Find a didi rugby class in Neath at Caewathan Community Centre

Find a didi rugby class in Neath at Caewathan Community Centre

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Caewathan Community Centre in Skewen, Neath.

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 Neath, Briton Ferry, Skewen, Cwmafan (Port Talbot), Resolven, Crynant, Seven Sisters, and Glynneath

Seven Sisters RFC

Dulais Road
Neath
West Glamorgan
SA10 9EY
Ran by didi rugby South Wales  

Contact didi rugby – 07535 284673
southwales@didirugby.com

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Find a didi rugby class in Neath at Seven Sisters RFC

Find a didi rugby class in Neath at Seven Sisters RFC

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Seven Sisters RFC in Neath.

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 Neath, Briton Ferry, Skewen, Cwmafan (Port Talbot), Resolven, Crynant, Seven Sisters, and Glynneath

Seven Sisters RFC

Dulais Road
Neath
West Glamorgan
SA10 9EY
Ran by didi rugby South Wales  

Contact didi rugby – 07535 284673
southwales@didirugby.com

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Find a didi rugby class in Port Talbot at Taibach RFC

Find a didi rugby class in Port Talbot at Taibach RFC

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Taibach RFC in Port Talbot.

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 Taibach, Cwmafan, Cwmavon, Pontrhydyfen, Neath, Briton Ferry, Pontardawe, Glynneath, Aberdulais, Baglan, Cadoxton, and Glynneat.

Taibach RFC

23 Commercial Road
Taibach
Port Talbot
SA13 1LN
Ran by didi rugby South Wales  

Contact didi rugby – 07535 284673
southwales@didirugby.com

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Find a didi rugby class in Durham at Chorister School

Find a didi rugby class in Durham at Chorister School

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Chorister School in Durham. There are three age groups: 18 months to three years, three to four and four to six years old.

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:

Durham, Spennymoor, Bishop Auckland, Peterlee, Chester-le-Street, Houghton-le-Spring, Consett.

Chorister School

Bow site
South Road
Durham
DH1 3LS

Ran by didi rugby Newcastle and North East
Contact Hattie and Sophie Elliott-Edwards – 07837 111239  
sophie.elliottedwards@didirugby.com

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Vicky Macqueen’s didi rugby Journey – Part 4: The Covid Battle

image of family playing didi rugby games in garden

Part 4 – The Covid Battle

 

image of family playing didi rugby games in garden

Its seems like quite a distant memory now, but as soon as I started looking back, the reality of life in that moment came flooding back..

The first memories of Italy and how bad the situation was over there was my first memory regarding didi rugby as reality hadn’t hit England but our Italian didi rugby pilot in Italy told us that classes were to stop and there was no way they could keep running them as the country was going into “lockdown” ! I think that was the first of many times that phrase was to be voiced and heard!  I remember seeing the footage of Italian hospitals and the overwhelm of the situation.. 3 weeks later covid hit us.. like a tonne of bricks! Lockdown number  1 … within 24 hours Denise (my mum and business mentor and co-worker ) has got us set up for online delivery.. it they couldn’t bring their little ones to class then we would bring didi rugby to their lounges, kitchens, gardens etc. The HQ team pulled together and got creative..  we were rolling up socks to create pretend balls.. using saucepans and washing baskets as goals, teddies as obstacles and part of our games… we became the “Joe Wicks” of didi rugby and all our coaches were delivering to the children in their classes .. I ran plenty of classes for children to log onto… and lots did!

The other massive memory for me was all the amazing work of my good friend and didi rugby ambassador Heather Fisher who delivered skills and story-time at 6:30 every week day evening over the two months … we posted children’s books to her home address and she would do some little skills with a ball or a rolled up pair of socks and lots of energy.. followed by a bedtime story. Sooo many children and their parents watched and got involved!  I will always be super grateful for Heather and the time she gave to support little ones and their families who were locked in at home  – offering everyone a glimmer of hope and support, and something exciting to get involved in and be a part of!

