England captain Sarah Hunter speaks at didi rugby annual conference

Sarah Hunter (left) stands with Vicky Macqueen and Italy international Sara Tounesi

England captain and didi rugby ambassador Sarah Hunter spoke passionately about her career and the personal drive she has needed throughout it when she addressed franchise owners at didi rugby’s annual conference in Hinckley.

The 34-year-old, who has an incredible 119 caps ahead of this year’s upcoming Women’s Six Nations has been a didi rugby ambassador since the early days of the business.

She played the early days of her career with didi rugby CEO and founder Vicky Macqueen when Vicky was coming to the end of her time as an international.

The Loughborough Lightning No.8 said she was happy to break away from her preparations for the Six Nations to address franchise owners from across the UK and give them some ideas of what it takes to get to the top – and try to stay there.

“We spoke about my experience in rugby and how I have managed to achieve a few things but we also spoke about the setbacks I have been through and how sport and business often correlate on that front,” said Sarah.

Ambassador

“It is often a rollercoaster ride overcoming setbacks and then setting goals to remind yourself what you want to achieve and how you are going to get it back on track.

“I feel passionately about didi rugby. It was an easy decision to get involved with it after I had heard Vicky’s ideas.

“When I saw her vision, that sold it for me. Not just for the fundamentals around getting young children to be fit and active – but also to help them interact with other kids. That bigger picture is very important for young children.

“I love rugby and have played since I was nine but I didn’t have that opportunity to play it at a young age. For young children to learn all these skills at didi rugby and catch the rugby bug is important.

World Cup winner

World Cup winner Sarah was awarded an MBE in 2016 for her services to the game and also became World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year in the same year.

More recently, she led England to a Six Nations Grand Slam last season, her latest medal in a glittering career.

“It was amazing that Sarah found the time to come and speak to our didi franchise holders at such a busy time for her,” said Vicky.

“She has always been a fantastic advocate of what we are trying to do and we are very grateful for her continued support not only to our classes but also our franchise holders and coaches who are implementing the vision we have to get children active while having fun and growing in confidence.”

  • Howzat? didi cricket classes are launching this month

NEWS: Howzat? didi cricket classes are being launched in January

Two excited children help a didi cricket coach put up cricket stumps in a hall

didi cricket classes are being launched in January with a whole new set of skills available for your child to learn in a fun and relaxed environment.

Following the success of didi rugby over the past 18 months, cricket classes will be lovingly taught against a backdrop of similar goals and values.

The first didi cricket classes are being launched at Stoke Orchard Community Centre, Gloucestershire on 26 January and will be run by an already popular figure in the area, coach Keith Smith.

Fun, games and activities will have a cricket theme for children aged from 18 months to 6 years and involve bats, balls and stumps that are especially made for playing with kids.

Get your kids active, improve their hand/eye coordination, social skills and self confidence in a friendly environment with fully qualified coaches. Held in a great indoor location with a cafe and shop.

If you would like to find out more information or book your child in for a FREE taster session at the Stoke Orchard launch, contact head coach keith.smith@didirugby.com.

Contact info@didirugby.com for national information on didi cricket.

Watch out for more didi cricket venues popping up during 2020 and with limited space available at new sessions, if you would like to secure your child’s place at a class in your area, please email us to register your interest.

‘Running around after didi kids is hilarious and fulfilling’ – didi rugby Reading coach

Two didi female coaches speak to the camera at Reading RFC

didi rugby Reading coaching duo Donna Clark and Clare Swadling explain why their classes are both ‘hilarious’ and ‘very fulfilling’.

Along, with Craig Hunter, the duo have helped build an incredible success story in the Berkshire and Reading area not only for their franchise but for the hundreds of local children at schools and classes in the area.

Those kids are now benefitting from the values that didi rugby promotes and enjoying being active, having fun and gaining in confidence.

Speaking at one of their partner clubs, Reading RFC, ahead of a series of didi rugby sessions, Clare said: “We just want to make sure that the children have a chance to play rugby.

“Running around after small people is hilarious and very fulfilling. They are brilliant to be around and they just love you during the classes. It’s like having a group of puppy dogs! For those 40 minutes, they just idolise you.

50 Classes operating

 

“I love it here and the atmosphere is so different from where I have come from. I think we have 50 classes operating now and we have only been going for 18 months.”

Donna added: “The spread of didi rugby down here has been huge. We have exploded into schools as well and we are offering session every day of the week.

“Those who are too old for didi rugby are moving onto tag rugby and we love that continuity for children to keep them playing the sport.

“We are also involved with special needs schools and have links with the Berkshire Banshees wheelchair team. We try and support all sorts of areas. There’s loads going on.

Reading rugby

 

“We have an excellent relationship here with Reading RFC but it’s one big family and one big network to attract children and their parents into the sport.

“From speaking to the parents, the children love it. They wake up and say: ‘Is it didi rugby today?’.

“There is a real rapport, they enjoy it and that is what makes them want to come back week after week.”

