Daughter Charlotte’s love of rugby helps get didi rugby Nottingham ready for launch

Marie Chaston’s route to didi rugby has taken the long way round.

And it’s fair to say that she would not be involved in rugby at all were it not for her daughter, Charlotte (13).

“Charlotte has always loved rugby and was running around playing with the boys as a youngster. I used to stand on the sidelines and watch until one day, I was asked to help out coaching,” said Marie. “So I did my courses and got involved.

“I quickly fell in love with the sport and the social side of it was just fantastic. I just wish I had played it myself when I was growing up too!”

When Charlotte reached the age of 12, regulations wouldn’t allow her to play with the boys any more and so Marie set up a girls team at their club, Nottingham Moderns.

didi rugby Nottingham owner Marie Chaston

Coaching sessions

With half a team coming to regular coaching sessions, Marie met a fellow girls’ coach at West Bridgford who was in the same boat and the two decided to join forces.

They created the South Notts Saphires and now have teams at under-13, 15 and 18 levels. The under-18s then go on to join the West Bridgford Ladies team when they get too old.

Marie’s love of the sport made the prospect of joining didi rugby an exciting one when she saw an advert for new coaches and when she spoke to founder Vicky Macqueen about getting involved, didi rugby Nottingham was born and is due to launch at Nottingham Moderns RFC on Saturday 21 September.

“I am super excited to start my didi rugby journey,” said Marie. “Children’s development has been a passion of mine since 2010 when I started my child-minding business and to link that passion with my love for rugby is a dream come true.

“Having the knowledge of child development and understanding children alongside my experience of coaching and building our girls’ section at Nottingham Moderns (South Notts Sapphires) will I hope, make didi rugby Nottingham a huge success.


“I have been out of childcare for 2 years and I have missed it more than I ever thought I would. Working with children and rugby is who I am and it has taken this time away for me to realise what a huge part of me that is.

“I can’t wait to get started, build the classes and ultimately get more children active, having fun and hopefully building a passion for the wonderful sport that is rugby.”

Vicky Macqueen said she had been very impressed by Marie’s passion and determination since they began talking about launching a franchise in Nottingham.

“It is great to have someone else with Early Years Foundation Stage experience involved in the business,” she said. “Marie is also a string advocate for girls rugby and has already met many other franchise holders after coming to our Annual Presentation Day in July.

“We will be right behind her to help spread the didi values to Nottingham.”

didi rugby Nottingham classes are due to begin at Nottingham Moderns RFC in Wilford on Saturday mornings from 9am to Midday and in Gotham.

Continuing expansion in north-west for didi rugby as Chester classes open

didi rugby is coming to Chester and interest in the upcoming classes is already growing at an incredible rate.

Having advertised launch party sessions for all three age groups just a couple of weeks ago, franchise owner Katie Heirene is considering putting on more classes because some of the scheduled ones are already full!

Sessions will get underway on Sunday 15 September at 9.00am and will take place at Chester Rugby Club after a partnership was formed between them and new didi rugby Chester owner Katie Heirene.

It’s the latest partnership between a didi rugby franchise and a local rugby club with the goal of not only forming stronger links with the sport in the community – but to also provide a seamless pathway for children when they become too old for didi rugby at the age of 5 or 6 and move up into the club’s minis section.

Katie says she can’t wait to get the classes up and running and share the fun and success she has enjoyed since beginning her didi rugby journey in the Crewe and Nantwich area.

Katie Heirene having fun with her didi rugby stars

Fantastic club

“I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing didi rugby to Chester, especially given that we will be based at Chester Rugby Club itself,” said Katie.

“It is a fantastic club with a thriving youth section that we are delighted to be able to add to by offering our classes for boys and girls from as young as 18 months.

“We launched in Crewe and Nantwich last September and have been overwhelmed with the response. Both the classes and schools programme have been hugely popular and we were even able to run our first Key Stage 1 rugby festival for local primary schools at Tarporley High School last May.

“didi rugby helps us to inspire more kids to get active and hopefully begin an interest in all sports. It is also a great way for parents to spend some quality time with their didi stars.

“Probably the most rewarding thing about didi rugby by far has been watching the confidence of our didi stars soar. After just 12 months, many of them are now participating in games and activities independently with their friends, even those in the Under 3s class!

Growing bond

“It really is an incredible transformation, the growing bond between class mates and their coaches has been a wonderful thing to watch, both for me and the parents. And seeing red, sweaty and smiley faces at the end of a didi rugby session is always a satisfying feeling. If we can achieve this, we know we have done our job!”

To book your child in for a free taster session at Chester Rugby Club, follow this link.