We also raised money for the NHS by holding live auctions of Heather’s Olympic kit she donated raising over £1000 👏👏

Other ambassadors jumped on board to make a difference – individual messages / videos of support… the likes of Nolli Waterman, Jodie Ounsley (Fury from the new Gladiators TV show  ) Mo Hunt to name a few! The fact that these great role models were putting the effort in to help all of us to deliver some good messaging was just phenomenal .. and shows the values and reputation of the country!

A lovely vision  for me was the James family from Hinckley, Leicestershire, Luke, Jo, Evie and Jack all taking part together in their driveway whilst I was delivering virtually.. playing games, laughing and joking with each other and getting fitter and  more skilful together as a family!

As we slowly came out of lock down.. there were various stages to coming back to real live classes … we got very creative with working in their “magic box” when social distancing was critical, children were able to practice lots of individual skills, kicking, passing and catching to themselves..  listening to instructions and working on their individual fitness…

Great memories created bringing the didi rugby family together at a really difficult time…  it definitely brought us closer together as a group and we  feel we  made a big difference to families and their physical and  mental health.

Survive then thrive was our mantra! We said that right from the start and it really was our “go to” phrase, and we truly believed in it individually and collectively! It stood us in good stead , we just needed to dig deep and  stick together!!

I can confidently say we absolutely did survive and now we are thriving as a team of franchisees countrywide! Very proud of the resilience and drive everybody showed to succeed in the chaos of covid! 💪🏉❤️🔥

#didifamily #fun #confidence #activity

🏉❤️🙏

didi Franchising

Vicky Macqueen’s didi rugby Journey – Part 3: Fun finding our founding franchisees

Part 3 – Fun finding our founding franchisees ! 

 

Recruitment was soooo exciting, travelling the country to meet new and exciting prospects mainly from the rugby family network initially.. just good people that really wanted to build something special for themselves,  their families and/ or their communities . This was a way of making a difference by doing something amazing , that could also create an extra income for doing something that you really enjoy! The phrase “it’s a win, win!” was always in my vocabulary..

 

One of our founding franchisees Craig Hunter and his business partner Donna Clark were an awesome addition to the didi family.. I still remember my first meeting with Craig at Reading RFC – he was still employed in IT and super desperate to leave the industry, but just needed to make the extra income to start reducing hours … I could really see a lot of me in Craig.. his energy, enthusiasm and desire to be successful was definitely within him, and he just needed to believe in his dream and go get it! Fast forward 6 years, and didi rugby Reading is still going really strong at the heart of the Reading community. Craig, Donna and their team have made a huge difference to the lives of so many children , parents and coaches .. one particular child Tommy will always stick in my memory as a huge success story.. Tommy who suffers from hypermobility syndrome and he really thrived at didi rugby physically, emotionally and socially – and the benefits his Mum talked about for her and the family also was huge! We brought Tommys Mum onto our podcast and there was an article to have a read through also.. I really feel Tommys story underpins the why behind didi rugby and the culture and values that underpin everything we do and why we do it!

 

Read Tommys story here

 

More and more franchisees followed and I started to feel we were making a difference to many young children and their families , but also we had created this machine that allowed people to start up their own businesses with our support to actually change their lives for the better, make a difference to others, and gain an additional income, that for some then became their full time role!

 

Collaboration with the RFU on the early years strategy was brilliant! Great to be recognised as the only rugby provider to be invited along to consult and help provide the knowledge, advice and experience we had to support the strategy.. was nice to be working with some of the professionals that I had come across in my playing and coaching career to date – the paper was published and campaign launched, and another big win to ensure that we had set the bar nice and high with all providers.. as it should be with young children and their families!

 

Friends and team mates past and present were all championing what was now a recognised brand in the rugby world … so many of our franchisees came to the business via the rugby network.. hearing great things about the business and it’s core values .. what’s nice is we will always remain true to our values .. even when it’s not the best financial decision for us .. morally and ethically didi rugby always does the right thing and this is super important to me and the HQ team!

