didi rugby Bristol: A family outlet for the Gullys

The Gully family, Rochelle, Simon and Tyler all wearing red didi rugby kit.

didi rugby Bristol leads, Simon and Rochelle Gully are looking forward to providing an opportunity for young children that wasn’t available for their son at such a young age.

Simon has a professional rugby career behind him, so he is excited to begin his new journey with didi rugby.

Because of the immense love and passion he has for the sport, he sees didi rugby as an opportunity for him to spend his weekend doing something he loves, as opposed to it being “work.” Simon currently works as a carpenter five days a week, so can’t wait to have didi rugby as his “fun day” of the week.

Simon is also a rugby coach at one of didi Bristol’s venues, Kingswood RFC.

Two ladies in a red top and a man wearing a red top and blue cap smiling.
The Gully family

Before meeting Simon, Rochelle had no experience with the sport.

“Rugby has given our family an outlet to grow closer and to bond over a sport we all enjoy,” Rochelle says.

“We are all season ticket holders at Bristol Bears, and we go to watch all the games. This allowed us to all grow closer as a family. Having two teenagers, it’s nice to go and experience something we all know and love together.

“We have been discussing the possibility of running kids rugby classes for a few years now but the timing never quite worked.

“This year seemed like the perfect time to make that jump, especially with our daughter Tyler now being 16, she can get involved with coaching at the classes.”

Young age groups

Their son, Lucas, started his rugby journey at four years old. Simon and Rochelle struggled to find him a class so young that best suited and supported his age and ability.

“We really struggled to find him a class at that age as no club really provided for such young age groups,” Rochelle said.

“The coach at a class which was slightly too old for him said to bring him along, but he was too overwhelmed to continue.

“If didi rugby had been around at the time, we would have 100% taken him to classes there.

“Because of this experience we had, we want to provide this opportunity for and build confidence in children from a young age.”

didi rugby Bristol launch party

didi rugby Bristol will be launching with an exciting event on Friday 9 September; with didi mascots Dougie and Daisy making a special appearance!

The event will be kicking off at Clifton RFC from 9:00am-12:00 Noon. The action will then be moving over to Pomphrey Hill Pavilion from 1pm.

The Gully family are all looking forward to meeting the kids, the rest of the didi team and to experience a brand new venue.

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Exciting new start for didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

Wearing didi rugby tops, Vicky Macqueen and James O'Ryan smiling towards the camera.

The new team at didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley are getting classes across their area into full swing this term.

Following a successful launch back in December 2021, sessions are now running at Clitheroe RFC and Mellor Village Hall and Field, Blackburn (see below for booking details).

New classes will also begin at Pleckgate High School Dance Studio in Blackburn from Saturday 12 February (see below for booking link).

Sessions are for children aged 18 months to 6 years of age.

Wearing didi rugby tops, Vicky Macqueen and James O'Ryan smiling towards the camera.
James O’Ryan (left) and Vicky Macqueen at the launch of didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley.

The classes are run by the rugby fanatic O’Ryan family: John, James and Sam.

They are all determined to spread their love and passion for the sport, encouraging young children to get involved, get active, build confidence and most importantly, have fun. 

didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

“It’s been really exciting. We’ve had so much fun building and planning for it.” James said. 

“It has been weeks in the planning process and we’re so happy classes are now up and running!” 

John has twice received commendations from the Rugby Union for his services to community rugby for mini and youth engagement and for engagement and for promotion of girl’s rugby opportunities. 

“I’ve been coaching for about 15 years in all different age groups” he said.

Clitheroe RFC

 “I’ve been embedded in the Blackburn and Clitheroe area, helping out at all the schools and different coaching facilities we have here.” 

didi rugby CEO, Vicky Macqueen, attended the launch and said:  “I have been so impressed the level of planning that has gone into this. The amount of effort the guys have put into the launch is amazing.

“Now regular classes are up and running, I am certain John, James and Sam will do a great job of introducing our wonderful sport to youngsters in the area.”

To find out more about attending classes, visit our ‘find a class’ page to book your free taster session at any of our venues.

READ MORE:  Find out more about the launch of didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley. 

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