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 partnership with Burford Academy launches in style
The first event of the newly-formed partnership between didi rugby and the Burford Academy has taken place at Reading RFC.
Former England team mates Vicky Macqueen and Rachael Burford have joined forces to provide a day of fun, games and activities for children aged between 18 months and 18 years of age.
Vicky’s didi rugby operates franchises across the country, while Rachael runs the coaching academies for girls aged between 8 and 18 alongside her commitments in the professional game.
The first one of many joint ventures took place at one of didi rugby Reading’s partner clubs, Reading RFC.
“It’s all about collaboration and bringing great people together to work side by side,” said Vicky.
“We are all spreading the gospel of rugby and physical activity and it’s great to see young people growing in confidence by playing the game.
It was great to see the didis having fun with their coaches while the older girls were working so well with their role models, Rachael Burford and (England scrum-half) Leanne Riley.
“Rachael and I played together and since I retired, I have watched her progress. Now she is a business woman too promoting the sport and I hope this will be a long partnership that both of us enjoy.
“This particular partnership creates a nice pathway specifically for girls. Anything we can do to grow the game for girls is great to see.”
Rachael said the group at Reading at been split into two different working age groups: “We want them to get to know each other and so we start the day with an ice-breaking session to get them laughing and interacting,” she said.
“Our camps are for girls from all over the area and are from all different clubs. Some have been playing for half a year and some for eight years. We take all ages from post didi classes up to under-18s.
“Every time I see the girls growing in confidence and saying they are having a good day, that really is fulfilment and I always walk away buzzing.”
Rachael’s England Women’s colleague Leanne Riley, fresh from her country’s summer Tests in America, added: “These sort of opportunities were few an far between when I was growing up. It’s nice to get involved with Rachael, see her way of working and it has been a really good session.
“I come from a big family with little ones running around so to see didi rugby in action is great too. It’s a great concept and it’s nice to see them running around with a rugby ball in their hand, having a lot of fun.”
didi rugby Reading’s Donna Clark played a huge part in organising the day.
“Seeing so may happy, smiling faces having fun and running around is great to see,” she said. “Our growth as didi rugby Reading has gone nuts in the last few weeks!
“We now have Saturday and Sunday classes and we are in schools five days a week in lots of locations across Berkshire.
“Our children feed through to clubs like Reading and there is a clear pathway for them when they are too old for didi rugby.
“Coming through the ranks of didi rugby gives them the chance to move into club rugby which is a win/win situation for us and the clubs we partner with.”