The rugby-mad Gully family are launching didi rugby Bristol

Two ladies in a red top and a man wearing a red top and blue cap smile

A refreshing new outlook on children’s rugby will be launching in Bristol next month.

A family of complete rugby fanatics, Simon, Rochelle and Tyler Gully, will be bringing didi rugby to the area!

didi rugby Bristol will be launching with an exciting launch event on Friday 9 September! All visitors will be eligible for a free taster session. The event will be kicking off at Clifton Rugby Club from 9:00am-12:00Noon. The action will then be moving over to Pomphrey Hill Pavilion from 1pm.

Rochelle and Simon Gully stood on a large rock at the beach.
Simon and Rochelle Gully – didi rugby Bristol leads.

The Gully family

All visitors will be guaranteed lots of fun delivered by a Gully family who cannot wait to bet started.

Rochelle was introduced to rugby by her husband, who she watched play the game for two decades.

“It was inevitable that the kids would love it too,” she says. “I spend most Sundays in wellies and a raincoat being a supportive rugby mum.

“I can honestly say that being part of the rugby community has given our family a physical and emotional outlet, a shared love and a fantastic social circle. We have made life-long friends thanks to rugby.

Sports

“When my son started rugby he was overwhelmed and a little scared. If there had been a didi rugby back then, we could have introduced it to him earlier and made the transition to outdoor sports easier.

“I am really looking forward to supporting a new generation of rugby dads – and mums like me – to inspire their little ones to be brave and have fun.

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

Simon, was fortunate enough to grow up in a family who loved a variety of sports but he soon decided that rugby was his favourite.

“It combined all of my favourite elements of sport,” Simon said. “Skill, physicality, speed, endurance, control and teamwork.”

Simon’s professional career

Simon has played rugby for over 40 years and was lucky enough to play the game professionally too.

“I have bestowed my rugby passion to my children and have been able to support them in their rugby journey, as both their coach and biggest supporter, Simon said.

“I have played and loved rugby all my life. It is my passion, my challenge, my happy place! I have been coached by some of the best over the years and the respect I have for them is immense.

“I can’t wait to use all I have learnt to inspire the younger generation to love the game as much as I do.”

Local club

The youngest member of didi Bristol, Tyler Gully, was introduced to rugby by her dad, Simon. She started playing for her local club when she was 11.

“I am thrilled at the thought of coaching kids how to play the sport that inspires me and others across the globe,” Tyler said. “Becoming a didi coach will enable me to encourage young children to get active, develop new skills and, most importantly, have fun and make new friends.”

The Gully family are all looking forward to meeting new didi rugby superstars on 9 September!

WATCH: Leicester Tigers and didi rugby launch exciting new partnership.

didi rugby Newcastle launch party

Sophie and Hattie Elliott-Edwards wearing red didi rugby kit, holding their son, Oliver.

Bringing an exciting approach of children’s rugby to the North-East are rugby supporters, Hattie and Sophie Elliott-Edwards.

Our latest didi rugby franchise, didi rugby Newcastle, is opening with a launch party on 3rd September 2022.

The local area is home to a Premiership Rugby club in Newcastle Falcons and the sport has grown hugely in popularity there over the past decade.

didi rugby Newcastle leads

“Our son is our inspiration for becoming franchisees,” Hattie and Sophie said. “It is an opportunity we want for our son, who is a big driving force for us in bringing didi rugby to the North East.”

Hattie has previously played rugby with Lichfield Ladies RFC; starting off in the under 16’s and working her way up to the senior teams.

She had opportunities to play at regional and Premiership level, alongside some of the greatest players in women’s rugby. didi CEO, Vicky Macqueen and ambassadors Heather Fisher and Sarah Hunter.

Sophie and Hattie Elliott-Edwards wearing red didi rugby kit, holding their son, Oliver.
Sophie and Hattie Elliott-Edwards, didi rugby Newcastle leads.

During her time at Lichfield, Hattie coached under 18s and under 16s at the club at regional level.

“I’ve gained so much from rugby and truly believe in the holistic benefits the sport can provide,” Hattie said. “I put so much of my successes in life down to the mind-set, social skills, teamwork and self-belief learned when playing and coaching rugby.”

The other half of didi rugby Newcastle, Sophie, is a teaching assistant specialising in early years and Special Educational Needs (SEN) education. She will bring with her the knowledge and facilitation of the social and educational aspects that didi rugby incorporate, including relevant key stages for early years.

“I believe in the inclusivity sport and all the positives it provides for young children,” Sophie says. “This includes increasing physical development, teamwork, building social skills and, most importantly, having fun.”

Get involved

Hattie and Sophie said: “We are looking forward to this new chapter and encouraging little ones to get active and to develop a love of physical activity from an early age.

