Level 6 referee Jenny to lead new didi rugby classes at Birstall Rugby Club

didi rugby Birstall coach Jenny Burrows holds up a newspaper featuring a story about herself

A coach with a difference will be heading up new didi rugby classes at Birstall Rugby Club in Leicestershire from 21 March.

And there is unlikely to be any questioning of decisions made my coach Jenny Burrows!

The 34-year ex-player is now the only Level 6 female rugby referee in Leicestershire and can usually be found around the pitches of the Midlands with a whistle in tow.

Her Saturday mornings are now going to be taken up by leading new didi rugby classes at Birstall RFC in Leicestershire after an idea became reality very quickly thanks to the support of didi rugby’s founder and CEO, Vicky Macqueen.

Birstall Rugby Club

“I had been coaching didi rugby at Shepshed and Hinckley working with Vicky and then I spoke to someone at Birstall Rugby Club and they said that they would love to have something like that around,” said Jenny.

“At first it was just an idea but I spoke to Vicky about it and things have come together very quickly. She has been brilliant and we are going to start classes on Saturday 21 March.

“I always go and support Birstall anyway as a club so it is great to go and give something back.”

Jenny played in the backs for Stoneygate RFC in Leicestershire for 10 years but as injuries began to take their toll, she decided to take up refereeing instead and has never looked back, progressing to become the only Level 6 women ref in the county.

Birstall didi coach Jenny Burrows (centre) with a class of didi rugby children
Birstall didi coach Jenny Burrows (centre) with a class of didi rugby children

New venue

“I really enjoy still being out there in the middle,” said Jenny. “I do mainly men’s games and have never had anything bad happen to me in eight years of officiating.”

Jenny’s latest challenge though will be with subjects of a much younger variety – and she cannot wait to get stuck in.

“didi rugby is great because, not only does it teach kids basic skills, it also teaches them the core rugby values which have been important to me,” she said.

Referee

“Seeing how the kids respond to that is brilliant. I have played and refereed for years and wanted a new challenge alongside being an official because I like the idea of giving back to the sport I love.

“And Vicky has been brilliant in making this happen. Her passion is infectious and it’s unreal how much you can learn from one person.”

Vicky said she was excited to open a venue at yet another rugby club. didi rugby partner with clubs all over the country to provide a pipeline of youngsters to hopefully continue their rugby journey with those clubs when they become too old for didi classes.

“I am so chuffed that Jenny Burrows has joined the didi team,” said Vicky.

Rugby coach

“She is a wonderful ambassador for rugby in general and she shows all the values as a person and a coach that we would expect from someone involved with didi.

“She is enthusiastic, motivated and really wants children to succeed and help them develop.

“I was so pleased when she decided to take on classes at her local club. She really is a wonderful coach and person and a great addition to the didi family.”

Classes will get underway at 9.00am on Saturday 21 March at Birstall Rugby Club with all age groups going right through until 11.00am.

 

Wheelchair rugby star Coach Umit coaches didi rugby

didi rugby coach Umit Akyildiz is in his wheelchair holding a didi rugby ball

didi rugby Reading’s latest coaching acquisition is causing a storm.

Umit Akyildiz is an inspirational member of the Berkshire Banshees Wheelchair rugby team.

He is also inspiring young children to have fun and learn new skills leading didi rugby classes too.

Co-owner of didi rugby Reading is Craig Hunter and he is also the chairman of the Banshees.

“I got to know Umit through my involvement with the Banshees,” said Craig.

“He was keen to get involved in didi rugby so I took him to didi rugby classes as a support coach.

“He has been working closely with me and he has brought so much to the classes.

“Umit is a very positive, happy person and he is great with the kids. They absolutely love him.”

Wheelchair rugby

And, as far as Umit is concerned, the feeling is mutual.

“Because of my rugby background I really enjoy being part of didi rugby because it gives me a sense of achievement helping others reach their goals,” he said.

“didi rugby is great for the children’s development because it helps them learn better ways to cope with the highs and lows of life. It also helps children develop patience and rugby skills too.