As well as the classes in Chester, Katie is also opening new lessons in Sandbach at the Sandbach Health and Fitness Centre.

Classes get underway from Sunday 8 September from 8.50am.

To book your child in for a free taster session, follow this link.

Spaces created in Hinckley and Burbage didi classes as graduates move up to tag rugby

Spaces have become available in didi rugby Midlands classes based in the Hinckley and Burbage area after a number of stars have graduated to club tag rugby.

In Burbage at Millennium Hall, half a dozen places are up for grabs after a group of six-year-olds moved up to play for their local clubs.

While at Hinckley Leisure Centre, there are some spaces for classes covering all three didi rugby age groups: 18 months to 3 years, 3 years to 4 years and 4 years to 6 years.

The classes on Wednesday and Friday mornings at the Leisure Centre give parents the opportunity to bring their kids to didi classes without it eating into their weekend.

While the Wednesday class at 3.45pm is an ideal after-school activity to get your children active and having fun.

Children enjoying didi rugby in Hinckley

Taster session

didi rugby’s Hinckley and Burbage classes have been busy for a long time and interested parents are invited to book a place for their children before the classes fill up (see links below).

Any newcomers to didi rugby are entitled to a free taster session to see if they like it before reserving a place.

didi rugby founder Vicky Macqueen still coaches many of the classes in this area and says she is always excited to send graduates off to play tag rugby.

“It’s always an amazing feeling to see didi stars move up from our eldest age group and onto local clubs to continue their rugby journey,” she said.

“It sometimes brings a tear to my eye because I am so happy that they are continuing to play the game but also because I will miss having them and their parents around at class time.

Parents welcome

“When that happens, it does create spaces in our class though and so we are really excited to meet and have fun with anyone who wants to come and give didi rugby a try.

“We make children and their parents very welcome and the free taster session is there to help parents – and children – decide if they want to come back again. We are very confident that they will want to do so.”

There are also very limited places available at didi rugby Midlands classes on Saturdays at Hinckley Rugby Club and the St Francis Centre, Tudor Road, Hinckley.

Contact Vicky@didirugby.com for further information or book a free taster session online at our Find A Class page.

Calling all sporty mums and dads!

Calling all Sporty Mums and Dads – do you want to gain some life balance with the summer holidays upon us?

didi rugby is a franchise-based business that has opportunities all over the UK and in other English speaking markets.

The business is actively looking to expand, ready for the back-to-school term in September and franchise manager Sanchia De Lacy suggests that getting involved in didi rugby could be ideal for a new work/life balance.

“Being a busy mum of very active twin girls I really understand the importance of having a balance between life and work,” she said.

“I have been supporting new franchisees with their business set-up over time and I truly believe that anyone can do this with the right passion and drive to both get kids active and also have the desire to work for themselves.

didi rugby franchise owner Kiri Bennett getting support from two didi rugby ambassadors

Business owner

“didi rugby has grown across the UK in the last 18 months and I have been lucky enough to work with all types of people to help them get started with their ‘new way of balancing life, work and  play’.

“It’s not an easy option, but becoming a didi franchise business owner does come with some perks that any parent would see as a massive influence on their life.

“Pick your own days for delivery, select class times that suit your area, get others involved and working in your business, help these people grow into great coaches and become the coaching lead yourself, as well as becoming an actual business owner.

“There could be no more 9-5 and missing school pick-up and sports days, and no more stressing around holiday cover. didi rugby run their core classes around term times only so this really can work for parents with the drive and interest.”

And Sanchia added that you don’t need to be a rugby expert to make a didi franchise work well.


“An interest in rugby obviously helps and you don’t need to be an established coach either because we can support you with this too.

“You don’t need to know how to run your own business – this will come over time. And you don’t need to start a business from scratch – we have already done this and have the tools all ready for you to use.

“Most importantly, you don’t have to be scared of failing – the didi family work with you and our values encourage sharing and airing”.

So… could this be you? Are you ready for a fresh and exciting new challenge? Do you want to be part of a close-knit and driven with access to all of other franchise to help steer you through the process?

We have part-time and full-time areas available now for sale, including a number of live patches with classes already established.

Please email Sanchia on sanchia.delacy@didirugby.com for further information or call founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen on (07812) 082375.

didi rugby fun and games featured at the Snap Dragon Festival

didi rugby has enjoyed two great days out at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s Snap Dragon Children and Family Festival.

Hundreds of children have taken part in didi sessions during the festival at both Market Bosworth and Hinckley sites.

The Snap Dragon Festivals provide free or very low-cost activities for local families in the area and are held are various sites across the district.

