didi rugby joins fight against rhabdomyosarcoma cancer

Jessica (right) with didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen

didi rugby are delighted to announce that children’s cancer charity Jessica’s Arc will be our official chosen charity.

Jessica’s Arc is one of the ‘arcs’ within Alice’s Arc, a charity launched to raise funds for funding research and finding a cure and less harsh treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma – a cancerous tumour that develops in the body’s soft tissues and mostly effects children and adolescents.

It is a battle that is very close to CEO Vicky Macqueen’s heart after her niece Jessica Macqueen died aged nine after a very short fight with the disease, just five months from diagnosis to passing away.

Vicky said: “The heartbreaking devastation of the loss of a nine-year-old to rhabdomyosarcoma has been hideous for the whole family and community.


“For us to find out more about the cancer is now crucial to protect other families. It’s so underfunded at the minute and Jess didn’t really stand a chance with the lack of large scale investment in treatment for this rare disease.

“We are 100 per cent behind it and anything we can do to prevent this kind of heartache for future families to go through.

“That’s really important to me as one of Jess’ family members and also as CEO of a children’s activities company too.

“And it is super important to my brother and sister-in-law who lost their daughter.


“So didi rugby is officially taking on Jessica’s Arc as our chosen charity and we want to make a big impact on cancer research in this area.

“We will be delighted if anyone that can contribute to our cause.”

didi rugby will be hosting a series of fund-raising events in 2022 with a very exciting competition to follow later this month.

Jessica’s Arc will be sending any funds in its early stages, to Alice’s Arc.

  • Childhood cancer is the number 1 killer of children under the age of 14.
  • Over 4 new drugs have been approved in the last 20 years to treat childhood cancer.
  • 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer across the globe, every year.

Find out more about Alice’s Arc charity

Read more: didi rugby Devon ready to launch in February


Exciting new start for didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

Wearing didi rugby tops, Vicky Macqueen and James O'Ryan smiling towards the camera.

The new team at didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley are getting classes across their area into full swing this term.

Following a successful launch back in December 2021, sessions are now running at Clitheroe RFC and Mellor Village Hall and Field, Blackburn (see below for booking details).

New classes will also begin at Pleckgate High School Dance Studio in Blackburn from Saturday 12 February (see below for booking link).

Sessions are for children aged 18 months to 6 years of age.

Wearing didi rugby tops, Vicky Macqueen and James O'Ryan smiling towards the camera.
James O’Ryan (left) and Vicky Macqueen at the launch of didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley.

The classes are run by the rugby fanatic O’Ryan family: John, James and Sam.

They are all determined to spread their love and passion for the sport, encouraging young children to get involved, get active, build confidence and most importantly, have fun. 

didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

“It’s been really exciting. We’ve had so much fun building and planning for it.” James said. 

“It has been weeks in the planning process and we’re so happy classes are now up and running!” 

John has twice received commendations from the Rugby Union for his services to community rugby for mini and youth engagement and for engagement and for promotion of girl’s rugby opportunities. 

“I’ve been coaching for about 15 years in all different age groups” he said.

Clitheroe RFC

 “I’ve been embedded in the Blackburn and Clitheroe area, helping out at all the schools and different coaching facilities we have here.” 

didi rugby CEO, Vicky Macqueen, attended the launch and said:  “I have been so impressed the level of planning that has gone into this. The amount of effort the guys have put into the launch is amazing.

“Now regular classes are up and running, I am certain John, James and Sam will do a great job of introducing our wonderful sport to youngsters in the area.”

To find out more about attending classes, visit our ‘find a class’ page to book your free taster session at any of our venues.

READ MORE:  Find out more about the launch of didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley. 

WATCH: Manu Tuilagi joins the didi rugby family as an ambassador.

didi rugby Devon classes to launch from February 2022

didi rugby Devon coach Paul Tearle

didi rugby is delighted to announce the launch of classes in Devon in mid-February 2022.

The announcement represents more good news for parents of children in the south west of England, following the launch of sessions in Cornwall in the summer of 2021.

didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen says she is delighted to be bringing fun, excitement and activity to a rugby-mad corner of the country.

Paul Tearle and Gemma Carnegie will be heading up the new classes and the launch will take place at Crediton RFC on Saturday 19 February between 9.30am and 11.30am.

Crediton RFC


It’s a club that is dear to the heart of Paul, who started playing rugby aged 11.