 

Ros Wiggins in the Stone and Stafford area, Keith Smith of Cheltenham, Susan Appleby-Jones in the Gloucester area came on board and the business was flying!

 

We had an ever growing list of didi rugby ambassadors in Sarah Hunter MBE, Emily Scarratt MBE, Manu Tuilagi, Graham Rowntree, Sam Vesty , Natasha Hunt, George Chuter, Rosemary Conley CBE to name a few… all these people truly believe in what we were doing.. none of them were giving financial reward, they were just happy to be a part of our didi family and to champion the work we were doing around the country for the children, their families and also the coaching experiences we had created !

 

Listen to the podcast here with Sarah Hunter

Alex Matthews was an ambassador that then became a franchise owner for the Worcester area , allowing her to run a business alongside her professional rugby playing career. There is so much cross over with sport and business and I have done lots of speaking in this field.. the key attributes to success are very similar across both. For me… drive , resilience and work ethic are the three key factors to running a successful business … this comes in abundance in a successful elite athlete who has represented their country!

 

We also managed to develop one of our coaches from assistant coach, to lead coach and then onto franchise owner . Jenny Burrows starting coaching for me in my local area, she assisted me initially but spotted her talent for coaching and managed to persuade her to take on her own classes . This quickly turned into huge enthusiasm and passion for didi rugby she wanted to take the next step. Jenny is now thriving with her didi rugby business which she runs along side her profession as an accountant!

 

By March 2020 we were a hugely successful franchise operation with 18 working franchises across the country – we had also piloted in Italy , New Zealand and Australia .. unfortunately as the World was about to shut down completely due to the Covid Pandemic – we were about to really test our spirit, resilience and resolve as a team – this is where we could really show our strength! 💪👌🏉

 

Watch out for Part 4 – The Covid Battle – to come!! 💪💪

🏉❤️🙏

didi Franchising

Vicky Macqueen’s didi rugby Journey – Part 2: The growth was incredible

Part 2 – The growth was incredible! 🏉💪

The one class turned into two classes, then three classes very quickly with parents and children enjoying classes, and sharing this information with their friends! Children were having fun and parents were seeing the benefits of didi rugby first hand.. the younger children (didi minis 18 months-3 years) were tired and having naps after classes, they were developing their physical motor skills, like balance and coordination, but also their understanding of colours, numbers , concepts of play and socialising with their peers!

 

Our philosophy was, and still is that each child will come out of every session having had fun, gained some confidence, and been physically active! We ensure this happens by making sure that all our didi coaches follow our mantra PACE , VARIETY and CHALLENGE .. my 13 years in education as a PE teacher/ Head of Department and a School Sports Coordinator.. allowed me to streamline and decide what is crucially important to little ones and their parents.

 

didi rugby is what I consider a win win for all parties… and there are lots of them!

 

Parents – give their children a fabulous social and physical experience.. and they have a 40 minute slot where they are fully committed to playing/engaging with their children

 

Children – have fun!! Exercise which makes them feel good (endorphins being released in their brains) , and learning to play, share and engage with other little ones

 

Coaches – get paid to enjoy coaching, and feel a really sense of achievement seeing huge progress in little didi stars each session

 

Assistant Coaches – gain valuable experience and training towards being a Head Coach – didi creates the opportunity for coaches to reach their potential as well as the children

 

didi rugby Ambassadors – the opportunity to “give back” and inspire little ones with video messages and competition give always to encourage little ones to see them as real role models…

 

Very quickly our classes trebled in volume .. within a 5 mile radius .. we had 9 classes running within 6 months of starting the programme in Hinckley and Burbage . Working closely with Matt Cropp and Denise McCormack (my Mum) … the magic number was 30 classes and Ben and I went on a mission to bring didi rugby to every child we possibly could… our model has now extended from weekend classes to schools/nurseries and mid week classes across the county of Leicestershire .. we also started delivering birthday parties.. and within 1 year we hit the magic number of 30 classes (which included schools, nurseries and regular classes) … at this point – we revisited our plan .. can we lift this model and put it somewhere else in the country with the same success? The only way to find out was to pilot it and that’s what we did in Hertfordshire.. under the capable eyes of James Nolan – a former NZ representative junior player along with a great coaching background .. his postman role enabled him to start up and grow the business . He gave us the confidence and the confirmation that the model was viable – along with a lot of number crunching and expert advice our franchising model was born! Now it was to find our very own Franchise Manager in Sanchia Delacy.. a childhood friend of mine who had been closely monitoring our progress.. as a former car director of Franchisees in the corporate world she quickly turned her experience there into an incredible resource for didi rugby to start our franchising journey … and like they say the rest is History!

