The following extract is from a business competition, which we recently participated in. It may give some insights about the project and reveals some specifics about the person behind it. However, should you have anything specific that you want to know about 7 Bamboos Rugby or the people involved please contact us at any time.
What is your idea and what is unique about it?
The idea is to solve the following problem – An extremely fast growing global market in 7s rugby, is faced by very little structured development systems, that produces new blood.
7 Bamboos Rugby is looking to set up a well-structured, consistent and social development system that gives young players from all backgrounds the opportunity to play, train, tour and work for a professional 7s rugby team.
Within the team, we want to build a creative and innovative brand that gives the team a real identification. The core of this brand in the beginning is a distinctive merchandise range, which will become a revenue generator.
The unique selling point of 7s Bamboos Rugby is to create an environment that simply does not exist at the moment. A fully thought through development pathway for 7s rugby based on a creative well-designed brand, acting as a social enterprise.
This idea is unique, because it takes a new approach to previous models. Most successful 7s teams perform well, as they consist of a team of thoroughly experienced rugby players which meet for tournaments, then go back to their domestic clubs. Our approach is to discover and nurture potential, creating platforms and opportunities in a professional environment, which provides young athletes with a specific route into 7s rugby.
What skills and experience make you the right person to ensure this venture is successful?
This venture means more to than just an opportunity to earn a living. It is a vision that I formed through combining a passion for rugby and entrepreneurship, whilst discovering the potential in others. Beyond that I have a strong desire, to create an independent social enterprise, as I believe that the only way to true fulfilment, is to have something in place that is your own. Ultimately, it is a valuable opportunity to learn, give and share. People’s input will provide a potential learning opportunity, as the project progresses. This results in a constant sharing process, of experience and knowledge.
My experience includes working and educating extensively in the sports and teaching industry. I have actively worked for more than 10 years as a rugby coach, engaging with all ages and ability levels. Possibly the most important skill I have learnt throughout this period as a coach, is the importance of nurturing talent. The key to valuable coaching for me is the possession of an open mind, providing an ability to constantly redefine strategies and create unique approaches to problem solving.
In terms of business, setting up and running an own enterprise by the age of 17 inspired me to become an entrepreneur, with the idea of running my own brand. These experiences have enabled me to develop a full understanding of the impact that well-made marketing strategies have, whilst applying ideas into a practical context.
What social need are you aiming to address? Who will benefit from your work?
The key aim is to provide opportunities across a wide spectrum of people. 7 Bamboos Rugby will bring in players from backgrounds, where routes to 7s rugby may not have been available to them and will spot talent as well as allowing players to develop in a professional environment, whilst having the opportunity to bond as a team. Our players will also be provided with the opportunity to actively influence the progress of the brand.
Team sports have been shown by research to reduce stress and anger levels, whilst increasing concentration, therefore proving to be a valuable asset in everyday life. Our target demographic of 17-22 year olds, who are often progressing through challenging phases in their life at this time, could use the opportunity provided by 7 Bamboos Rugby, to aim for new brighter prospects.
Players’ input is essential in the growth and success of the team. I want to shape this project together with an open mind. The versatility of the company, allows for work opportunities to be created in the future, through a number of areas such as coaching, conditioning, social media, PR and design.
One of the key principles for 7 Bamboos Rugby is to produce an image, that wherever we go to, we bring a sense of community with us. We want to give something back to communities and individuals. When we engage in tournaments, we want to be recognised as an organisation that shares an energetic and social philosophy.
What have you done to identify there is a need for this venture?
I see a strong need to set up a business that allows young, creative and dedicated people a chance to fulfil them, whilst actively creating products and concepts that are meaningful to the individual as well as gaining valuable experience, thus aiding communities. 7 Bamboos Rugby understands itself as a think-tank, which is constantly redefining itself.
Extensive academic and business related research (including a current MSc dissertation) into playing, coaching and spectating 7s rugby have all helped me, to accurately identify that there is a need for this venture. Research has identified a lack in development systems in the current market. Most 7s rugby players are either recruited as drop-outs from the traditional 15s form of the game, or athletes from other sports. So I believe that there is a demand, in setting up a pathway which produces distinctive young players, specifically for this market.
Many sport teams neglect the opportunity to combine the performance side with intelligent marketing and design providing the opportunity to act as a social enterprise. Specifically in 7s rugby, there is a wide target group with interests beyond the sport.
A lot of 7s tournaments all over the world, are more festivals than just rugby tournaments these days, often including concerts and alternative sport contests (e.g. Skateboarding or BMX). This offers a great opportunity, to provide a holistically well designed product range and get engaged with a broad community.
What other plans do you have in place to ensure your venture continues to be successful?
The business concept is planned towards three stages: short, mid and long term. Securing sponsorship, building a stable network and a web presence, in the initial stage, will allow. 7 Bamboos Rugby to form a competitive 7s team together and develop a range of distinctive merchandise to tour and play at 7s tournaments.
The mid-term stage plans include offering membership opportunities, in order to widen the population of the project. Introducing membership will allow 7 Bamboos Rugby to plan, organise and co-ordinate an exclusive, distinctive tournament, which will further benefit surrounding communities. Furthermore the plan includes setting up a fully structured academy for younger players (age 12-16) to have a full development circle in place.
Finally a charitable arm, which aims to further support young, talented players from less fortunate backgrounds offering them the chance to play 7s rugby in a professional environment. This will provide opportunities which otherwise would not have been available to them.
In the long-term we want to support other 7s rugby teams by passing our knowledge and experience on, offering preparation camps, and providing coaching seminars. Eventually the objective in this stage is to have a unique system in place that allows us to expand to other sports.