“I have been a two-club man all my life and they are Crediton RFC and Sheffield Tigers RFC,” he said.

didi rugby Devon coach Paul Tearle
didi rugby Devon coach Paul Tearle

“Now back at Crediton, I’m threatening to put my boots back on at some point!”

Paul works as the PE teacher in the local comprehensive school and has already built fantastic links between the school and the club, sharing facilities, coaches and creating a pathway for those that enjoy the game at school and want to develop further at the club.



As well as teaching, he also 20 years of experience working at a successful holiday camp for children aged 3-15 which was recently voted ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted after its latest inspection.

“Having met many inspirational people through the sport of rugby, the opportunity to be involved with didi rugby materialised through meeting people with a shared passion for the game and its values,” Paul added.

“Integrating my background of teaching and business and love for the game made it an easy decision to take on a didi franchise in the hot-bed of rugby here in Devon.

“With two primary-aged children of my  own, I am familiar with the challenges of parenting and getting involved with didi will offer many parents locally another outlet for children to develop and flourish in a safe and positive environment.”

Vicky Macqueen

Fellow coach Gemma is head of PE at a secondary school and has been teaching for 20 years.

She’s also been playing for two decades too and says she is a strong advocate of England Rugby’s core values of team work, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.

Theme which Vicky Macqueen highlighted were also driving factors behind the didi rugby ethos too.

“Paul and Gemma are going to bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to our didi rugby Devon classes and that is exciting for all involved,” she said.

“They have both got plenty of experience in teaching and a love of the game which they will pass on to the children and parents who are going to be coming to their classes.

“We have loved bringing our ethos of fun, activity and confidence to the children in Cornwall over recent months and Devon is another powerhouse of rugby activity so I am sure there will be many parents keen to start their children’s rugby journey at a young age and get them running around having fun at our classes.

“To be launching at Crediton RFC is great too. It’s a strong part of what we do as a business to build links with clubs local to our classes so that we can provide a natural pathway for kids to keep on enjoying the sport when they become too old for didi at the age of six.”

*** To book your child’s free taster session at the launch of didi rugby Devon please email – paul.tearle@didirugby.com ***

Read more:  didi rugby Cornwall flies out of the blocks in Truro.

WATCH: What is didi rugby…?


Excitement grows for didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley launch party

A poster for the launch day of didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

There will be plenty of fun and excitement to be had when didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley throws its opening launch party on Saturday 4 December.

Clitheroe Rugby Club will be the venue for a morning of activities running from 9am to 11am. The sessions will be held outdoors if weather permits or indoors in the clubhouse.

Our didi coaches will be there to welcome visitors and will also be available after each session to answer any questions that parents may have.

didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

The classes will be run by the rugby-mad O’Ryan family and John, James and Sam are determined to spread their love for the game and didi rugby’s values throughout the area to as many children as possible when regular classes begin the following week.

John has twice received commendations from the Rugby Union (RFU) for his services to community rugby for mini and youth engagement and for promotion of girl’s rugby opportunities.

A poster for the launch day of didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

“We have a superb blend of skills and knowledge, combined with a passion for sports, to encourage and promote all the fantastic positives that we know children can gain from taking part in sports,” he said.

“We aim to offer a supportive, caring and fun experience at all our venues, reflecting our family values, the values we know didi rugby share and the values we have enjoyed for over 30 years in our own rugby journey.

Clitheroe Rugby Club

“We want our didi rugby friends’ journey to be just as enjoyable, leading to a lifelong love of sport and all the benefits this brings; health, confidence, friends, skills and fun.”

Numbers are limited but there is still time to book your child’s free place at the event by calling John on 07905787160 or emailing, john.oryan@didirugby.com

A coach and child have fun at a didi rugby class
A coach and child have fun at a didi rugby class

Anyone attending is invited to dress their children in comfortable clothes they can run around in and it’s a good idea to bring a drink for them too.

James says he is really looking forward to providing children and parents with a fun introduction to didi rugby in Blackburn and the Ribble Valley.

“didi rugby is a sure and tested model for getting children active in a safe and positive setting with dedicated coaches,” he said.

RFU values

“Not only are children provided an environment to improve their physical skills like balance and coordination but social skills are also equally developed, like teamwork and leadership or even simply making a new friend.

“We feel this is an important stepping stone for young children to develop their confidence and enable them to share in the core values of rugby outlined by the RFU.”

didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen said: “The O’Ryan’s have a huge amount of passion for the sport and they are equally committed to spreading that passion and the values of didi rugby throughout the local community.