“For our first venue, we have teamed up with Novocastrains RFC. They are a very proactive, friendly club and we are very excited to join forces with such a great club.

“Novocastrians already have a great junior section that any aspiring didi stars could progress to, after the age of six.”

Click here to book your child’s free taster session. Be quick! Spaces are limited.

didi rugby Newcastle Facebook.

READ MORE: Exciting new launch of didi rugby Bristol.

WATCH: Coach Jake shares his journey so far.

 

 

Find a didi rugby class in Bristol

About didi rugby Bristol

Contact –  Simon on 07870 800294    facebook for didi rugby Bristol
roxy.gully@didirugby.com

Simon, Rochelle and Tyler Gully – didi rugby Bristol

About Simon, Rochelle and Tyler Gully

 

Simon Gully

I was fortunate to grow up in a family who loved a variety of sports but I decided that rugby was my favourite. It combined all my favourite elements of sport, skill, physicality, speed, endurance, control and teamwork.

I have been fortunate enough to have played rugby for over 40 years and in that time have played professionally, internationally and had the honour of wearing an England shirt.

I have bestowed my rugby passion to my children and have been able to support them in their rugby journey, as their coach and biggest supporter.

Why didi rugby?

I have played and loved rugby all my life. It is my passion, my challenge, my happy place! I have been coached by some of the best over the years and the respect I have for them is immense.

I can’t wait to use all I have learnt to inspire the younger generation to love the game as much as I do.

 

Rochelle Gully

I was introduced to rugby by my husband and have enjoyed watching him play for two decades.

It was inevitable that the kids would love it too, so I have spent most Sundays in wellies and a raincoat being a supportive rugby mum.

I can honestly say that being part of the rugby community has given our family a physical and emotional outlet, a shared love and a fantastic social circle.

We have made life-long friends thanks to rugby.

Why didi rugby?

When my son started rugby he was overwhelmed and a little scared. If there had been a didi rugby back then, we could have introduced it to him earlier and made the transition to outdoor sports a little easier.

I am really looking forward to supporting a new generation of rugby parents to inspire their little ones to be brave and have fun.

 

Tyler Gully

I was introduced to rugby by my dad and I started playing for my local club when I was 11 years old.

Initially, I was a little put off by the physicality of the game but once I learnt the skills, there was no stopping me.

My favourite position is flanker because I love being in the thick of the game and getting my hands on the ball at every opportunity.

I play for a grass roots rugby club which has an emphasis on developing skills and sportsmanship, thanks to this I have achieved the following:

Players’ player 2017

Coaches’ player 2018

Most improved player 2019

Gloucestershire County U13s

Gloucestershire County U15s

Why didi rugby?

I am thrilled at the thought of coaching kids how to play a sport that inspires me and others across the globe. Becoming a didi rugby coach will enable me to encourage young children to get active, develop new skills and most of all to have fun and make new friends.

Book a class in the didi rugby Bristol

Find a didi rugby class in Newcastle and North East

About didi rugby Newcastle and North East

Contact –  07837 111239   facebook for didi rugby Newcastle and North East
sophie.elliottedwards@didirugby.com

Hattie and Sophie Elliott-Edwards – didi rugby Newcastle and North East

About Hattie and Sophie

Hattie has previously played Rugby with Lichfield Ladies RFC – starting off in the Under-16s and working her way up to the senior teams too. She had opportunities to play at regional and Premiership level, alongside some of the greats in women’s rugby including didi rugby founder Vicky Macqueen and didi ambassadors: Heather Fisher and Sarah Hunter.

During her time at Lichfield, Hattie has coached Under-18s/Under-16s at the club and at regional level too.

Hattie has gained so much from rugby and truly believes in the holistic benefits participation in the sport can provide. She attributes much of her successes in life to the mind-set, social skills, team working, and self-belief learned in playing and coaching rugby.

Hattie now lives in Northumberland and works for the NHS at The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle – where personal drive, team-working, personal and team leadership are essential characteristics; as well as bringing a little joy into people’s journeys through the healthcare system.

“It was a gathering with long-time rugby friends that brought up discussions with Vicky Macqueen about becoming a coach and franchisee,” says Hattie. “Now we are coming back into the rugby set-up and are keen to contribute to opening-up more opportunities for little ones to have fun, learn and get them active.

“We are also keen to develop the pathway into club rugby and the rugby community as a whole.”

Sophie is a teaching assistant specialising in Early Years and SEN education. She brings with her the knowledge and facilitation of the social and educational aspects that didi rugby incorporate (including relevant Key stages for Early Years).

Sophie is from the North East (originally a ‘sand dancer’ – as those from South Shields are known by in the North East) and has spent sometime in the West Midlands before returning to Northumberland, bringing Hattie with her.

Whilst Sophie has been introduced to Rugby by Hattie, it is through her work that she has seen how much sport impacts children in a positive fashion.

