didi coach Emily gets national recognition in weightlifting

A woman in a blue leotard lifts a heavy weight above her head

didi rugby Harrogate’s assistant coach, Emily Barber, is familiar with success both on the rugby pitch and weightlifting mat. 

Emily started helping out at didi rugby classes in 2021 to complete her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and hasn’t looked back since. 

A woman in a blue leotard lifts a heavy weight above her head
Emily competing in a weightlifting competition

She soon became a valuable member of the coaching team, assisting at weekly sessions and displaying a natural ability to engage and encourage the little ones with the activities. 

“I loved helping out and am very grateful for all the experience didi rugby has given me”, Emily says. 

Harrogate Rugby Club

 

“I really enjoy meeting all the future rugby stars, seeing how they develop every week and building a relationship with them – alongside learning new skills from the coaches.” 

Emily is a keen rugby player herself and has played a huge role in introducing the game to more girls at Harrogate Rugby Club.

“I started playing rugby when I was in Year 7 but there wasn’t much of a set up at my local club,” Emily says. 

A lady in a red top runs alongside a young boy, smiling, holding a rugby ball
Emily (right) has fun coaching

“Over the last three to four years, we worked hard to get more girls involved and now we can field a full team. 

“Harrogate rugby girls training and matches are so much fun and I’ve made so many new friends whilst playing.” 

didi rugby Harrogate franchise owners, Mike and Lucy Barnett, are very proud of Emily’s progression and so pleased that she has worked her way into the Under-16s Yorkshire Development squad. 

Olympic weightlifting

 

As well as being a star on the field, Emily’s has talents elsewhere too. 

To improve her performance on the pitch, Emily began weight training at Harrogate Rugby Club with her strength and conditioning coach, Podium Performance. Impressed with her dedication, her coach suggested she trialled for Olympic Weightlifting training.

She found a natural talent for lifting and has continued her weightlifting journey with coach Luke Stopford at Yorkshire Strength in Castleford. 

After building on her personal bests, she competed in her first British Weightlifting Tier 3 competition. 

Just 4 weeks after her first competition, Emily competed in the British Age Group Championships, a Tier 1 competition, which is the highest level in Britain for lifters aged under 23. 

National scene

 

Taking place in Birmingham, Emily burst onto the national scene and took 3rd place on the podium in her age group – a huge achievement. 

She says: “I have a busy year ahead but can’t wait to see where my rugby and Olympic Weight lifting training takes me in 2023.” 

“Emily is a fantastic young role model for all our didi stars!” say Mike and Lucy. 

“We are delighted to have her as part of our didi rugby coaching team.”

READ MORE: Free sessions and children’s book reading for nurseries and pre-schools

READ MORE: Find a didi rugby class near you

WATCH: See Mike Barnett explain why the didi rugby franchise model is so successful…

Find a didi rugby class in Harrogate at St John Fisher Catholic High School

Find a didi rugby class in Harrogate at St John Fisher Catholic High School

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes in Harrogate at St John Fisher Catholic High School. 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: Harrogate, Pannal, Beckwithshaw, Knaresborough, Birstwith, Follifoot, Ripley, Killinghall, Leathley and Farnham.

St John Fisher Catholic High School

Hookstone Drive
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG2 8PT

click here to find out more about didi rugby Harrogate

Contact Lucy Barnett – 07814 873132  
lucy.barnett@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

Book a Class

Loading...

Find a didi rugby class in Killinghall at Mud & Puddles

Find a didi rugby class in Killinghall at Mud & Puddles

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes in Killinghall at Mud & Puddles. 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.

Mud & Puddles

Lawn House
Ripon Road
Killinghall
West Yorkshire
HG3 2AY

click here to find out more about didi rugby Harrogate

Contact Lucy Barnett – 07814 873132  
lucy.barnett@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

Book a Class

Loading...

Find a didi rugby class in Wetherby at Wetherby High School

Find a didi rugby class in Wetherby at Wetherby High School

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes in Wetherby at Wetherby High School. 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: Harewood, East Keswick, Collingham, Boston Spa, Bramham, Tockwith, Tadcaster, Wighill, Spofforth and Bardsey.

Wetherby High School

Hallfield Lane
Wetherby
West Yorkshire
LS22 6JS

click here to find out more about didi rugby Harrogate

Contact Lucy Barnett – 07814 873132  
lucy.barnett@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

Book a Class

Loading...

Find a didi rugby class in Ilkley at Ben Rhydding Primary School

Find a didi rugby class in Ilkley at Ben Rhydding Primary School

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes in Ilkley at Ben Rhydding Primary School. 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: Ilkley, Burley, Menston, Asquith, Addingham, Middleton, Otley, Denton, Baildon.

Ben Rhydding Primary School

Bolling Road
Ben Rhydding
Ilkley
West Yorkshire
LS29 8QH

click here to find out more about didi rugby Harrogate

Contact Lucy Barnett – 07814 873132  
lucy.barnett@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

Book a Class

Loading...

