Six reasons why children should play rugby from a young age

Two boys with didi rugby shirts on watch a game

Getting children involved in rugby may seem intimidating to some parents but it is a sport that can provide numerous benefits for youngsters, both physically and mentally. 

Rugby is a sport that involves tackling, running, passing and kicking. It teaches motor skills, helps to breed confidence and encourages camaraderie and friendship.

didi rugby classes are for children aged 18 months to 6 years old.

While our classes may not involve any physical tackling, the other benefits of the sport are greatly demonstrated throughout our classes.

Two children sat on a parachute with a rugby ball

The benefits of rugby classes for children

Physical fitness

Rugby is an excellent way to get children active and to promote movement and exercise. It requires a great deal of strength, speed, endurance and playing the sport can help children develop the basics of these qualities. Rugby also helps to improve coordination balance and agility as well as overall cardiovascular health.


It is a team sport that requires players to work together towards a common goal. Even at a young age, this can teach children important skills such as communication, collaboration, and leadership. Rugby can also help children learn how to support and encourage their teammates, which can be valuable in all areas of life including school.


Rugby requires a great deal of discipline and self control young children who play rugby young children who take part in didi rugby classes learn how to follow rules, take direction from coaches listen to instruction.


Rugby can help children to develop resilience and the ability to bounce back from challenge. Our classes incorporate children having fun and building resilience through games and obstacle courses. 


Rugby can help children develop confidence in themselves and their abilities. As children learn new skills and techniques, they can become more self-assured and feel more comfortable taking risks. This can be particularly valuable for children who struggle with self – esteem or shyness. 

Social skills

Children who take part in rugby classes from a young age, including preschool, grow and flourish in social situations. Interacting and playing with other children within the rugby class, builds social skills and confidence.

READ MORE: didi coach Emily gets national recognition in weightlifting 

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WATCH: How can you make a success of owning a didi rugby sports franchise?


didi rugby classes launching in Sandbach

didi rugby Sandbach coach Ros Wiggins smiles wearing a red didi rugby hoodie and sunglasses

didi rugby classes are launching in Sandbach – and they are doing so with a bang!

Sandbach Rugby Club are right behind the set-up and will be providing full support to the new sessions, which are set to begin in June.

didi rugby Stone and Stafford head coach, Ros Wiggins has expanded her remit and will be running the classes with the support of local coaches.

What has really excited Ros is the support she has received from Sandbach RFC, who say they are very keen to fully integrate didi rugby into their juniors set-up to provide a pathway from 18 months, right up into senior rugby for both boys and girls.

didi rugby has similar links with dozens of local rugby clubs across the country.

didi rugby Sandbach

didi rugby Sandbach coach Ros Wiggins smiles wearing a red didi rugby hoodie and sunglasses
Ros Wiggins from didi rugby Sandbach

“The club and director of rugby Andy Bird, have been really supportive and they can see the benefits of starting rugby coaching early on in children’s lives,” said Ros.

“Their junior set-up is already huge and very impressive, so I am delighted that they are keen to include didi rugby in their integrated club structure.

Sandbach RUFC have been very welcoming and have told me they are keen to extend the family feel around their club to include youngsters of didi age, so they can get involved in having fun while their elder siblings play for the mini age-groups teams.

“When we are up and running at the club, we will be looking to expand into the schools and nurseries in the Sandbach area too.”

Sandbach RUFC

didi rugby CEO and founder Vicky Macqueen said Sandbach RUFC’s support has been very welcome.

“It’s great that they are keen to get didi involved with the club,” said Vicky. “Ros has done a tremendous job with the kids in the Stone and Stafford area and she will be bringing lots of experience and energy to Sandbach too.”

With sessions set to begin in early-to-mid June, didi rugby classes for 18 months to 6-year-olds will be held on Friday afternoons. Then Saturday mornings will also see the full range of didi age groups in action.

Dates and times will be confirmed in the near future.

Follow didi rugby Sandbach and Holmes Chapel on Facebook to keep up with the latest information ahead of the launch.