VIDEO: didi rugby Reading co-owners Donna and Craig explain why the didi rugby franchise model has worked for them…

Find a didi rugby class in Reading at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre

Find a didi rugby class in Reading at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre in Earley, Reading. 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.

Loddon Valley Leisure Centre

Rushey Way
Earley
Reading
Berkshire
RG6 4GD

Ran by didi rugby Reading

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

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didi rugby founder Vicky Macqueen becomes an RFU Level 4 coach

didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen smiling after becoming an RFU Level 4 coach

The founder and CEO of didi rugby, Vicky Macqueen, has become an RFU Level 4 coach after 18 months of study.

It means she is one of less than 10 women in the country to hold such a prestigious coaching position, which is designed and delivered by the game’s governing body, the Rugby Union.

She joins fellow Level 4-holders Wasps director of rugby Giselle Mather and soon-to-be Exeter Chiefs Women’s head coach, Susie Appleby, who is also a didi rugby franchise holder.

Although Vicky said she would like to get involved in similar high-level coaching one day, she said her 100% commitment at the moment was to the continued growth of didi rugby.

And she believes that large parts of the information she learned studying to become an RFU Level 4 coach will help grow and improve didi rugby in the future.

“It has been an amazing process with so much to learn and I feel really privileged to have completed it,” said Vicky. “It has taught me a lot in terms of rugby leadership but for didi rugby too because there is lots of coaching, management and psychology involved.

Level 4 coach

“There are so many aspects to achieving Level 4 and it has been a great educational experience for me.

“There is a massive overlap between business and sport and this has bought everything together for me to help enhance didi rugby.

“The growth of didi means I need to be 100% involved in the business and the mentoring of franchise holders at the minute. But I love coaching and being out on the field so taking on a role with a club in the future in definitely in my sights…if I get the time!

Vicky was approached by the RFU to join their coach educator team a couple of years ago and that is another string to her bow in terms of helping and mentoring coaches of the future.

RFU Framework

She was also inviting to consult on the RFU’s Early Years Framework – released earlier in 2019 – to help clubs focus in on the best ways to develop children’s interest in the sport from a very young age.

didi rugby plays an active part in helping clubs implement that framework and has developed formal links with clubs in England to create a natural pathway for children to keep playing the game when they graduate from didi rugby age groups.

With Vicky designing all of the programmes and care at didi rugby, parents can be assured that their kids are in very good hands and are being taught all of the right things if they come to a didi rugby class.

Book your child in for a free taster session at a didi rugby class around the country: https://didirugby.com/find-a-class/

WATCH MORE: didi rugby’s Vicky Macqueen was thrilled to be invited to consult on the RFU’s Early Years Framework programme

Find a didi rugby class in Leicester at Old Newtonians Rugby Football Club

Find a didi rugby class in Leicester at Old Newtonians Rugby Football Club

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Old Newtonians Rugby Football Club in Leicester Forest East.

There are three age groups: 18 months to three years, three to four and four to six.

Our programme 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 people living in Leicester Forest East, Braunstone Town, Desford, Thurlaston, Earl Shilton, Kirby Muxloe and Thorpe Astley.

Old Newtonians Rugby Football Club

Hinckley Road
Leicester
LE3 3PJ

Ran by didi rugby Midlands
Contact Vicky Macqueen – 07812 082375
vicky@didirugby.com

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Please vote and help Rock Star Academy win top Amazon award

Matt Cropp describes Rock Star Academy to Amazon TV

There are only a few days left to help didi rugby director Matt Cropp win the Amazon Small Business of the Year Award.

And we are not afraid to admit that, here at didi rugby HQ, we need your help please!

As well as running didi rugby with Vicky Macqueen and other members of the didi HQ team, Matt owns Rock Star Academy – a business selling musical instruments and teaching people how to play through an online music school.

Many of those products are used by children and many of the values Matt’s business share, sit perfectly alongside the ones promoted by didi rugby.

Instruments encourage kids to come away from computerised devices and help them develop a hobby that tests their brains, physical agility and dexterity, to increase their enjoyment and confidence.

Matt is hugely passionate about what he does, encouraging people to play instruments and strongly advocating ethically-sourced wood for his products. In fact, all of Rock Star Academy’s products are built from wood that is replaced at source.

Amazon Award

Rock Star Academy has been a huge part of his life for a decade and winning the Amazon Award would be a huge achievement.

“Very much like watching children enjoy didi rugby, it’s great to see youngsters having fun and enjoying learning with a musical instrument,” said Matt. “Watching them smile as they progress is lovely to see and so is the confidence they build while doing so.

“You may not play a musical instrument, but I guarantee you have been moved or motivated by someone sharing the music they created,” said Matt.

“If you do play a musical instrument you will know the joy it creates when others hear you play and the hypnotic relaxation it provides when you are solely focused on playing it.

Rock Star Academy

“Music evokes a primeval response in all of us and I believe it’s fundamental to the existence of human culture.

Building a business that contributes to human culture with a positive impact on the environment is an absolute passion of mine.

didi rugby founder Vicky Macqueen said: “Matt is such a passionate person, always involving himself in community projects and giving back to support others so it would be great if you could take a minute out of your time to vote for him.”