“Being the first coach didi rugby Reading coach to do so from a wheelchair gives me a sense of accomplishment and knowing that I have achieved something that is so important to my life.”

didi rugby coach Umit Akyildiz is in his wheelchair holding a didi rugby ball
didi rugby coach Umit Akyildiz

Wheelchair rugby is a fusion of ice hockey, handball and rugby which not only involves speed and chair contact but also requires tactical intelligence.

Eight rolling substitutes make up squads of 12, with four players on the court at any one time.

The sport is for male and female disabled athletes with the emphasis on fun, excitement and inclusion, particularly for players with higher levels of impairment.

Club sessions are open to anyone interested in learning more about the game, including volunteers. For further information, please contact berkswr@gmail.com or craigchairman@gmail.com

Acti-Fit have become didi rugby’s official education partner

Acti-Fit director Ellis Bailey speaks at the didi rugby Conference

Acti-Fit have become didi rugby’s official education partner.

As a result, they will help to provide new coaches for didi rugby’s ever-growing class numbers and offer new and existing coaches the opportunity to gain a professional, chartered qualification on the job.

Based in the Midlands and driven by a host of passionate people, Acti-Fit are on a mission to push the boundaries of coaching by harnessing the power of sport and education.

With a team of experts, they provide 360 coaching consultancy, to support coaches with their educational development.

Acti-Fit director Ellis Bailey speaks at the didi rugby Conference
Acti-Fit director Ellis Bailey speaks at the didi rugby Conference

They embrace an ethos of getting people active and having fun through physical activity and it is an ethos which fits perfectly with the mantra that drives didi rugby and its classes for children up and down the country.

Through their knowledge and support networks, Acti-Fit will help provide didi with the right coaches at the right time for classes across the UK, in areas which are looking to expand.

This will provide not only more dedicated staff to support didi rugby’s ever-growing numbers of young members but will also allow those coaches to gain a professional qualification while doing so.

The Acti-Fit team promise to make those coaches become the best coach they can be and they will also give them the opportunity to become chartered in their respective field.

didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen says she is delighted to confirm the partnership with Acti-Fit.

Personal development

“We have been chatting to them for a long time about having the same ethos, mentality and goals of getting kids active across the country,” she said. “It has been great to hear their ideas about making people better coaches and managers and putting them onto formal qualifications.

“We are always keen to make our didi coaches the best they can be with ongoing personal development.

“There will be a clear pathway to develop the children, their classes and the coaches who lead them.

“The partnership will also provide a clear pathway for didi coaches and franchise holders to develop and learn while they are on the job.”

didi rugby already teaches a framework which fits in with rugby’s governing body’s guidelines and with Vicky being one of only a handful of RFU Level 4 female coaches in the UK, youngsters who attend didi classes are always in safe hands.

Acti-Fit Partnership

“We are confident that the formal qualifications that Acti-Fit are adding to our coaching will stand us apart from other providers and ensure that customers get the very best from a session when they attend didi rugby with their children.

“It will be a very healthy partnership and it is exciting for me to be able to give our franchisees some great training which will, in turn, support them to support their loyal customers.

Ellis Bailey is a director at Acti-Fit and he says that he quickly realised there was lots of synergy between the two companies soon after meeting Vicky.

“When we set up Acti-Fit, we wanted to do something to make a difference,” said Ellis.

“Like didi rugby, we have a lot of things we feel passionately about like getting kids active and healthy and trying to better the quality of coaching in the UK through education.

Coaching pathway

“We were happy to start a didi franchise as part of the partnership too and we also wanted to offer franchise owners the opportunity to grow with an educational coaching pathway.

“Whenever we discuss going into a partnership with anyone, we want to invest in people and what I saw from didi rugby was a group of people with a genuine passion for what they believe in.

“It’s not a made-up story. It’s genuinely what they want to do. Vicky is a genuine person with a huge passion for sport and wanting to work for the community.

“Our partnership really is a match made in heaven.”

  • Watch: didi cricket delights school children in Gloucestershire…

 

 

A dozen didi rugby Reading children join Reading RFC minis

A dozen didi rugby stars in a group at Reading RFC

Reading RFC minis have received a huge boost in playing numbers with a dozen children joining the club having graduated from didi rugby classes in the area.