READ MORE: New didi rugby Lichfield owner owes a lot to childhood neighbour

READ MORE: didi cricket classes are back with a bang!


didi cricket classes are back with a bang!

Children throwing cricket balls at stumps

With the sun back out and the temperature rising, the cricket season is here and didi cricket classes are back with a bang!

Cricket is a popular sport that is widely enjoyed throughout the summer months. It provides young children with a wide range of physical, mental and social benefits. Some of these including:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Stamina

Children throwing cricket balls at stumps

One of the most important benefits of cricket for children is that it helps to promote physical fitness. Cricket involves running, jumping, catching, throwing and hitting, all of which help to improve a child’s overall fitness levels.

Alongside the physical benefits, it also provides numerous mental benefits for children. Playing cricket requires concentration, focus and strategic thinking, all of which help to improve children’s mental abilities.

If you are looking for the perfect fun, encouraging and exciting cricket classes for your little one, didi cricket is the ideal place.

didi cricket classes

Beginning in May, we will be running classes at Hinckley Cricket Club every Sunday morning until July 2. Our classes encourage your children to have fun, gain confidence and get active. Every class is tailored specifically to promote the benefits cricket has to offer.

Our aim at didi cricket is to teach your child a love of having fun and being active.

We teach kids from the ages of 18 months up to 6 and cricket offers a whole new set of skills for them to learn in a safe and relaxed environment.

We want our didi cricket stars to be happy and comfortable in our classes and they have been lovingly designed to help children gain confidence and be positive about being active.

Getting involved in classes

Parents are encouraged to be part of the session if they want to and help their kids settle. Parents getting involved also allows them to spend quality one-to-one time with their children.

Our passionate coaches will keep your child active with host of activities and fun games involving bats, balls, stumps and much more!

didi cricket classes have been launched after the huge success of didi rugby in the UK  and classes are designed and delivered with similar aims, values and ethos.

So come and have some fun at our didi Midlands cricket classes. It will run as an eight-week block and go from May 7 to July 2.
Sessions take place in Hinckley every Sunday morning for 18 months to 6 year-olds.
Our sessions run 09:30-10:30am at Hinckley Cricket Club.
To book your child’s place, click here:

READ MORE: New didi rugby Lichfield owner owes a lot to childhood neighbour

READ MORE: Girls to have same opportunities as boys in extended school PE time

New didi rugby Lichfield owner owes a lot to childhood neighbour

didi rugby Lichfield owner Emelie Denham wears a red didi rugby hoodie

New didi rugby Lichfield owner Emelie Denham owes an awful lot to her childhood next-door neighbour.

At the age of 15, Emelie was at home one day with her sister Rosie when there was a knock at the door.

Neighbour Tom was standing there. He was off to play rugby for the first time at his local club and was nervous about going on his own.

Encouraged by his mum to ‘see if the girls next door wanted to come’, Tom asked if they fancied keeping him company. The two Denham sisters decided to go with him and try a new sport for girls who, at the time, played cricket (Rosie) and football (Emelie).

Lichfield Women

It was probably one of the best decisions that Emelie has ever made.

She has gone on to earn representative honours with the Wales 7s development squad and played in the Welsh Premiership, as well as for Lichfield Women in England.

She still plays as a hooker and prop for Lichfield Ladies, coaches the Staffordshire Women’s Under-16s and Under-18s teams and is soon to begin to study for her Level 3 coaching course.

Even Emelie’s day job is based around getting people active as a sports development officer in primary and secondary schools.

didi rugby Lichfield owner Emelie Denham wears a red didi rugby hoodie
didi rugby Lichfield owner Emelie Denham

didi rugby Lichfield classes

So, didi rugby is very lucky to have its newest franchise owner ready to spread the word and get more little children active in the area.

“I basically get lots of young people active and having fun,” says Emelie. “Encouraging them to get involved in events, refereeing and activities.

“It’s very rewarding. I have just finished with one group of Year 10s who I have been working with to teach them leadership qualifications.

