With around 553 days to go until rugby returns to the Olympics and the biggest-ever HSBC World Sevens Series in full swing, there is no doubt that 7s will experience a significant raise in profile over the upcoming months. In order to prepare for the latest “7s-revolution”, we kicked-off the year with a brand-new event feature.
Last Wednesday coaches, players, team and event-managers were invited to join the first-ever 7s workshop. Staged at the impressive new Growth Hub facilities of the University of Gloucestershire, the settings couldn’t be better to discuss upcoming developments, analyse the current state of the sport and eventually support the attendees with their individual requirements.
Top-class speakers including England Sevens star Daniel Norton, who rounded up the evening with a Q&A session, were invited to inspire with exclusive insights from the highest level of the game.
Ian Bremner, formerly DoR of Exeter Rugby and CEO of UAE Rugby Nations started the evening with captivating insights about organising and managing the sport on an international level. With more than 20 years’ experience within the sport, Ian furthermore analysed and identified the benefits of 7s for the audience.
Ian’s presentation was followed by Bamboos coach Ryan Forshaw who shared his experience with the attendees. Forshaw briefly introduced some basic elements of 7s coaching and explained essential details about preparing for competitions.
After a dinner break, the participants engaged into a lively discussion about the future of 7s and shared their experience in an interactive session. The audience, a group of very experienced coaches, event / team managers as well as players, represented among others the RFU, GRFU, Crows Foundation, University of Gloucestershire and Brockworth RFC. With plenty of knowledge and experience around the table a valuable input was generated.
During the workshop a clear collective consciousness evolved regarding the need for more playing opportunities within junior levels, an issue which sits at the top of the Bamboos agenda. A new school programme, a range of junior tournaments and more coaching opportunities for youngsters are planned to tackle the problem.
Another discussion focussed around finding the right balance between the 15s and the 7s game. With an ever-increasing number of 7s tournaments throughout the UK, players welfare has to be given more attention in order to guarantee the aim of treating 7s as the perfect development tool for 15s.
Many more workshops and seminars are planned over the next couple of months in order to highlight all areas of the sport and to support participants. Whether it is coach and player’s education, event organisation or referee courses, the long-term goal is to provide reliable tools to further develop 7s.
We like to thank all attendees and speakers for their participation and especially Sophie and the whole Growth Hub team for the fantastic hospitality.