“We are delighted that a focal point of that local community in Clitheroe Rugby Club is hosting the event and we can’t wait to see some youngsters trying out didi rugby and having some fun while they do so.”

didi rugby is committed to making sure that Covid safety measures maintain in place across all of our classes, across the country.

WATCH: What is didi rugby?




Wales international Jasmine Joyce takes over didi rugby South Wales classes

The new owner of didi rugby South Wales, Jasmine Joyce runs with the ball in a red jersey

Hugely popular Wales international rugby star Jasmine Joyce will be the new lead of all didi rugby South Wales classes in the 2022.

Current sessions will remain in place across Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot and Jasmine is intending to add new venues to our offering in Wales throughout the New Year.

Jaz represents her country at 7s and XVs and was recently a big part of the GB team at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

She plays for the Bristol Bears in the English Premiership and has taken part in the Commonwealth Games and World Cup.

The new owner of didi rugby South Wales, Jasmine Joyce runs with the ball in a red jersey
The new owner of didi rugby South Wales, Jasmine Joyce

didi rugby is delighted to have such a well-known, talented and committed player join our winning team.

Jasmine takes over from Robyn Lock and Andrew O’Sullivan who are moving onto other ventures having done an amazing job of building up our didi rugby classes and spreading our values across south Wales over the past few years.

Jasmine Joyce

The founder and CEO of didi rugby, Vicky Macqueen, said she was excited to be working with someone who has unbridled passion for the game and getting more youngsters involved.

“It’s great that Jasmine Joyce has decided to join the didi family,” she said.

“She will bring a huge amount of passion to her classes and I am sure there will be lots of coaches in Wales who are going to learn so much from her.

“I am also certain that children who attend our classes in Wales will benefit from her knowledge, enthusiasm and experience.

didi rugby South Wales

“Jasmine is such a well-known star in Wales that I am sure there will be plenty of parents keen to meet her at classes too!

“We would like to thank Robyn and Andrew for all they have done for didi rugby in Wales and wish them all the best for their futures.”

didi rugby South Wales sessions will end for the festive period on December 19 and resume again on January 10.

  • Book your child’s place at any of our classes across the didi rugby South Wales offering by emailing info@didirugby.com
  • Find out where Jasmine’s classes will be held by visiting our ‘Find a Class’ page.

WATCH: What is didi rugby?


NEWS: England star Manu Tuilagi joins didi rugby as an ambassador

didi rugby ambassador Manu Tuilagi offers a thumb-up

One of the biggest names in world rugby, Manu Tuilagi, has become an ambassador for didi rugby.

With his own family now running around having fun, the powerful centre, who now plays for Sale Sharks after making his name at Leicester Tigers, says he knows the value of getting kids active.

“What an amazing programme didi rugby is, allowing the little ones and their families to get physically active and involved in our great sport of rugby,” said Manu.

“But the most important thing is for the little ones to have fun and enjoy themselves and get a brilliant introduction into our sport through didi rugby classes.”

Manu Tuilagi joins Sale

Having made his debut for Leicester in 2009, Manu made a name for himself as an incredibly powerful runner, like-breaker and tackler and that led to a successful career with both the England national team and the British & Irish Lions.

Tuilagi left Leicester and joined Sale Sharks in 2020 after 11 years at Welford Road.

He remains one of the most iconic figures in world rugby. didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen says she is delighted that the man who grew up in Vicky’s home town of Hinckley has joined the didi family to encourage more youngsters to get involved in the sport.


“Manu is a huge figure in world rugby and everyone at didi rugby is buzzing about his decision to become an ambassador for us,” she said.

“What some people don’t know is that Manu is a lovely person and a family man who adores his home life with family and friends.

“Coming from a big family himself with lots of brothers, he knows the importance of play and having fun as a youngster and he will be encouraging children across the country to get involved in didi rugby classes to grow both their skills and confidence, while having fun.”

Read more: England Sevens star Deborah Fleming joins didi rugby as an ambassador

WATCH: What is didi rugby?


Deborah Fleming joins didi rugby as an ambassador with Cornwall links

England player Deborah Fleming wearing a didi rugby red vest

didi rugby Cornwall are delighted to welcome England Rugby Sevens player, Deborah Fleming, as didi rugby’s latest ambassador. 

With her Cornish background, who knows if Deborah will make a surprise visit to your child’s didi rugby class in the future?