Having fun

“I got into didi rugby by accident when a friend asked me to cover a class and I have been covering didi classes near where I live for the last five years! You could call me the ultimate cover teacher.

“When the opportunity to run the Lichfield area came up, I jumped at it and am really looking forward to seeing lots of new faces and having fun with the children and parents in the area around Lichfield Rugby Club.

“There’s no better feeling when working with any age group when you see children and adults who suddenly ‘get’ what you are teaching them. It’s great to see them enjoy what they are doing and having fun.”

didi rugby CEO

didi rugby CEO and founder Vicky Macqueen said Emelie has a huge amount to offer.

“We feel very lucky to have Emelie on board looking after the Lichfield area,” she said. “She has been involved with didi rugby for years and knows the programme inside out.

“She gets up in the morning to encourage people to be active and that is a great mindset for running didi rugby classes.

Lichfield Rugby Club

“Emelie is well-known in the area and has a lovely manner with children who I am sure she will inspire to have fun and learn new skills.”

Tom… if you are reading this…you did a good job!

didi rugby Lichfield classes take place at Lichfield Rugby Club every Saturday between 9am and 11.20am and cover age ranges from 18 months to six years.

Contact for further information and to book a free taster session.

To see specific class times at Lichfield Rugby Club, visit our Find a Class page at

READ MORE: Girls to have same opportunities as boys in extended school PE time.

READ MORE: didi rugby becomes a member of the British Franchise Association (BFA)

Girls to have same opportunities as boys in extended school PE time

Two girls wearing a red didi rugby T-shirts holding a didi rugby ball

A campaign by England’s victorious Lionesses football squad has led to a pledge by the Government that girls will have the same PE opportunities as boys at school.

The announcement makes it clear that girls and boys should be offered the same sports during PE and extracurricular time in schools.

Two girls wearing a red didi rugby T-shirts holding a didi rugby ball

Two girls makes friends at a didi rugby class

The #LetGirlsPlay campaign was launched by the Lionesses squad and the FA after the England Women’s team’s success at the Euro 22 tournament last year.

Schools are also being asked to offer a minimum of two hours curriculum PE time each week.

didi rugby CEO, Vicky Macqueen, welcomed the move and said it was great news for all youngsters at school, as well as the future health of our nation.

PE opportunities

“We have always promoted didi rugby classes out of school time – and our didi sports offering in school time as a place where both boys and girls can flourish,” said the former England Women’s rugby international.

“Sport has made me the person I am, so I need no persuading that this is a great idea.

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

“I am also fully behind the move to give children two hours of PE provision a week at school. PE can often play second fiddle to more academic lessons and so I am delighted that our children will be able to spend more time running around, being active and having fun.

“Participating in sports is a great way for young children to not only have fun but also develop crucial life skills. At didi rugby, our classes are all based around children having fun, gaining confidence and getting active.

didi sports at school

“We also offer rugby, cricket, basketball and dodgeball under our ‘didi sports’ brands to all nurseries, pre-schools and primary schools settings.

“Getting involved in sports at a young age can have a significant impact on a child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being so we are all for it and welcome the work of the English FA, the Lionesses and the Government’s on this.”

For more information, read the Government’s full press release


didi rugby coach Caitlin Clark makes debut for Wasps Women

A lady rugby player called Caitlin Clark smiles while wearing a blue sports top

didi rugby coach Caitlin Clark has made her Premier XVs full debut for Wasps.

It has been a whirlwind few weeks for 20-year-old Caitlin, who developed her love of the game while coaching youngsters at didi rugby Reading classes.

A lady rugby player called Caitlin Clark smiles while wearing a blue sports top
Caitlin Clark

She has also helped out England star and didi franchisee, Alex Matthews at didi rugby Worcester sessions too.

But now, it’s Caitlin’s chance to shine on the big stage as she made her debut against Worcester and looked very much a part of the action.

Centre of Excellence

The game was a thrilling high-scoring affair with visitors Wasps on the wrong end of a 57-28 scoreline.

