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A warm welcome to didi rugby

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 News Flash

Vicky's Blog: Almost 10% of four to five-year-olds are obese - and we must act now.
The pull of computer games can add to childhood obesity levels
The pull of computer games can add to childhood obesity levels
didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen writes about some new figures from the National Child Measurement Programme which shows a worrying percentage of young children are obese.

It really is a startling fact.

Latest statistics from the National Child Measurement Programme show that almost 10% of four to five-year-olds in England are obese.

As the owner of a business that tries to encourage children of that age to be active and healthy, it’s a fact that really hit home.
Clearly, as a country, we need to be doing more.

Not just because the benefits of being active will help kids avoid becoming part of that 10% right now. But also because it can help them avoid some really serious issues in later life.

Childhood obesity

Reacting to those figures, a well-respected doctor, who is battling to reduce childhood obesity, is warning that children in England are already developing life-threatening illnesses because the issue is not being tackled properly by the Government.

Dr William Bird MBE has been a GP in Reading for the last 25 years.

“Something is going badly wrong. Childhood obesity didn’t exist 100 years ago. It’s a man-made creation,” he told Sky News.

“What we are seeing is in the fat cells in the body, particularly in the tummy, they create inflammation which attacks the brain and arteries and that leads to diabetes, dementia even, depression and anxiety and cardiovascular diseases.”

None of us want those conditions to emerge in just one child, let alone what must be a staggering number of children who are classed as obese under these findings.

While Dr Bird criticises the Government for not doing more, it is down to parents to up their game too. Governing parties can put any number of schemes and ideas forward as ways to keep our youngsters active – but parents are the ones who make the decisions as to what activities will be done as a family.

Fun element

I honestly believe there has to be a fun element in every activity we get our children to do, especially in the four to five-year-old age group we are talking about in this study.

If exercise is boring, they just won’t want to do it again. I can vouch for that because of my two young boys.

Hopefully by encouraging and implementing activity from a young age, our children will get used to having fun while being active.

And we can start to see a reduction in the numbers of obese children which, incidentally, doubles by the time they reach 10 to 11-year-olds in this study.

Let’s not talk about it for too long. Let’s get on with it. Time is running out.

Read more: VIDEO - didi rugby advise RFU on formation of Early Years Guidance Framework

Watch: VIDEO - didi rugby are on the lookout for new franchise owners

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