England player Deborah Fleming wearing a didi rugby red vest
Deborah Fleming

After launching on 21st August 2021 at Boscawen Park, didi rugby Cornwall have announced two new class locations at Falmouth RFC and Truro RFC. 

didi Cornwall classes

didi Cornwall classes take place on Saturdays and Sundays (venue specific) and are split into three groups: 18 months to three years, three to four and four to six. 

didi rugby’s latest ambassador and role model, Deborah used to be an athlete on the running track before pursuing a career in rugby at the age of 21. 

It’s often said that you need to start young to be successful in elite sport. For Deborah, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

She started playing for Bristol Bears at 21 before moving to Saracens and then then joined the England Women’s national rugby Sevens team in 2017. 

World Rugby Women’s Sevens

She has now played over 100 games for England Sevens and was England’s highest points scorer in the 2018 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. 

“I think didi rugby is a brilliant concept.”, she says. “I think it’s something really necessary in Cornwall for young kids to be able to expose themselves to the skills required to play the game, but also just develop their confidence and find who they are as little people.” 

If your child is aged 18 months-6 years, you can sign them up to didi rugby classes via our website’s ‘find a class’ page. 

Read more:  Find out more about our new venue hosts at Falmouth RFC and Truro RFC

Read more: didi rugby Cornwall flies out of the blocks in Truro

WATCH: didi rugby ambassador Emily Scarratt loves helping out at a class


Heather Fisher excited to meet new faces at Cornwall launch

didi ambassador Heather Fisher smiles

Ex-England Sevens and GB Olympian Heather Fisher says she is excited to meet new didi stars of the future when she takes part in the grand launch of didi rugby Cornwall on Saturday 21 August.

The didi rugby ambassador will be part of a fantastic morning of entertainment that is planned for Boscawen Park in central Truro from 9am.

Fisher will join didi rugby founder and ex-England international Vicky Macqueen as well as the mayor of Truro. didi mascots Dougie and Daisy will be there to bring fun and mischief to the day too

Games will be run by the new Cornwall coaching team, led by Matt Bosley, that has been assembled to take didi rugby across the rugby-mad county.


Free taster sessions are available on the day for anyone that wants to bring their child along, join in and have some fun. Regular classes will begin the following week at Truro Scout Hut.

Heather said: “We know how passionate the people of Cornwall are about their rugby and I am really excited that didi rugby is launching in this part of the world with a great team behind it.

“As an ambassador of didi rugby, I am right behind the values and ethos of providing fun, activity and enjoyment for the children who attend our classes.

Grow in confidence

“Not only that, but we know from classes across the country that didi is also a great way for young children to build friendships and grow in confidence.

“I am looking forward to meeting some new faces so come on down and have some fun.”

The launch will feature age-appropriate games and fun based around the sport rugby will plenty of other attractions.

Book your child’s place to meet Heather and the while didi rugby team….

🎟 Launch event
👶 For 18 month – 6 year olds
☀️ At Boscawen Park, Truro
🗓 next Saturday 21st August
Find out more about the launch of didi rugby Cornwall by heading over to the didi rugby Cornwall Facebook page


Find out more about Boscawen Park in central Truro.

WATCH: Heather Fisher says why sport can help children in later life…

didi rugby Cornwall will fly out of the blocks in Truro

A boy runs away from chasers with a didi rugby Cornwall ball in his hand

One of didi rugby’s most exciting launches in years will take place in August.

didi rugby Cornwall will fly out of the blocks in central Truro on Saturday 21 August.

Fun for all ages from 18 months to 6 years will run from 9am to 11.30am with a real family activities day being planned for all.

The launch will take place at Boscawen Park and will be attended by didi rugby founder and former England international, Vicky Macqueen.

Boscawen Park

It will also feature former England star and didi rugby ambassador, Heather Fisher who will be playing games with children and signing autographs.

The launch is the first phase of plans that are being put in place by didi rugby Cornwall owners Chris Morrison and Ross Denning to spread didi rugby far and wide throughout this rugby-mad county.

“Sports that are fun and engaging is what we’re all about. The fact that it is through rugby, a game that we have tremendous respect for is giant plus,” they said.

“Cornwall has a long history of producing great rugby talent, from its county representation in the national championships to professional and international representation from the likes of Phil Vickery, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Nowell and Lucy Demaine to name a few.

Truro Rugby Club

“We are privileged to work with local rugby clubs and schools to bring the game to girls and boys from 18 months to 6 years.

