Launching a brand-new 7s team is an exciting undertaking. Setting up social media accounts, recruiting players and backroom staff, entering tournaments and designing stunning stash are just a few essentials which require intense brainstorming in the early stages. Another crucial element is the search for a suitable and unique team name.
Inspiration for the right label can be found in many places. This week’s #My7sClub, the name “Tribe” was discovered on a trip to the world-famous Amsterdam 7s Brisbane-based team just started off, offering programmes for young ambitious female players in 2013.
Termed after a pub in the Dutch capital, founder and team manager Don Caslick thought this is a fitting name for the project. The Celtic warrior queen Boudicca, a strong feminine rebel has been chosen as the emblem to round off the branding for one of the most successful 7s outfits from Down Under.
Like Boudicca, the Tribe 7s ladies team showed enormous strength in recent years, winning many prestigious titles. Just a year after their first stop in Amsterdam, the Aussies returned to win the Cup by beating among others the national sides of Wales and Germany. Additionally, they won silverware on home soil at the Central Coast 7s, Noosa 7s and the World’s Hottest 7s in Darwin as well as the Centrale 7s in Paris.
The men’s equivalent are also keen travellers with a strong desire to hunt silverware. Huge tournaments in Shanghai, Dubai, Las Vegas and Noosa are all among destinations, they’ve left successfully.
Although the male team made a name for themselves, the original mission of the Tribe project was to provide female crossover athletes the opportunity to play 7s at an elite level without the need to be attached to a XVs program.
Nowadays, the Tribes also offer coaching for girls in addition to the senior programmes. A quick analysis of the club’s track record, reveals that this unique mission has been more than accomplished. An incredible number of ten Tribe players, seven of them in the Australian Gold-medal squad, were represented at last year’s Olympics in Rio. Considering that five athletes only played the game for the very first time with the Tribes, the coaching staff has done a phenomenal job.
Travelling and competing in tournaments around the globe is a unique privilege only a few teams will ever experience. Besides the momentours organisational effort, the biggest challenge remains to raise sufficient funding for such adventurous touring agendas.
Don told us that the Tribe project is predominantly self-funded at the moment, but they have been lucky enough to get a reasonable sponsorship from Locality Planning Energy over the last two seasons which has covered most ground expenses at tournaments. Nevertheless, players have generally covered their own airfare expenses and we still underwrite a fair element of expense each year.
However, the Australians have done well and are looking forward to more exciting seasons with planned overseas trips to France, Singapore, Borneo and the US. Eventually, the success of a tour always depends on having adequate funding and talent available.
Up to date the Tribe story has been very impressive. Not only did they win trophies on the big stage, but also prepared many of their very own players for the excellent Australian National 7s programme. Therefore, it’s no surprise that offering a clear and realistic pathway to the top, will remain the highest priority in the short- and long-term future.
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#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.