the ideal starting point for the years to come. We learned a ton about managing a rugby team on and off the pitch and created a platform for the future.
2 | Hartpury Sevens 2014
The Hartpury Sevens tournament is nowadays our main event with over 25 teams and 100s of players and spectators. Since it's inclusion into the RFU 24/Sevens Series it's one of the most important tournaments in the region. However, the inaugural event in 2014 was a lot smaller. We had to deal with an extremely tight timescale but somehow managed to find enough teams to get the comp up and running. During this year, we learned so much about the dynamics of events, including all the frustrations. But all learning lessons were valuable and taught us lessons for many other events that we organised since the Hartpury Sevens 2014.
3 | GRFU Affiliation
Becoming the first-ever GRFU Affiliated 7s Club was a true game changer. Gaining the RFU "status" gave us the opportunity to set a new standard. But it's the invaluable support and network of the GRFU which we hugely benefited from during the last years. It was a lengthy process to achieve this milestone, but most definitely worth all the efforts. Hopefully we can encourage other 7s teams to become a club in the future.
4 | Launching a Women's Team
It took a while until we finally fielded our first women's side at the Hartpury Sevens 2017. But it was worth the wait. Loads of careful planning paid off quickly as the team surpassed all expectations. In the first year, the ladies made it to the regional finals in Exeter while this year they even finished among the top four teams in the country. Many of the players not only impressed on the pitch but also got involved in important club activities and are members of the board.
5 | Germany Tour
Playing an oversea tournament is always a difficult task as you deal with a lot more costs and work in general. But when we discussed the project first time with Jakob Seifert, founder of the biggest touring side in Germany Bataillon d' Amour, it was a no-brainer. So we joined forces and competed as the Bataillon d' Bamboos in the countries most popular 7s tournament. This is much more than a one-off partnership and many exciting projects are already in the planning.
Memories | Pictures
Memories | Videos