In this week’s team portrait, we feature a team which must be in possession of a huge trophy cabinet. The Stunts 7s have won a whopping 29 trophies since their launch four years ago. Unfortunately, there are no stats about success rates among amateur sevens teams, but surely this team from Birmingham would be up in the top end. The man in charge of this success story is 39-year-old Travis McIntyre.
Born in New Zealand, he bought not just the winning mentality of Kiwi Rugby into the Midlands, but also the name for his 7s team. The Stunts started under the cheeky name “Cunning Stunts” in 2013 which initially was Travis’ undefeated touch rugby team back home. However, to appear more professionally and consequently attract more sponsors, they thought it would be wise to get rid of the first part and therefore renamed the team into the Stunts 7s.
It helped massively. The media coverage and sponsorship deals have increased significantly since the rebranding. A majority of the funding is generated through the main sponsor Stunning Supps - another ambitious project initiated by the Stunts founder. This smart move by Travis who is not just heavily involved with the 7-a-side game but also runs and coaches the academy of the famous Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club. In addition, he is the team manager for their National 1 team.
Once the 15s season is done and dusted the full focus is on the Olympic sport. The Stunts provide a cost-free and enjoyable 7s-environment where having fun is the highest priority. That’s an ambitious mission, considering the ever-increasing costs to run a team these days, but Travis told us that he never wants to see a person miss out on playing rugby because of money. The Level 3 coach, who occasionally still has a round around, is convinced that only a happy team plays well and winning will come. The whole project started to open doors for players to perform at a higher level.
It’s fair to say, that the Stunts have reached a high-level in a very short period with many fine talents who have worn the light-blue shirt with the iconic Birmingham landmarks. But with such a pool of gifted 7s players at hand, it’s always tricky to keep them. Travis biggest challenge is to ensure that players are staying onboard as plenty of other competitors are keen to sign the one or the other Stunt.
The Stunts are running a senior as well as a U20 development team and have covered over 15 tournaments in the UK and abroad last season, six of them with two teams. A huge undertaking which just shows what a well-organised project this is and how far they have come since the first tournament win 2013 at the Sports Beat Festival in Gloucester.
Surely, the 30th trophy isn’t far off, but this is only a short-term goal for the team. Coach and founder Travis has a long-term vision for his players as he wants to see them progressing to the international stage to play at the highest-possible level, the World Sevens Series.
We keep an eye on the Stunts and wish you guys best of luck for another successful season.
Find out more about the Stunts:
#My7sClub is a brand-new blog series, featuring every week one of the many awesome 7s teams from around the world. We caught up with the heroes who invest countless hours, raise funding are coaches, team managers and players in one person and give it all in order to keep their beloved team running. Read their exciting stories on our blog. If you and your team like to be featured in this series, just contact us. We are excited to hear your story.