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."
didi rugby is looking forward to developing further links with local clubs following the announcement of the Rugby Union’s Early Years Guidance Framework this week.
didi founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen was asked to advise the RFU on the newly-released document as the game’s governing body has officially recognised the importance of developing the 18 months to five years old age group.
Their framework will now be sent out to all RFU-affiliated clubs in the country showing them the way to develop their own set-up.
And while working closely with clubs, those sort of set-ups have already been put in place by didi rugby franchises over the country during the last 18 months. didi rugby have become a recognised and trusted provider of the sort of age-specific learning that the RFU are now backing.
didi franchises are working with rugby clubs in England and Wales at: Beverley, Pocklington, Whitchurch, Crewe and Nantwich, Market Bosworth, Kenilworth, Loughborough, Shepshed, Ashby, Glais, St Helens, Hinckley, Lutterworth, Burbage, Coventry, Coventrians and Old Coventrians, Reading, Aldermaston, Thatcham, Lydney, Chipping Norton and Cinderford, with more in the pipeline.
Vicky’s home club Hinckley RFC has already benefitted from a conveyer belt of six-year-olds who have joined the club after 'graduating' from didi rugby classes.
Hinckley chairman John Tilley explained how dozens of children filtered into their minis section having been involved in didi rugby classes from a young age.
“We have had massive success linking up with didi rugby,” he said. “I think it was around 40 new children who came into our under-6 age group last year.
“Not only were there 40 kids but they had done some good stuff already as well. didi rugby is a brilliant initiative and it gets kids active. Ultimately, that’s what we are about isn’t it? Getting kids active.
Hinckley’s club coaching coordinator Tom Kilburn said at the time: “I have been really impressed with the ability of these children that have joined us. Most are in possession of great motor skills, with the ability to listen and follow instructions well.
“The major positive I have found is that they can already catch and pass which helps a long way to making our sessions active, purposeful and enjoyable.
“The children that have graduated along the pathway are a true testament to the fantastic work that Vicky Macqueen and her team are doing at didi rugby
Mum Claire Cope had twins Alfie and Archie graduate from didi rugby into the Hinckley set-up and she said her lads had thrived during their time there.
“The have loved their time at didi and Vicky is the leader of the family,” she said. “The coaches have been great too and always have a really good laugh with the children. It’s fantastic.”
Watch: VIDEO - Twins Archie and Alfie graduate from didi rugby to Hinckley RFC
Are you a club looking to provide a set-up for 18 months to 5-year-olds?
Contact Vicky Macqueen on 07812 082375 to discuss how didi rugby can help you build strong foundations for the future.