Rock Star Academy has been shortlisted for the Amazon Small Business of the Year Award. To help lead Matt to success, log on to the link below and vote.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/small-business-of-the-year

Watch more: VIDEO – Matt Cropp describes how he set up didi rugby with Vicky Macqueen.

New didi rugby classes starting at Old Newtonians RFC very soon

A collage of didi rugby pictures featuring the Old Newtonians logo in the top left hand corner

A collage of didi rugby pictures featuring the Old Newtonians logo in the top left hand corner

New didi rugby classes will be starting at Old Newtonians RFC in Leicester Forest East soon.

Steve Carter will be driving the sessions at what is a real family club whose junior section has grown at a rapid rate in recent years.

Old Newts (as they are better known locally) have an under-7s and 8s tag set-up, a thriving under-11s and a good micros set-up too.

“There has been no junior rugby at Old Newts for 25 years and we are growing our academy for 4 to 11-year-olds all the time,” said Steve.

“We have had a lot of young children starting with us at the age of four or five and many of them have younger brothers or sisters with them so we wanted to get something set up so they could play too.

Feeding the academy

 

“didi rugby is perfect for that and it will hopefully go on to give us a pipeline of children feeding the academy.

“We are all looking forward to getting didi classes up and running. We are a real family club with a family feel to it and there is a great atmosphere here with lots of members of various families being involved in the club from seniors down to juniors.”

Didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen said: “Steve is very keen to get things up and running at Old Newtonians and we are delighted to have such a lovely club involved in hosting didi rugby classes.

“There is a really good family feel about Old Newts and I am sure it will be an ideal place to host didi classes here in Leicestershire.”

Details about when they new classes will be held will be announced soon.

Watch more: VIDEO – Super Tommy Oliver is thriving at didi rugby despite suffering from Hypermobility Syndrome

Read more: Daughter Charlotte’s love of rugby helps didi rugby Nottingham get ready for launch

Tommy is thriving at didi rugby despite Hypermobility Syndrome

Suffering from Hypermobility Syndrome Tommy Oliver laughs with his friends at a didi rugby class

It is no wonder mum Sally Nash is beaming when she tells the tale of her son Tommy Oliver’s battle with Hypermobilty Syndrome.

The five-year-old from Bramley near Basingstoke has a condition where bodily joints easily move beyond the expected range.

As a result, it can be hard to control those joints and they can dislocate easily. Hypermobility Syndrome can also lead to pain, chronic fatigue and a host of other challenges at times too.

With that in mind, it was with trepidation that Sally first took Tommy to a didi rugby class some 18 months ago.

Now, he is thriving. And Sally is grateful for everything that has happened to her lad during his time in a didi rugby shirt.

“When he first started, he couldn’t walk in a straight line, let alone run in one and,” said Sally. “Now, with the help of his didi coaches, he is fully active and runs around taking part in everything. He absolutely loves it.

“His confidence has grown in a massive way. Previously, he would hardly ever leave my side but now we have friends round to play and that is great to see.

“He loves his coaches and calls them didi Donna and didi Caitlin. Tommy often talks about them and we sometimes use them to help change his behaviour at home! We say if he doesn’t improve, we are going to tell didi Donna! It works too.

“He sulks if we have to miss a session for whatever reason. He loves it. It is fun and he is often upset when they are finished.

Hypermobilty Syndrome

 

“The free taster sessions helped us get him into it. At many clubs, you have to book a term in advance but didi were really flexible and let us see how he got on and coped with the physical demands of the classes.

“They have been really supportive and if he has a bad day with his Hypermobility Syndrome, they alter what they do to make sure he doesn’t feel left out.

“He has come on so much with his motor skills through didi it is amazing. He loves it and we love it too.

One of his coaches is franchise co-owner, Donna Clark.

“Tommy always comes bounding up to us and into class with a big smile on his face and he is clearly thriving. His enthusiasm and giggle is infectious and if I could bottle it, I would,” said Donna.

“There is nothing he won’t try and through his determination and enjoyment of didi rugby, we have seen a huge improvement in his balance and coordination. There really is no stopping him. He is an absolute joy to coach.”

Read more: Tommy was in the news when he first started didi rugby too

Watch: VIDEO – Italy’s didi rugby pioneers from Colorno visit HQ

What is didi rugby?

 

Find a didi rugby class in Leicestershire at Lutterworth Sports Centre

Find a didi rugby class in Leicestershire at Lutterworth Sports Centre

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Lutterworth Sports Centre in Lutterworth. 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 the following places: Lutterworth, Dunton Bassett, Broughton Astley, Bitteswell, Walcote, Cotesbach, Shawell, Ullesthorpe and North Kilworth.

Lutterworth Sports Centre

Coventry Rd
Lutterworth
Leicestershire
LE17 4RB

Ran by didi Rugby South West Leicestershire
Contact Dom Osborn – 07974 948093
dom.osborn@didirugby.com

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