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."
Fun-loving Tommy is thriving at didi rugby despite Hypermobility Syndrome
Tommy Oliver was so unsteady on his feet that he would ‘fall over his own shadow’ according to his mum Sally.
Yet just over a term into his time as a star at didi rugby Reading’s Aldermaston classes, he has become a totally different boy.
The four-year-old from Bramley near Basingstoke has recently been diagnosed with Hypermobility Syndrome. It’s a condition that features joints which easily move beyond the expected range.
As a result, it can be hard to control those joints, which can dislocate easily. People with Hypermobility Syndrome can also suffer from pain in their limbs - especially in the knees, hips and elbows.
“He’s clumsy and he falls over all of the time,” Sally added. “It’s hard for him to keep his joints in place and the strain that puts on his body makes him tired.”
With older brother Owen (19) a player at Aldermaston RFC, one of the clubs that didi rugby have partnered with in the Reading area, Sally saw that didi rugby classes were held there and decided to give it a go for Tommy.
“He is quite shy and it takes him a while to come out of his shell but he managed to stay upright throughout the session,” said Sally.
“He was 20 months old before he could walk and some of his joints, like his knees and shoulders, dislocate a lot so we never thought he would enjoy didi rugby as much as he has done.
“He wanted to come back after his first session and he has just finished a full term and moved up into the four to six-year-old group.
“It’s like if you put a rugby ball in his hand, he can run in a straight line!
“His coordination and balance have improved dramatically. You can see how much he enjoys it. He kicks and catches and his skills are really developing.
“And during the recent half-term, we took him to the didi camp at Reading RFC and even though it was a new venue with new faces and lots more children than he is used to, he joined in and enjoyed it.
“didi rugby has been amazing for him. He is always asking if it is didi rugby day and coaches Donna and Caitlin have been great with him.
“Here was a young boy who would trip over his own shadow and now, he is much more confident and steady on his feet. It’s a great activity for strengthening his muscles too.
“And his confidence has grown as we have gone along. There are three guys who open the didi classes up at Aldermaston every week called Andy, Ritchie and Grant. They always have a smile ready for the children but Tommy never used to say a word to them. Now, he ‘high-fives’ them every week.
“His growth has been amazing for me to see too. He has just started at school and I was really worried about him falling over all of the time. So I went into school to tell them to prepare for what might happen with Tommy – but it’s not happened yet.
“didi rugby has been brilliant for him.”
Tommy’s coaches at his Aldermaston classes, Donna and Caitlin have guided the four-year-old through every step of the way, sharing in his joy as he has gained in confidence and broadened his physical and mental skill-set.
“Tommy always comes bounding up to us and into class with a big smile on his face. His enthusiasm and giggle is infectious and if I could bottle it, I would,” said Donna.
“He thoroughly enjoys running around playing games, learning new skills and taking on a challenge. These challenges always have to include Caitlin and I and he is now a expert at setting up a obstacle course for us all!
“There is nothing he won’t try and through his determination and enjoyment of didi Rugby we have seen a huge improvement in his balance and coordination. There really is no stopping him. He is an absolute joy to coach.”
Try your child at a free didi rugby taster session. Find your nearest class by clicking here.