About didi rugby Newcastle and North East
Hattie and Sophie Elliott-Edwards – didi rugby Newcastle and North East
About Hattie and Sophie
Hattie has previously played Rugby with Lichfield Ladies RFC – starting off in the Under-16s and working her way up to the senior teams too. She had opportunities to play at regional and Premiership level, alongside some of the greats in women’s rugby including didi rugby founder Vicky Macqueen and didi ambassadors: Heather Fisher and Sarah Hunter.
During her time at Lichfield, Hattie has coached Under-18s/Under-16s at the club and at regional level too.
Hattie has gained so much from rugby and truly believes in the holistic benefits participation in the sport can provide. She attributes much of her successes in life to the mind-set, social skills, team working, and self-belief learned in playing and coaching rugby.
Hattie now lives in Northumberland and works for the NHS at The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle – where personal drive, team-working, personal and team leadership are essential characteristics; as well as bringing a little joy into people’s journeys through the healthcare system.
“It was a gathering with long-time rugby friends that brought up discussions with Vicky Macqueen about becoming a coach and franchisee,” says Hattie. “Now we are coming back into the rugby set-up and are keen to contribute to opening-up more opportunities for little ones to have fun, learn and get them active.
“We are also keen to develop the pathway into club rugby and the rugby community as a whole.”
Sophie is a teaching assistant specialising in Early Years and SEN education. She brings with her the knowledge and facilitation of the social and educational aspects that didi rugby incorporate (including relevant Key stages for Early Years).
Sophie is from the North East (originally a ‘sand dancer’ – as those from South Shields are known by in the North East) and has spent sometime in the West Midlands before returning to Northumberland, bringing Hattie with her.
Whilst Sophie has been introduced to Rugby by Hattie, it is through her work that she has seen how much sport impacts children in a positive fashion.
Sophie believes in the inclusivity of sport and in all the positives it gives to young children such as: increasing physical development, cognitive skills, teamwork, building social skills and promoting friendship, and most importantly having fun.
“Our son is our inspiration for starting a didi franchise,” says Sophie. “It is an opportunity we want for our son, who is a big driving force for us in bringing didi rugby to the North East.
“We are looking forward to this new chapter and encouraging little ones to get active and encourage a love of physical activity from an early age. We love the North East, and we are really excited to bring the didi rugby set-up and developing sport-based opportunities here.
“For our first venue we have teamed up with Novocastrians RFC. They are a very proactive, family friendly club (who have produced some amazing players from their set-up; including Sarah Hunter – one of the didi rugby ambassadors) and we are very excited to join forces with such a great club.
“Novocastrians already have a great junior section that any aspiring didi stars could progress into, after the age of 6 years old.