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: We must not let down a generation of young people
Computer games and screens are making it harder to get kids active
didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen writes about some worrying trends towards the levels of obesity and inactivity in our children and says we must not let down a generation of young people
I have read some worrying statistics and reports in recent weeks about how the devil of inactivity is affecting our children.
In Wales, one of didi rugby’s strongest heartlands, 12.4 per cent of four and five-years-olds are obese, Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and half of the nation’s young people, boys and girls, are not doing regular sport.
As someone who runs a business aimed at getting children of exactly that age active and healthy, news like that is hard to hear.
Especially when the vast majority of the kids I have met who are involved in physical activity are happy ones.
Laura McAllister, the former chair of Sport Wales writing in Wales Online says the nation needs to start ‘investing properly’ in early years teachers and carers.
“Preschool children should have at least an hour of structured physical activity (that is, adult-led) and at least an hour of unstructured free play every day,” she says.
She also believes that, in school, PE should have ‘the same status as maths, English, Welsh and science to fulfil the government ambition of creating ‘healthy, confident individuals’.
Amen to that.
Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday have reported data gathered by the universities of Exeter and Plymouth from 807 kids in 32 Devon schools.
It concluded that just one in 30 children aged nine or ten completed the recommended amount of daily exercise.
One in 30! Think about that for a minute. That’s about one child in every school classroom.
Wellbeing in 'desperate decline'
Alison Oliver, the chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust said that today’s young people are among the least active ever and their wider wellbeing is also in ‘desperate decline’.
She urged school and activity providers to ‘harness the impact that PE and sport can have on physical and mental health as well as the development of character and equipping children with vital life skills which support achievement in the classroom and beyond.’
With technological advancements meaning more and more of our children have use of digital equipment like ipads and ipods, we have to work harder and harder to make sure that physical activity is an option for our children.
And, wherever and whenever it is provided, we need to make it fun and engaging so that the children want to come back for more.
The challenge is there in black and white. It’s crucial that we all take that challenge head on. If we don’t, we are failing a generation of young people.
I am on a mission to ensure all children get a chance to experience didi rugby and therefore get all the benefits of being physically active, along with developing them as confident little people!