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."
Daughter Charlotte's love of rugby helps get didi rugby Nottingham ready for launch
didi rugby Nottingham owner Marie Chaston
Marie Chaston’s route to didi rugby has taken the long way round.
And it’s fair to say that she would not be involved in rugby at all were it not for her daughter, Charlotte (13).
“Charlotte has always loved rugby and was running around playing with the boys as a youngster. I used to stand on the sidelines and watch until one day, I was asked to help out coaching,” said Marie. “So I did my courses and got involved.
“I quickly fell in love with the sport and the social side of it was just fantastic. I just wish I had played it myself when I was growing up too!”
When Charlotte reached the age of 12, regulations wouldn’t allow her to play with the boys any more and so Marie set up a girls team at their club, Nottingham Moderns.
With half a team coming to regular coaching sessions, Marie met a fellow girls’ coach at West Bridgford who was in the same boat and the two decided to join forces.
They created the South Notts Saphires and now have teams at under-13, 15 and 18 levels. The under-18s then go on to join the West Bridgford Ladies team when they get too old.
Marie’s love of the sport made the prospect of joining didi rugby an exciting one when she saw an advert for new coaches and when she spoke to founder Vicky Macqueen about getting involved, didi rugby Nottingham was born and is due to launch at Nottingham Moderns RFC on Saturday 21 September.
“I am super excited to start my didi rugby journey,” said Marie. “Children’s development has been a passion of mine since 2010 when I started my child-minding business and to link that passion with my love for rugby is a dream come true.
“Having the knowledge of child development and understanding children alongside my experience of coaching and building our girls’ section at Nottingham Moderns (South Notts Sapphires) will I hope, make didi rugby Nottingham a huge success.
“I have been out of childcare for 2 years and I have missed it more than I ever thought I would. Working with children and rugby is who I am and it has taken this time away for me to realise what a huge part of me that is.
“I can’t wait to get started, build the classes and ultimately get more children active, having fun and hopefully building a passion for the wonderful sport that is rugby.”
Vicky Macqueen said she had been very impressed by Marie’s passion and determination since they began talking about launching a franchise in Nottingham.
“It is great to have someone else with Early Years Foundation Stage experience involved in the business,” she said. “Marie is also a string advocate for girls rugby and has already met many other franchise holders after coming to our Annual Presentation Day in July.
“We will be right behind her to help spread the didi values to Nottingham."
didi rugby Nottingham classes are due to begin at Nottingham Moderns RFC in Wilford on Saturday mornings from 9am to Midday and in Gotham.
If you are interested in getting involved as an assistant coach in Marie’s classes, please get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org