Caitlin began making moves as a member of England Under-18s while training at the Wasps Centre of Excellence.

She them played for Worcester RFC in Championship 1, while also captaining her Worcester University side, where she is studying Sport Psychology.

didi rugby coach Caitlin Clark with a young boy at a class
didi rugby Reading coach Caitlin Clark a few years ago

Caitlin was called up two weeks ago to train with Wasps senior team and, just two weeks later, signed for them for the rest of the current season.

This means she will combining her studies with travelling back and forth to London.

Franchise holder

It’s something that mum – and didi rugby Reading joint franchise holder – Donna Clark thinks she will take in her stride.

“As parents we are always extremely proud of her tenacity, strength and determination both on and off the pitch,” said Donna.

“Over the last few days, people around her in her life at Worcester have reached out to us to tell us how coachable and dependable she is and how supportive she is of others.

“This only makes us beam with pride and we can’t wait to see what she achieves next!”

Exciting times

It is an exciting time for members of the didi rugby family at the minute.

Along with Caitlin’s news, didi rugby Nottingham coach Charlotte Chaston is making waves within the Loughborough Lightning Centre of Excellence set up.

Meanwhile, didi rugby Leicester franchise owner Jenny Burrows has recently been an assistant referee at an England Under-18 Women’s international.

A girl in a purple rugby top gives both thumbs up to the camera
Charlotte Chaston

didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen said: “We are all delighted for Caitlin. She was much loved by the children and parents at didi rugby Reading classes and I am sure her Wasps team mates and coaches feel the same way about her.

“Everyone at didi rugby will be watching her play with interest and can’t wait to see what she can achieve on and off the field.”

READ MORE: didi rugby gets accepted by the British Franchise Association

WATCH… How to become a didi rugby franchise owner like Donna Clark…


didi rugby becomes a member of the British Franchise Association

A green background with the words 'BFA emerging' on it

didi rugby has been accepted as a new member of the industry leading British Franchise Association (BFA).

The link will give didi rugby access to a wide range of resources and information that will enable the business to grow and offer a better service to franchisees, parents and children alike.

A green background with the words 'BFA emerging' on it

didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen has said the news is a ‘huge step for everyone involved in the business’.

The BFA is the UK’s voluntary self-regulatory body for franchising. It is a membership organisation that promotes ethical franchising practices and supports the growth of the franchising industry in the UK.

BFA member

Joining the BFA as a member has many benefits for franchisees, franchisors, and other professionals in the franchising sector.

The BFA provides members with access to best practices, industry news, and networking opportunities. They offer a range of training programs, seminars, and workshops.

didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen
didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen

“It’s a really big thing for us all at didi rugby and I would like to congratulate everyone involved with our application,” said Vicky.

“I would also like to thank our wonderful franchisees around the country who gave the BFA such good feedback when they were asked to rate our performance and support as a franchise business.

Benefit for franchisees

“Becoming an ’emerging’ member of the BFA will benefit both us and our franchisees because it opens up a whole host of resources and events which will enable us to maintain our drive for continual improvement.

“Everything we learn can be passed down to our franchisees to help them grow and run increasingly successful businesses of their own.

“Ultimately, our customers will benefit too because they will be attending exciting, fun and well-run classes by highly motivated coaches and franchise owners.”

‘The didi brand will benefit from increased exposure as well as the support and guidance of the BFA. We are really excited to make the most of our partnership.”

didi rugby now shares membership with a BFA organisation that also includes the likes of: Subway, Burger King, Costa, Clarks, Camping and Caravanning Club, Dyno-Rod and McDonalds among its established members.

The BFA is the original and largest not-for-profit trade association for franchising in the UK and has been running for over 40 years.

British Franchise Association membership

It is the only association to work in partnership with the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and World Franchise Council (WFC), influencing standards and legislation across Europe.

The BFA says that its core aim is to “support and influence high quality ethical business format franchising in accordance with the European Code of Ethics”.

