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."
New Cheltenham franchise owner already knows the power of what didi rugby can achieve
didi rugby Cheltenham's owner Keith Smith
The new owner of didi rugby’s latest franchise already knows the power of what his classes can achieve.
Keith Smith will be launching didi rugby Cheltenham at Cheltenham Civil Service RFC on Sunday 5 May with a host of experience already in the bag.
The former Gloucester, Lydney, Cinderford and Cheltenham Saracens rugby player first got involved with didi rugby when he spoke to the owners of the Gloucester franchise, Susie Appleby and Suzanne Appleby-Jones.
He was soon assistant coaching with them in schools and then started coaching his own class in Highnam.
A chat with didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen then followed and now Keith is preparing to bring his skill and knowledge base to Cheltenham to try and get more kids active and playing a sport which is hugely popular in the area.
“I have already seen at my Highnam class the positive influence that didi rugby can have on children,” he said.
“There were two lads who were really shy and quiet when they started are now, they are flying around the hall and their dads cannot believe the transformation.
“That shows what can be done by getting children active and involved in sport.
“I am firm believer in kids being active and getting them off their computers and consoles and into getting outside their houses to have fun and play sport. Hopefully, we can get plenty of children involved in the Cheltenham area.”
It is likely that didi rugby Cheltenham will be a family affair too with daughter Ellie (16) expected to join the coaching set-up. The talented teenager is heading to Hartpury College to do athletics and will be getting stuck in with dad to increase her experience too.
Suzanne Appleby-Jones has worked closely with Keith for the last six months while he was under their wing at didi rugby Gloucestershire and she says he is a talented coach and a real asset to didi rugby.
“Having worked initially as an assistant, Keith has led classes in primary schools and is now lead coach of our newest centre, Highnam C of E Academy which we launched in January,” she said.
“I'm sure that his classes will be a great success in Cheltenham.”
didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen says she is excited by the launch of the company’s 23rd franchise.
“Keith has been coaching within the didi rugby set-ups for months already so he is part of the family and knows what is needed to deliver fun, exciting and informative classes,” said Vicky.
“He has a real passion for all sports, not just rugby, and is a cricket coach as well. His ethos for getting kids active fits in perfectly with what we are trying to achieve at didi rugby and I am sure his Cheltenham classes will be buzzing.”
Book your child's FREE taster session at the launch on May 5 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheltenham Civil Service RFC is located on Tewkesbury Road in Cheltenham.