Sophie believes in the inclusivity of sport and in all the positives it gives to young children such as: increasing physical development, cognitive skills, teamwork, building social skills and promoting friendship, and most importantly having fun.

“Our son is our inspiration for starting a didi franchise,” says Sophie. “It is an opportunity we want for our son, who is a big driving force for us in bringing didi rugby to the North East.

“We are looking forward to this new chapter and encouraging little ones to get active and encourage a love of physical activity from an early age. We love the North East, and we are really excited to bring the didi rugby set-up and developing sport-based opportunities here.

“For our first venue we have teamed up with Novocastrians RFC. They are a very proactive, family friendly club (who have produced some amazing players from their set-up; including Sarah Hunter – one of the didi rugby ambassadors) and we are very excited to join forces with such a great club.

“Novocastrians already have a great junior section that any aspiring didi stars could progress into, after the age of 6 years old.

Book a class in the didi rugby Newcastle and North East

didi rugby Nottingham Charlotte is flying high

Players from various rugby teams sit together in the stand at Burton Rugby Club.

Young didi rugby Nottingham coach Charlotte Chaston has been putting her rugby skills up against some of the best young players in the country.

Charlotte, daughter of didi rugby Nottingham lead, Marie, played for Loughborough Lightning in the National Centre of Excellence festival at Burton.

Players from all sides at the Burton Centre of Excellence
Players from all sides at the Burton Centre of Excellence

She joined players from Wasps, Saracens, Bristol, Exeter, Worcester, Sale, Yorkshire, Hartpury, Harlequins and Northumberland in a memorable day of rugby which showcased some serious skills.

Climbing the ladder to success

From being a Nottingham Moderns RFC Junior player through to one of the founding players of their girl’s section, the South Notts Sapphires, Charlotte’s love and passion for the sport is continuously taking her further and further.

She has played rugby since the age of eight. She Started with the boys’ team and later helped mum Marie set up the girl’s section at her club, the South Notts Sapphires.

didi rugby Nottingham

“She is now keen to help with coaching some of the younger girls,” Marie said. “She loves working with the young children at didi rugby and it has really helped to grow her confidence.”

Charlotte Chaston
Charlotte Chaston in didi rugby kit

“I am so proud of her. She has worked so hard to get where she is. Maybe one day we will see her pulling on an England shirt instead of a didi rugby one!”

Charlotte has now just turned 16 and is playing for Loughborough Lightning Under-18s Centre of Excellence.

Launching in 2019, didi rugby Nottingham hosts classes for children aged 18 months to 6 years.

Find out more by visiting https://didirugby.com/find-a-class.

READ MORE: https://didirugby.com/didi-rugby-launch-exciting-partnership-leicester-tigers

WATCH:  What is didi rugby…?

 

High-flying Jaz is on the crest of a wave

Jasmine Joyce, posing with thumbs up, wearing red didi rugby hoodie.

New didi rugby South Wales owner Jasmine Joyce is not only enjoying packed didi classes and happy children’s faces, her own playing career is also flying high too. 

The Welsh Rugby Union has awarded 12 of the national women’s team a 12-month contract for the first time in history. It was no surprise to anyone at didi HQ when Jaz was in that selected group. 

This contract will give Jaz and her 11 other team mates more time to dedicate to their playing careers.

Jasmine Joyce

Passing on her congratulations to her Welsh team mates on social media, Jaz said: “This is such an exciting year for women’s rugby in Wales.”

It has been a long journey to the top for didi rugby South Wales’ lead coach Jasmine, who began playing rugby at the age of seven and ignored those who thought she was “too small” for the sport.

At the age of 12, she started playing for Haverfordwest RFC and joined the ladies youth team. In 2015, she was selected to play for the Wales women’s national rugby sevens team for the Dubai Sevens tournament. 

Since then, she has gained 20 caps for Wales having made her debut in 2017 against Scotland. She has also played for Wales Sevens on numerous occasions and represented Team GB at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Jasmine was also ranked 3rd in the Guardian’s list of Players of the Year in 2021, described as ‘a trailblazer for women’s rugby, in every sense’. 

didi rugby South Wales takeover

Having taking over the leadership of didi rugby South Wales from fellow international Robyn Lock at the end of last year, Jaz now drives 16 classes a week in five different South Wales locations.

didi rugby South Wales classes are flying high!

To get your children involved in didi rugby classes, visit our ‘Find a class’ page.

Read more:  Exciting new start for didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley.

WATCH…

 

Find a didi rugby class in Devon

About didi rugby Devon

Contact – 01837 83748   facebook for didi rugby Devon
dididevon@didirugby.com

Paul Tearle and Gemma Carnegie  – didi rugby Devon

About Paul Tearle

I started playing rugby as an Under-11 inspired by my peers when I started secondary school.