The BFA proactively collaborates with government, academia, the media, other trade associations and the UK public on what constitutes franchising best practice. It seeks to educate, influence and provide advice and guidance about what franchising is and the fantastic opportunities available via this business model.

didi rugby is committed to providing high standard classes for our customers as well as high standard support for our franchisees.

If you are interested in joining our passionate didi rugby team and exploring a range of live franchise opportunities near where you live, please scan the QR code below with the camera on your smartphone to find out more.

Read more: didi rugby is the ‘way forward’ for Old Coventrians

Read more: Meet our amazing didi rugby ambassadors

A QR code for didi franchising information
Scan this QR code for more info on didi rugby franchise opportunities


didi rugby is ‘the way forward’ for Old Coventrians RFC

Children running, playing rugby

didi rugby is certainly ‘the way forward’ for Old Coventrians RFC mini and junior chair, Jane Waterhouse.

That’s no surprise give the 12 months that the club’s youngest age group have had since beginning didi rugby as a pilot scheme at their Tile Hill Lane home in 2021.

Old Coventrians welcomed the team from didi rugby Coventry and Warwickshire, led by Andy Fox, into their club to try and build from the bottom upwards and create a group of youngsters who could add numbers to their under-7s team.

Children running, playing rugby

Progression of didi rugby classes

As Jane explains, what started as a bit of a punt, has now created just the sort of influx of children – and parents – they were hoping for.

“I have been our mini and junior chair for a number of years now and we have around 200 children in our club from under-7s upwards,” said Jane.

“We started didi as a bit of a pilot scheme about a year ago and specifically targeted reception and Year 1 children so we could focus on having more members in our under-7s.

team spirit

“We knew we had some young children whose parents told us wanted to play rugby, so we welcomed didi rugby in and identified some pitch space for the classes too.

“A year down the line and didi has given us a ready-made under-7s team that is ready for mainstream rugby. They can already play rugby to some extent, catch and pass a ball and they also know about team work and team spirit too.

“Not only that but our didis have their own designated pitch space and love their sessions on Sundays. They have integrated well and are a real part of the club.

“The kids really enjoy it and we have had around a dozen or so kids move up into the under-7s which has really made a difference.

“We have also added new parents and they have become part of that special rugby family feel to the club which has been great to see for us.

“Andy Fox has been great and so have the coaches.

“didi rugby is definitely the way forward.”

didi rugby parents

Parents of didi children have also loved the inclusion of classes at the club.

Leonie said: “My child started with didi in their 4-6 section at Old Coventrians RFC in early spring 2022. The didi experience was excellent and the coach was so welcoming for children and parents.

“The sessions were always fun, different and really helped the children learn the basics needed for tag rugby. The didi programme also instilled a sense of team and belonging for my child which has carried on into joining the under-7s team at OC.

“Having didi at the foundation level of rugby has meant that quite a few of the under-7s have been confident enough to play in matches against other clubs very quickly.

“My child now has all the benefits of being a didi & OC’s player, like a strong team ethic, desire to learn new skills and most importantly, to have fun while playing rugby.”

Listen to instructions

Roni added: “didi rugby was a brilliant way to introduce my child to rugby. Then the transition from didi to under-7s was smooth because the children and parents already knew each other and the club set up.

And Kate said: “I think didi rugby was a very gentle way to settle kids into having to listen to instructions from an adult (ready for a coach), building up friendships with the other kids (helped them feel like a team more quickly when they moved to under-7s) and basic tag rugby with their sharks and fishes games.”

To find out more about didi rugby classes at Old Coventrians, contact Andy Fox on

For any more information about Old Coventrians mini and junior set-up, contact Jane on

didi coach Emily gets national recognition in weightlifting

A woman in a blue leotard lifts a heavy weight above her head

didi rugby Harrogate’s assistant coach, Emily Barber, is familiar with success both on the rugby pitch and weightlifting mat. 

Emily started helping out at didi rugby classes in 2021 to complete her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and hasn’t looked back since. 