The idea is to provide fun and activity to families during the school summer holidays from 11am to 3pm each day.

Children enjoy didi rugby at the Snap Dragon Festival

New skills

didi rugby was invited to get involved in both Hinckley and Bosworth and thoroughly enjoyed helping youngsters learn new skills and gain in confidence while doing so.

didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen said it was fantastic to see so many families outside and getting involved.

“It was an honour to be asked to provide didi rugby at the Snap Dragon Festival,” she said. “There were so many children having a go, it was great to see.

“The festival is a fantastic idea by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and so well organised by Liz Causon and her team.

“We are hoping to see some of the children who had a go at the festival, at our classes when we re-start after the summer holidays.”

New venue to kick-start classes in Lichfield

A new venue will kick-start new classes at didi rugby Lichfield in September.

The Curborough Community Centre will host all three didi rugby age groups between 9am and 11am.

A sizzling launch party is set for Saturday 7 September with regular classes taking place after that.

Franchise owners Mollie Latham and Ros Wiggins – who have already made a huge success of their classes in didi rugby Stone & Stafford – will be helped by head coach Carmel Elliot and all three are excited to get things up and running.

“We can’t wait for the launch party so we can all get going,” said Mollie. “Due to popular demand, we have found a bigger venue, which means that even more didi rugby stars can join in the fun.”

Ros added” “It has been amazing to see the children at our Stone and Stafford classes grow and deveop over the last few months and we can’t wait to spread the didi spirit to the rest of the county.”

New didi rugby venue in Lichfield

New venue

Carmel has been involved in the Lichfield set-up for over a year already and she said: “I am super excited to be expanding the didi family and having a new venue to accommodate this growth is awesome. My didi journey so far has been incredible and this marks an exciting new chapter.”

Classes at the Curborough Community Centre will run as follows:

  • 18 months to 3 years: 9.00am to 9.40am
  • 3 years to 4 years: 9.40am to 10.20am
  • 4 years to 6 years: 10.20am to 11.00am

All parents are invited to bring their child along for a free taster session to see if they like what Ros, Mollie and Carmel have to offer. Book your place by visiting here: https://bit.ly/2KsvyNj

Curborough Community Centre is located on Reynolds Close in Lichfield, WS13 7NY.

didi rugby’s Annual Presentation Day 2019 creates treasured memories all round

Treasured memories were made as didi rugby’s second annual Presentation Day was blessed with hundreds of excited children, parents and grandparents.

The banqueting hall at Hinckley Rugby Club was full with didi stars from all around the Midlands area and some from even further afield. Each one was welcomed onto stage to receive a medal and certificate to mark their progress this year.

Presenting them with their medals were some of didi’s wonderful ambassadors including Leicester Tigers duo Sam Harrison and Charlie Clare, Loughborough Lightning and England star Charlotte Pearce and author and broadcaster Rosemary Conley.

With didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen leading proceedings, there were great photo opportunities for proud parents who have become part of the didi family along with their kids.

Parents take pictures of their children on stage during didi rugby’s Presentatin Day

Thank you

Everything was laid on free of charge as a thank you from didi HQ to those children and adults who have made the last 12 months so special.

Ambassadors mixed with the crowd before and after the presentations signing autographs, ball, kit and copies of didi rugby’s new children’s book, Dougie Can Catch.

The book’s illustrator Chris Embleton-Hall was also there to show off his other works and also encourage children to read and draw at a special colouring station which had black and white pages from the book for children to colour in.

There was loads more going on during the morning too with fantastic breakfasts served by Hinckley Rugby Club, a bouncy castle, a fun zone, merchandise stall and other stalls hosted by local businesses.


Vicky said it was amazing to see so many people enjoying themselves.

“This is our big yearly thank-you to the people who make didi rugby so special – the children, their relatives, our franchise holders, coaches and the team at didi HQ,” she said.

“It’s a celebration of all that’s good about what we do and to see the children on stage with our amazing ambassadors with big smiles on not only their face, but their parents too, was lovely to see.

“A massive thank-you to everyone who travelled down on the day and we are so grateful to our ambassadors for giving up their time to promote and support something they feel so strongly about.

Exercise and activity

“Here’s to next year when we intend to make our Presentation Day even better!”

Rosemary Conley added: “Every year I come and see how much this event has grown so who knows where we will be in five years’ time.

“To see these kiddies learning motor skills at such an early age is incredible and I just love how didi rugby is promoting the concept of exercise and activity in young children.”

Former Italy international becomes didi rugby Italy’s first ambassador

Former Italian international Roland De Marigny has become didi rugby Italy’s first ambassador.

