We are a group of passionate and dedicated people determined to get children active and teach them key life skills while they are having fun and gaining confidence in a safe environment.
Our 40-minute classes run in three age groups from 18 months up to six years of age and we build links with local clubs to encourage our didi kids' rugby experience to continue when they turn seven.
Parents and carers are a big part of what we do and we encourage their involvement during class sessions at the right time. We are not strict. We want didi kids to be happy and comfortable.
We firmly believe that encouraging children to get active at a young age will not only help them stay healthy but will increase their confidence and self-esteem as well as help interaction and engagement with other children.
didi rugby is a great stepping stone into team sports further down the line because we teach the values of respect, sharing and team spirit.
The business was conceived by former England Women's Rugby international, Vicky Macqueen, herself a mother of two young children. When she contracted a potentially life-threatening infection in 2013, doctors told her that her strong health and fitness levels saved her.
Since then, didi rugby has been a personal crusade to spread the benefits of health, fitness and activity to as many children and parents as she can.
Vicky's drive has helped attract numerous high-profile people from the sport of rugby and beyond to become didi ambassadors with the likes of Womens' World Cup winners Emily Scarratt and Katy Daley-Maclean, along with coaches from the men's game like Graham Rowntree and Geordan Murphy getting involved.
didi rugby is a franchise business which treats our teams up and down the country as one big family sharing training, ideas and best practice.
All of our classes offer free taster classes so parents and carers can see if their child enjoys what we have to offer.
We are very proud of the word-of-mouth recommendations we receive and here are just a few of the kind comments that have been sent our way by parents.
"It's a good form of exercise for them and incorporates a lot of games - that is why they enjoy it so much."
"It's not strict and they know they are always coming to have fun."
"It's not always about the game of rugby, it's about learning how to be with other children and that is really good for them."
"Their confidence has really grown. Not just in terms of their sporting abilities but for them as little people and how they interact with others."
It’s always time to take stock as the calendar year comes to an end and, personally, it has been truly rewarding seeing the growth of the didi Rugby during 2017.
Not only in terms of the growth within our own country, but with the amount of interest we have had from abroad too.
I believe passionately in what we are doing so the idea of spreading the word far and wide, across the oceans, is something that really excites me. Let’s spread the love.
Domestically, in the UK, we have welcomed a new franchise in Swansea run by Robyn and Andrew Lock, one in Ascot & Windsor run by Hannah Field and most recently one in Reading run by Craig Hunter.
Swansea launches in early December and Ascot & Windsor will be getting underway early in the New Year, as will our New Zealand branch of didi Rugby, based in Canterbury.
We are looking forward to creating exciting and well-attended launches to support all of the hard work that the guys have put into setting them up.
We are just putting the finishing touches to confirming some big-name ambassadors to support Swansea too so watch this space.
We have begun classes in Reading recently at Westwood Farm Schools and there will be more to come in areas like: Bedfordshire, Isle of Man, Brighton, Bromley (London) and Staffordshire in 2018.
I am so excited to give more children across the UK and abroad the opportunity to be a part of didi Rugby. I have seen the physical, social and developmental benefits as both a mum, a hands-on coach and also from a didi Rugby founder point of view. I am so pleased with the positive effects on the children involved and the feedback we have been receiving has been fantastic.
Our online shop has now launched – watch out for our January sale!
This will allow anyone to click onto didi Rugby and purchase our kit and range of accessories. We pride ourselves in not making kit compulsory for children but it is funky and cool – if I do say so myself! Our accessories like water bottles, balls, and bags are proving very popular.
Also growing is our list of didi Rugby ambassadors who have put their name to our business because they believe in the values that we are spreading through our classes.
These ambassadors work hard to attend local classes and make themselves available for presentations and holiday camps when they have time. We are truly grateful to each and every one of the following: Sarah Hunter, Natasha “Mo” Hunt, Emily Scarratt, Geordan Murphy, Scott Hamilton, Sam Harrison, Harry Ellis, Justine Lucas, Louis Deacon, Graham Rowntree, George Chuter, Maggie Alphonsi, Vicky Fleetwood, Matt Elliott, Rosemary Conley and Gary Street.
There are more to come over the coming months too and I am sure 2018 will be an exciting time for anyone involved with didi Rugby!