A huge part of didi rugby’s ethos is to make formal links with local clubs to provide a seamless pathway for children to continue playing the game after they become too old for didi rugby classes.

A dozen didi rugby stars in a group at Reading RFC
A dozen didi rugby stars in a group at Reading RFC having moved up from didi classes at the age of 6.

Not only does it provide our didi stars a chance to move straight into tag rugby, it also gives local clubs a stream of youngsters coming into their minis set-up with the skills and confidence already there to hit the ground running.

didi rugby Reading have links with many clubs in Berkshire and their latest group to move up to Under-7s rugby at Reading RFC has delighted everyone involved.

Reading RFC

didi rugby Reading’s Craig Hunter said he was ‘delighted’ to see so many graduates move up to Reading RFC after a couple of children made the move their previous year.

“It’s great to see them want to carry on their rugby experience and the 12 of them have already gelled nicely up at Reading,” said Craig.

“Their parents are pleased and we have had really good feedback from Reading too so it’s lovely to see the numbers we are providing them increasing.”

didi rugby Reading franchise owners Donna Clark and Craig Hunter coach at Aldermaston RFC
didi rugby Reading’s Craig Hunter (right)

didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen said this was another example of didi rugby classes working well with their local communities.

“It is important for all of us at didi rugby to support the local community as much as we can and the partnerships we create with local clubs are very important to what we are trying to do,” she said.

“Here are 12 children who have come through the didi rugby set-up and are now too old for our ‘seniors’ classes. So it’s heart-warming to see them move up to a partner club like Reading and know they are in safe hands to continue learning, having fun, growing in confidence and building up that camaraderie that rugby provides.

Developing skills

“Craig, Donna, Clare and the rest of the team at our didi rugby Reading classes have done a great job of capturing these children’s imagination and developing their skills and confidence over the past couple of years.

“We will all be watching their kids’ progress with Reading RFC and wish them all the best of luck. We are always very proud of our didi rugby graduates.”

  • Watch didi rugby Reading coaches Donna and Clare explain why they have so much fun during their classes…

didi rugby Sutton Coldfield to launch at Sutton Coldfield RFC

didi rugby Sutton Coldfield's logo

didi rugby Sutton Coldfield will be throwing a launch party to open its doors to the public on Saturday 29 February.

A friendly welcome is guaranteed at Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club and lots of fun and games will be taking place on the day.

Children from the age of 18 months to 6 years of age are welcome and parents are invited to book a place for their child by visiting the didi rugby website.

Regular classes will then begin at the same venue with three separate age groups: 18 months to 3 years, 3 years to 4 years and, finally, 4 years to 6 years.

Head coach of didi rugby Sutton Coldfield, Dave Lote has a huge passion for the sport having worked for the RFU and coached the sport for many years.

He also works for a company called Acti-fit who have just opened an exciting partnership with didi rugby to provide coaches and extended professional coaching qualifications to the men and women who deliver amazing classes up and down the country every week.

There’s more on that, later.

Exciting opportunity

“It’s a really exciting opportunity to get involved with didi rugby,” said Dave.

“We are launching our classes in Sutton Coldfield very soon and we want children to have fun and gain confidence while we deliver our sessions.

“These are exciting times for us.”

didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen has known Dave for a long time and worked with him before.

“I am so pleased that didi rugby Sutton Coldfield is launching on February 29,” said Vicky.

“Dave was one of my fellow coaches when we coached at Lichfield together and I have worked alongside him in various roles as a rugby coach educator too.

didi rugby Sutton Coldfield

“I know he is the perfect person to support didi rugby’s progress and development in Sutton Coldfield.

“He is so passionate about rugby and getting children active and he has drive, enthusiasm and a really positive attitude. I cannot see a better person to take the Sutton Coldfield area by storm and do some really good work in the local community.

“And it’s great that the partnership with Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club offers a pipeline through to kids rugby when children become too old for didi rugby classes.”

Find a didi rugby class in Sutton Coldfield at Sutton Coldfield RFC

Find a didi rugby class in Sutton Coldfield at Sutton Coldfield RFC

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Sutton Coldfield RFC in Sutton Coldfield. There are three age groups: 18 months to three years, three to four and four to six.