Find a didi rugby class in Leeds at Lawnswood YMCA

Find a didi rugby class in Leeds at Lawnswood YMCA

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes in Leeds at Lawnswood YMCA. 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: Adel, Lawnswood, Weetwood, Horsforth, Bramhope, Cookridge, Meanwood, Alwoodly, Headingly, Rawdon.

Lawnswood YMCA

Otley Road
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS16 6HQ

click here to find out more about didi rugby Harrogate

Contact Lucy Barnett – 07814 873132  
lucy.barnett@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

Book a Class

Loading...

Find a didi rugby class in Harrogate at Rossett Sports Centre

Find a didi rugby class in Harrogate at Rossett Sports Centre

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes in Harrogate at Rossett Sports Centre. 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: Harrogate, Pannal, Beckwithshaw, Knaresborough, Birstwith, Follifoot, Hampsthwaite, Ripley, Leathley, Killinghall and Farnham.

Rossett Sports Centre

Pannal Ash Road
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG2 9JP

click here to find out more about didi rugby Harrogate

Contact Lucy Barnett – 07814 873132  
lucy.barnett@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

Book a Class

Loading...

Find a didi rugby class in Harrogate at Harrogate Grammar School

Find a didi rugby class in Harrogate at Harrogate Grammar School

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes in Harrogate at Harrogate Grammar School. 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: Harrogate, Pannal, Beckwithshaw, Knaresborough, Birstwith, Follifoot, Hampsthwaite, Ripley, Leathley, Killinghall and Farnham.

Harrogate Grammar School

Arthurs Ave
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG2 0DZ

click here to find out more about didi rugby Harrogate

Contact Lucy Barnett – 07814 873132  
lucy.barnett@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

Book a Class

Loading...

Extra sessions laid on for didi rugby Harrogate launch

Mike Barnett wearing a didi rugby hoodie

The numbers of excited children and parents attending the launch of didi rugby Harrogate on Saturday 19 September have gone through the roof!

With all scheduled classes across the three didi age groups filling up at a tremendous pace, franchise owners Mike and Lucy Barnett have added another class for their minis (18 months to 3 years old).

And they have promised that if numbers continue to rise, they will not see anyone left out of what promises to be a fantastic day at Harrogate RUFC.

“The response we have received so far has been overwhelming,” said Lucy. “We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone and introducing lots of children to our fun didi rugby sessions.

“Over 40 children have already booked in to the three taster sessions we are offering and, due to the high demand, we have now added another one too.

“If this becomes full, we want to assure parents and children that we will add further classes if necessary. We don’t want anyone to miss out.

“Our aim at didi rugby Harrogate is to get children active as young as possible to aid their development, confidence and skills so we are thrilled that so many little ones want to come along and see what we have on offer.

“It’s going to be a fantastic fun day and we can’t wait to get started on our new didi journey.”

The launch will be didi rugby’s second new area launch since the end of blanket lockdown restrictions. didi rugby Suffolk opened its doors in Leiston last month.

Barnett family

The Harrogate team of Lucy, Mike, Maisie and Martha Barnett will make it very much a family affair with a team that is dedicated to helping children have fun, stay active and grow in confidence.

Mike and Lucy have an extensive background in both rugby and teaching and their popularity in the local area is proving obvious with the amount of interest shown in their launch day and future classes with didi rugby Harrogate.

didi rugby CEO and owner Vicky Macqueen says she is delighted not only for Mike and Lucy and all of the hard work they have put in so far, but also because of the response to didi classes returning across the country since the end of lockdown.

“I am confident that Mike, Lucy and Maisie will do an amazing job spreading the values of didi rugby right across the area in and around Harrogate,” says Vicky.

“They have worked incredibly hard to let people know about didi rugby and the response has been absolutely wonderful from the public.

“We have seen parents flocking back to didi rugby in recent weeks with one of our areas doubling their membership in just six weeks. Parents are keen to get their children active and have responded to our safely-delivered, outdoor classes in numbers.

“We are all really chuffed that didi rugby – and our newly-launched didi cricket sessions too – are thriving after such a tumultuous period in everyone’s lives.

“I cannot thank our children, parents, carers and supporters enough for continuing the spread of didi sports around the UK and beyond.”

  • Keep up to date with the latest news from didi rugby Harrogate by following their Facebook page.

Read more: Read more about the Barnett family and why they are determined to make didi rugby Harrogate such a big success

Find a didi rugby class in Harrogate at Harrogate RUFC

Find a didi rugby class in Harrogate at Harrogate RUFC

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes in Harrogate at Harrogate RUFC. 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: Harrogate, Pannal, Beckwithshaw, Knaresborough, Birstwith, Follifoot, Hampsthwaite, Ripley, Leathley, Killinghall and Farnham.

Harrogate RUFC

Rudding Lane
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG3 1DQ

click here to find out more about didi rugby Harrogate

Contact Lucy Barnett – 07814 873132  
lucy.barnett@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

Book a Class

Loading...