A woman in a blue leotard lifts a heavy weight above her head
Emily competing in a weightlifting competition

She soon became a valuable member of the coaching team, assisting at weekly sessions and displaying a natural ability to engage and encourage the little ones with the activities. 

“I loved helping out and am very grateful for all the experience didi rugby has given me”, Emily says. 

Harrogate Rugby Club


“I really enjoy meeting all the future rugby stars, seeing how they develop every week and building a relationship with them – alongside learning new skills from the coaches.” 

Emily is a keen rugby player herself and has played a huge role in introducing the game to more girls at Harrogate Rugby Club.

“I started playing rugby when I was in Year 7 but there wasn’t much of a set up at my local club,” Emily says. 

A lady in a red top runs alongside a young boy, smiling, holding a rugby ball
Emily (right) has fun coaching

“Over the last three to four years, we worked hard to get more girls involved and now we can field a full team. 

“Harrogate rugby girls training and matches are so much fun and I’ve made so many new friends whilst playing.” 

didi rugby Harrogate franchise owners, Mike and Lucy Barnett, are very proud of Emily’s progression and so pleased that she has worked her way into the Under-16s Yorkshire Development squad. 

Olympic weightlifting


As well as being a star on the field, Emily’s has talents elsewhere too. 

To improve her performance on the pitch, Emily began weight training at Harrogate Rugby Club with her strength and conditioning coach, Podium Performance. Impressed with her dedication, her coach suggested she trialled for Olympic Weightlifting training.

She found a natural talent for lifting and has continued her weightlifting journey with coach Luke Stopford at Yorkshire Strength in Castleford. 

After building on her personal bests, she competed in her first British Weightlifting Tier 3 competition. 

Just 4 weeks after her first competition, Emily competed in the British Age Group Championships, a Tier 1 competition, which is the highest level in Britain for lifters aged under 23. 

National scene


Taking place in Birmingham, Emily burst onto the national scene and took 3rd place on the podium in her age group – a huge achievement. 

She says: “I have a busy year ahead but can’t wait to see where my rugby and Olympic Weight lifting training takes me in 2023.” 

“Emily is a fantastic young role model for all our didi stars!” say Mike and Lucy. 

“We are delighted to have her as part of our didi rugby coaching team.”

READ MORE: Free sessions and children’s book reading for nurseries and pre-schools

READ MORE: Find a didi rugby class near you

WATCH: See Mike Barnett explain why the didi rugby franchise model is so successful…

NEWS: Free session and children’s book reading for nurseries and pre-schools

A blonde-haired girl crawls through a tunnel holding a rugby ball at one of our nurseries. She is smiling.

Would your children like a fun run-around while learning new skills?

Following that, would they like to then settle down to be read a book which promotes friendship and resilience?

Would your nursery or education establishment like to enjoy an exciting visit from one of the country’s favourite sports class providers?

Then give didi rugby Midlands a shout.

We are currently offering free taster sessions to nurseries and pre-schools in our area to give you an idea of what we can offer.

Physical activity

Our physical activity taster session will include all of the fun games that have made didi rugby so popular with children and parents alike across England over the last seven years.

Our sessions are in line with ELYS guidance with specific focus on movement, handling, physical development, communication, language and numbers.

Then, we will settle the children down and read them our fantastic children’s story book based on the lives of our friendly mascots, Dougie and Daisy.

Dougie Can Catch’ tells the story of a boy who struggles to catch a ball but with perseverance and the support of his group of friends, finally manages to learn to catch, with spectacular results!

You never know, Dougie and Daisy may be able to make an appearance too…

Nurseries and pre-schools

didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen said: “This free taster session gives nurseries and pre-schools in the area the opportunity to find out what has made didi rugby so popular around the country.

“We also offer didi sports in schools which extends our variety of offering to the likes of basketball, dodgeball and cricket.

“I am certain that the children who get to take part in a didi visit will have lots of fun and learn some valuable skills while doing so.

“We can’t wait to meet you.”

If you are interested in didi rugby delivering a free taster session or, to find out more information, please get in touch with us at

WATCH: School children love the didi rugby festival…