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."
Vicky's Blog: Yoga in India became a wonderful reality and time for reflection
didi rugby founder Vicky Macqueen spreads didi rugby values in India
During a time of national division, I am sure we can all come together and agree that life tends to fly by at a rapid rate.
We all do our best to get through from day to day – and then move on to the next one.
In an ideal world, there would be time to reflect and look back to see what we have done right and what we have done wrong. The good bits, we can try again…the bad bits, we can learn from.
As busy people, that time for reflection never seems to arrive, however.
So when my good friend Vicky Cropp asked me to go to India with her to spend a few days in a yoga retreat, it sounded amazing, but totally unrealistic.
The support I received from my husband and extended family though was amazing and they encouraged me to make the trip for all the reasons I have just mentioned.
Vicky and I have been on a long journey together since we both left Redmoor Academy school in Hinckley, Leicestershire in July 2016 to focus on our respective businesses.
I set up didi rugby and she launched The Yoga Loft. Two-and-a-half years down the line and we are both really pleased with our progress.
Being in the middle of spreading didi rugby’s values every day has made me a good judge of that business’ progress and I have also been close to The Yoga Loft with two visits a week as part of my routine.
I have found a huge mental benefit of spending a short time to myself doing yoga. That headspace allows me to gather my thoughts, reflect and look forward. As well as the physical and mental health benefits, it also allows me the chance to do some physical activity with my mum who can ‘crow pose’ and stand on her head at the age of 72!
Space to reflect
India was amazing and mine and Vicky’s time in Sampoorna, Goa gave us that space to reflect on our progress as individuals and the time to think clearly on our future progress.
It gave me some time to think about the bigger picture for didi rugby, where are we going, where are we growing and how can we have the biggest positive impact on little ones’ lives.
I managed to take some kit and balls over with me and thoroughly enjoyed giving out balls and clothing to the local children while we were out there. Many of them were living in poverty but still had the biggest smiles of their faces and were so grateful to receive a didi ball to play with and a didi tee-shirt to wear. Some of their skills were fabulous too!
I have re-set, reflected and taken time to see the bigger picture and show gratitude for everything I have. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to see some of my plans for didi rugby come to fruition in the near future.
If – and I know that is a big ‘if’ from personal experience – you can find some time to reflect and take stock, it really is worth doing.