Since then, I have been a two-club man all my life and been part of Crediton RFC and Sheffield Tigers RFC at various times in my life.

Now back at Crediton, I’m threatening to put my boots back on at some point!

I work as the PE teacher in the local comprehensive school and we have built fantastic links between the school and the club, sharing facilities, coaches and creating a pathway for those that enjoy the game at school and want to develop further at the club.

As a teacher, I was certainly ‘Jack of all trades’ rather than a specialist, having had national level experience in both athletics and volleyball, as well as local level basketball and football as I grew up. Those sports were always threaded between playing rugby throughout my life.

In addition to teaching, I have 20 years of experience working at a successful holiday camp for children aged 3-15 too.

Over the last 10 years, I have run that business and was delighted when it was rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in our last inspection.

Having met many inspirational people through the sport of rugby, the opportunity to be involved with didi rugby materialised through meeting people with a shared passion for the game and its values.

Integrating my background of teaching and business and love for the game made it an easy decision to take on a didi franchise in the hot-bed of rugby here in Devon.

With two primary-aged children of my  own, I am familiar with the challenges of parenting and getting involved with didi will offer many parents locally another outlet for children to develop and flourish in a safe and positive environment.

About Gemma Carnegie

Degree from University of Brighton
Head of PE at a secondary school.
Teaching for 20 years
Rugby player for 20 years… fly-half,
Favourite player – Johnny Wilkinson!
Fantastic role model for women’s and girls rugby.
Hobbies include anything active, hiking, climbing.
Strong advocate of England Rugby’s Core Values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship.

Book a class in the didi rugby Devon

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. 

WATCH: Manu Tuilagi joins the didi rugby family as an ambassador.

Find a didi rugby class in Blackburn at Pleckgate High School Dance Studio

Find a didi rugby class in Blackburn at Pleckgate High School Dance Studio

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Pleckgate High School Dance Studio in Blackburn. 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: Mellor, Lammack, Langho, Beardwood, Ramsgreave & Wilpshire, Roe Lee, Pleasington, Samlesbury, Brownhill

Pleckgate High School Dance Studio

Pleckgate Road
Blackburn
Lancashire
BB1 8QA

Ran by didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley
Contact John O’Ryan – 07905 787160  
john.oryan@didirugby.com

A rugby player kicks a rugby ball off the ground

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Find a didi rugby class in Blackburn and Ribble Valley

About didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

Contact – 07905 787160   facebook for didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley
john.oryan@didirugby.com

John O’Ryan – didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley

Family trio John, James and Sam bring several lifetimes of playing, coaching and professional experience to providing fun activities for our smallest friends across Blackburn, Darwen and the Ribble Valley.

We have a superb blend of skills and knowledge, combined with a passion for sports, to encourage and promote all the fantastic positives we know that children can gain from taking part in sports.

We aim to offer a supportive, caring and fun experience at all our venues, reflecting our family values, the values we know didi rugby share and the values we have enjoyed for over 30 years in our rugby journey.

We want our didi rugby friends’ journey to be just as enjoyable, leading to a lifelong love of sport and all the benefits this brings with it like health, confidence, friends, skills and fun.

John is the head coach of the didi rugby franchise for Blackburn and the Ribble Valley.

He has been a driving force for grass roots rugby for over 20 years as a player, coach and volunteer for club, county schools union chairperson and as a national volunteer co-ordinator.

John has twice been recognised for his services to local rugby by the RFU, for mini and youth engagement and for promotion of girls’ rugby opportunities.

He has over 30 years secondary school teaching experience, an MSc in Education Management, and is a level 2 qualified RFU coach.

“Working with the didi rugby programme has given me a fantastic opportunity to complete the circle of coaching young people from 18 months to 18 years – something I have been enjoyed doing for every second over the last 20 years.

Son James O’Ryan added: “Having played rugby since the age of 4, I know how much impact sport can have on a young person’s livelihood. Sport – and rugby in particular – has always been a major part of my life. It led me to pursue sport-related studies later on with a goal to be involved in the sport industry in some capacity.

“Now having just finished a master’s degree year at Leeds Beckett studying Sport Business Management, this is the right time for me to combine my academic studies and natural will and determination into a career that is both equally challenging and rewarding at the same time.

Sam O’Ryan says: “All of our boys played rugby from the age of 5 and our house in full of images of muddy lads with smiles a mile wide. I have always been amazed by the community and extended family you gain by being part of rugby and the support we all give each other.

“As a Health Visitor in this district, I am keenly aware that not everyone has access to the opportunities to thrive as my lads have done, so programmes like didi rugby are ideal for promoting physically, socially and emotionally-active children. I particularly love that rugby has a proud tradition of inclusion and welcomes kids of all shapes, sizes, ability, and skillset.”

Book a class in the didi rugby Blackburn and Ribble Valley area