And didi rugby is absolutely delighted to welcome him onboard.

Roland has played top-flight rugby in England, Wales, South Africa and Italy.

Born in Durban, South Africa, he played international rugby for Italy after qualifying on residency grounds (he played for five years in the Italian league).

He made his international debut in 2004 against England and made his first start against France the following week. Roland went on to make 19 appearances for the Azzurri.

didi rugby ambassador Roland de Marigny with didi rugby founder Vicky Macqueen

Next generation

He is now heavily involved in helping guide Colorno’s rise through the domestic ranks and says he is excited to get involved in nurturing the next generation of Colorno players through didi rugby.

“I am very proud to present didi rugby, which has become part of our programme here in Colorno,” he said.

“didi rugby is about values, sharing and having fun. It’s about learning respect, being part of a team and being part of creating something.

“I am really looking forward to didi rugby coming to Italy and Colorno and for giving the youth of Italian rugby this wonderful opportunity.”

didi rugby CEO addresses medical students at University of Leicester

didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen has delivered an ‘inspirational’ speech to Year 3 students at Leicester Medical School.

Following an invite from Dr John Harrison, the Associate Professor in Medical Education at Leicester Medical School, Vicky spoke about her own international sporting career with England as well as life as a successful business woman after hanging up her boots.

Vicky was one of a series of guest speakers invited to address medical students in the four-week spell after their exams.

The idea is to help the University of Leicester pupils gain as much information as possible about the variety of different careers they could go into after they leave and look for work.

Vicky Macqueen with Associate Professor John Harrison


“It was very inspirational,” said Dr Harrison. “She talked about her own career and was superb at talking about goal-setting and how it has helped her in her life.

“She was absolutely brilliant and she speaks with great enthusiasm. The students loved it and she gave them a lot of things to think about.

“Vicky has been a highly successful teacher, player and coach – and now she is a successful businesswoman too. I am full of admiration for her.

Dedicated students

“Two of my grandchildren go to didi rugby and hopefully, if some of these students stay local and have their own kids, they may go to didi rugby too!”

Vicky said: “It was a lovely experience to be able to share my career and story with a group of hard-working and dedicated students. They were very welcoming and I thank them for listening.

“If they can take anything I said and use it to their advantage, I will be delighted. Thanks to John as well – he was the perfect host.

“If you had told me a few years ago that I would be addressing a room of Year 3 medical students, I would have burst out laughing!”

World Cup winner Heather Fisher ‘can’t wait’ to enjoy didi rugby’s Presentation Day

England Women’s international Heather Fisher says she “can’t wait” to be a part of didi rugby’s Annual Presentation Day.

The event will take place in Leicestershire at Hinckley Rugby Club – one of didi rugby’s partner clubs – on Sunday 7 July with all sorts of fun and games planned for what promises to be a spectacular day.

Back-rower Heather has been a didi rugby ambassador since the early days of the organisation and says she is really keen to come and meet the children, parents, coaches and franchise owners that are coming from all over the area.

The World Cup winner fully knows the value of sport and looking up to role models after overcoming some personal hardships as a youngster.

didi rugby ambassador Heather Fisher

“Sport was the tool which kept me on the straight and narrow as a child,” said Heather. “There were role models I could look up to and it gave me the inspiration to try and prove to people that I could be someone.

“It also saved me from anorexia and it showed me that one voice to could make a massive different to a child – and that voice was not necessarily a parent or a relative.

“Sport and programmes like didi rugby give children confidence and keeps them active. If you can increase a child’s confidence, the rest tends to take care of itself.

“It’s important to remember that with self-confidence, kids believe they can be someone.

Make an impact

“I can’t wait to be able to meet people at the Annual Presentation Day. Maybe someone in my position can help if I can make an impact on someone else’s life by introducing myself and telling a bit of my story.

“didi rugby is about using sport as a tool so these kids can be confident and open up to people as they grow up.”

Heather is one of several didi rugby ambassadors who will be at Hinckley Rugby Club to meet, talk to and have photos taken with didi stars and their parents throughout the day.

This is didi rugby’s second Annual Presentation Day and attendance is free for all didi rugby stars who attend classes across the UK. Parents and family are welcome to attend and join in the fun.

All children will receive a certificate to mark their progress this year and all must be booked in on the day. Click here to book them in.

Presentations will get underway at 10.00am with breakfast served from 9.00am. To reserve either a full English breakfast including tea or coffer, priced at £5.00 – or a sausage or bacon cob, priced at £2.50, please email: bar@hinckleyrugby.co.uk with your order and pay on the day.