‘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…

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?

 

Aldermaston RFC in Reading: find a didi rugby class here

didi rugby Reading franchise owners Donna Clark and Craig Hunter coach at Aldermaston RFC

Aldermaston RFC in Reading: find a didi rugby class here

Find a didi rugby class: Aldermaston RFC in Reading is hosting didi rugby classes so you can introduce your child to rugby at a young age. 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.

If you are looking to find a didi rugby class in the area, these sessions would be ideal for parents and children who live in: Aldermaston, Tadley, Baughurst, Bradfield, Burghfield Common, Burghfield, Riseley, Silchester, Mortimer, Swallowfield. They would also be ideal for anyone living in: Theale, Woolhampton, Bramley, Hannington, Pamber End, Pamber Heath and Brimpton Common.

The franchise owners of didi rugby Reading are Craig Hunter and Donna Clark.

“The support from didi was spot on in the build up to launch and the infrastructure was right too. So we took the plunge and went for it full-time and we are confident we will continue to grow with the help of Vicky and team didi behind us,” said Craig.

“Our links with local clubs are important and we are trying to help those without big mini sections so they can use their link with us as stepping stone to build their Under-6s.”

Donna added: “It has been good fun spreading the values of didi rugby through classes, clubs and schools too. Vicky and her team are always on the end of the phone if we need them.”

Aldermaston RFC

Recreational Society
AWE Aldermaston
Reading
Berkshire
RG7 4PR

Ran by didi Rugby Reading
Contact Craig Hunter – 07798 844202
craig.hunter@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

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