“It’s a great privilege to be bringing the didi rugby brand to Cornwall. Vicky and the didi family have been nothing short of amazing and supportive on our journey to launching this great platform.”

 didi rugby Cornwall have already formed a development link to Truro Rugby Club. Part of the didi ethos is to build partnerships with local clubs to offer youngsters a natural pathway to keep playing the game when they become too old for didi classes at the age of 7.

didi founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen said they were hoping to build links with other clubs in the county as soon as possible.

Getting children active

“Chris and Ross are keen to get as many children and parents involved in our wonderful sport as possible.

“They have a real passion for getting children active and having fun and have already been receiving some great sport from the local community as they put their plans in place.

“We can’t wait to get started at Boscawen Park.”

Classes on the launch date will run as follows…

minis – 18 months to 3 years – 9-00am to 9.40am

juniors – 3 years to 4 years – 9.50am to 10.30am

seniors – 4 years to 6 years – 10.40am to 11.20am

To secure your child’s free place, please contact cornwall@didirugby.com or visit our Find a Class page online and book from there:

Read more: didi rugby wins ‘Outstanding Community Award’ for online classes

WATCH: didi ambassador Emily Scarratt loves helping out at a didi rugby class…

Shelford RFC to host didi rugby South Cambridgeshire launch and classes

didi rugby South Cambridgeshire lead Amanda Jones at Shelford RFC

didi rugby’s new franchise lead for south Cambridgeshire is the sort of person you would want on your side in the trenches.

Meet Amanda Jones.

Shelford RFC’s new rugby development officer will be heading up the launch of new didi rugby classes attached to the club from the launch date of July 31 onwards.

Having grown up on the streets of Port Talbot in Wales and been in the army for eight years, Amanda has been used to battling for the things she believes in all of her life and has harboured a desire to pave her own way in some traditionally male-dominated environments.

Values of didi rugby

Previously, that has included gender inequality in rugby and encouraging more children with physical and learning difficulties to get involved in the sport.

Her latest challenge is to spread the values of didi rugby far and wide across the south Cambridgeshire region and, with a committed club totally behind her, she is naturally looking forward to it.

“I have previously been involved with setting up a girls team for 11 to 17-year-olds from scratch which attracted 30 members on two years,” said Amanda. “It helped being persuasive, passionate and female!

“I have also been fighting against gender inequality too and tried to tackle why so many dads bought their sons to rugby but not many mums bought their daughters to rugby.”

didi rugby South Cambridgeshire lead Amanda Jones at Shelford RFC
didi rugby South Cambridgeshire lead Amanda Jones at Shelford RFC

Amanda has also worked for the RFU as a community coach and the Saracens Foundation as a project officer around inclusivity which involved trying to encourage kids with physical and learning difficulties into rugby.

“That was really rewarding,” said Amanda. “I remember one child who really struggled to talk but loved the social side of rugby and now talks really well.”


That passion to help people is still burning bright as Amanda begins her role as the didi rugby lead for South Cambridgeshire at Shelford RFC, where classes will take place on a regular basis after a big launch on Saturday 31 July.

“Shelford see a vision which is not just about men’s rugby. Now we will have children from 18 months involved in the club and a pathway for them to keep on enjoying all the good things that rugby brings.

“There will be some children of that age who, due to the pandemic, have never had a chance to properly socialise with kids their own age.

“My sister had a baby boy during lockdown and now I have an 18-month-old nephew who struggles to interact.

Build confidence

“Not only will didi rugby give them the chance to build their confidence in social settings, it will also give parents of these children a chance to enjoy being out with other parents of kids the same age too.”

didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen said she was excited about the didi rugby coming to Shelford RFC.

“This is a club with fantastic and inclusive values that are perfectly aligned with what we are trying to achieve at didi rugby,” she said.

“I have been hugely impressed by their plans and ideas to build a strong didi rugby base and I can feel the passion of the people involved in the club.

“Amanda is great. She is a tremendously driven individual and a background in inclusivity. She has an infectious personality which will be ideal for bringing didi rugby to the local community.”

If you would like to secure your free place at the big didi rugby launch at Shelford RFC on July 31, please contact rdo.shelfordrfc@gmail.com

Amanda can also be contacted for more information about the times and dates of the regular classes that will follow. Free taster sessions are available to everyone.

Read more: didi rugby wins ‘Outstanding Community Award’

Find out more about Shelford RFC.

WATCH: didi rugby LIVE with World Cup winner and didi ambassador,
Emily Scarratt…