Our program is designed to get kids active, teach them new skills and improve their co-ordination, speed and balance. It will also help them learn social skills while they have lots of fun in a positive, safe and friendly environment.

These classes are ideal for children living in: Sutton Coldfield, Walmley, Wylde Green, Thimble End, Reddicap Heath, Minworth, Curdworth, Over Green, Wishaw, The Belfry Golf Club, BodyMoor Heath, Marston, Kingsbury, Lea Marston

Sutton Coldfield RFC

160 Walmley Road
Sutton Coldfield
B76 2QA

Sutton Coldfield RFC ran by didi rugby Sutton Coldfield

Contact Dave Lote – 07964 011104    
dave.lote@didirugby.com

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Find a didi rugby class in Wokingham at Finchamstead Baptist Church

Find a didi rugby class in Wokingham at Finchamstead Baptist Church

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Finchamstead Baptist Church in Wokingham. There are three age groups: 18 months to three years, three to four and four to six.

Our program is designed to get kids active, teach them new skills and improve their co-ordination, speed and balance. It will also help them learn social skills while they have lots of fun in a positive, safe and friendly environment.

These classes are ideal for children living in: Earley, Lower Earley, Whitley, Whitley Wood, Shinfield, Tilehurst, Caversham, Sonning, Woodley, Calcot, Twyford, Southcote, West Reading and Prospect Park.

Finchamstead Baptist Church

Gorse Ride N
Finchampstead
Wokingham
Berkshire
RG40 4ES

Ran by didi rugby Reading

Contact Craig Hunter – 07798 844202
craig.hunter@didirugby.com

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Find a didi rugby class in South Warwickshire at Kenilworth Castle Farm Recreation Centre

Find a didi rugby class in South Warwickshire at Kenilworth Castle Farm Recreation Centre

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi Rugby classes at Kenilworth Castle Farm Recreation Centre in South Warwickshire. There are three age groups: 18 months to three years, three to four and four to six.

Our program is designed to get kids active, teach them new skills and improve their co-ordination, speed and balance. It will also help them learn social skills while they have lots of fun in a positive, safe and friendly environment.

These classes are ideal for children living in: Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Southam, Whitnash, Statford-Upon-Avon, Baginton and Henley in Arden.

Castle Farm Recreation Centre

Fish ponds Road
Kenilworth
Warwickshire
CV8 1EY

Ran by didi rugby South Warwickshire
Kiri Bennett – 07506 350243
kiri.bennett@didirugby.com

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Find a didi rugby class in Nottingham at St Wilfrid’s Church Drive

Find a didi rugby class in Nottingham at St Wilfrid’s Church Drive

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Nottingham St Wilfrid’s Church Drive. There are three age groups: 18 months to three years, three to four and four to six.

Our program is designed to get kids active, teach them new skills and improve their co-ordination, speed and balance. It will also help them learn social skills while they have lots of fun in a positive, safe and friendly environment.

These classes are ideal for children living in: Nottingham, Wilford, Lenton, The Meadows, Lenton Abbey, Ryelands and Clifton.

St Wilfrid’s Church Drive

Off Main Road
Wilford
Nottingham
NG11 7AJ

Ran by didi rugby Nottingham
Contact Marie Chaston – 07853 335425
marie.chaston@didirugby.com

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Find a didi rugby class in Crewe at Crewe and Nantwich Worleston Village Hall

Find a didi rugby class in Crewe at Crewe and Nantwich Worleston Village Hall

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Crewe and Worleston Village Hall in Worleston . There are three age groups: 18 months to three years, three to four and four to six.

Our program is designed to get kids active, teach them new skills and improve their co-ordination, speed and balance. It will also help them learn social skills while they have lots of fun in a positive, safe and friendly environment.

These classes are ideal for children living in: Worleston, Reaseheath, Nantwich, Crewe, Poole, Wistaston, Willaston and Sandbach.

Crewe and Nantwich Worleston Village Hall

Main Road
Worleston
Nantwich
Cheshire
​CW5 6DN

Ran by didi rugby Crewe and Nantwich
Contact Kate Heirene –
katie.h@didirugby.com

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