 

Martin Crowson – former leicester Tigers journalist for local paper – also came on board who has been following our story from its conception and his journalistic background and marketing experiences, gave us a brilliant social media presence and had a knack for sharing lovely stories of our didi rugby stars, parents and coaches and managed to capture our super family feel .

 

We were able to show successful businesses that were thriving with the didi rugby model at their fingertips… we had an amazing Head Quarters team in place and with the addition of our didi rugby Lawyer Andrew Forsythe and Leicestershire rugby referee… who gave us the legal support to ensure that we had the correct legal processes.. we were ready to Franchise!

 

It seems strange to put all that work and effort into a few paragraphs of text, but I know the blood, sweat and tears that went with this. The best successes came from realising mistakes and refining processes… every day was – and still is – a school day! The work from the whole team was phenomenal – from the Head of Franchising to our assistant coaches on the ground day to day  – I am so grateful to everyone who made sure that didi became the well oiled machine that it was … and at its heart was ensuring all children were having Fun , gaining Confidence and getting Active!

 

My next chapter was about to begin as I had left education as a Head of PE, and gone full time into didi rugby…. and now franchising of our model!  I kept up my elite coaching alongside this doing my level 4 RFU course to ensure that I kept my hand in the game at that level.  This was a really nice combination as the level 4 course was very much about strategic planning and process – leadership and management being huge in this… as well as going deep into  elite coaching and the philosophy around it.  My dissertation was on how culture and environment plays a key role optimising performance in elite sport.  The transferable skills from business to sport were so evident, so I really felt that I was developing Vicky the business woman alongside the elite sports coach… it was as always a WIN WIN!

🏉❤️🙏

didi Franchising

Find a didi rugby class in Nantwich at Church Minshull Village Hall

Find a didi rugby class in Nantwich at Church Minshull Village Hall

Introduce your children to rugby at a young age with didi rugby classes at Church Minshull Village Hall in Nantwich. 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:
Crewe, Nantwich, Middlewich, Winsford, Worleston, Wardle, Acton, Ravensmoor, Warmingham, Kelsall, Reaseheath

Church Minshull Village Hall

Muslin Row
Church Minshull
Nantwich
Cheshire
CW5 6DY

Ran by didi rugby Crewe and Nantwich
Contact Dylan Bratherton – 07896 778780
dylan.bratherton@didirugby.com

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Vicky Macqueen’s didi rugby Journey – Part 1: Where it all began

Part 1: Where it all began 🏉👌

The concept of didi rugby (although unnamed at that point) was always in my brain niggling at me to do something about it, to make more of a difference to young people and their families.. the idea of getting physical activity and the enjoyment of sport and exercise to more people.

I had always felt a little bit trapped in a school as a PE teacher.. not enough children to influence.. too many levels of management to get ideas passed through… seeing the bigger picture and not being able to have enough influence over it!

Unfortunately or I actually now believe FORTUNATELY (sorry Mum and Phil I so know this time was hideous) I had a significant event happen to me to make me stop, reflect and reframe my life direction! In November 2013 necrotising fasciitis came into my life and nearly took my life away! In a nut shell … I got an infection that meant one day I had what felt like a bruised shin bone, 36 hours later I was fighting for my life and my leg in intensive care !

In summary.. I nearly died, was 12 hours from a leg amputation and I was told the only reason I survived was because my heart was fit and strong.. so that day, everything changed! I had two little boys at home, a 4 month old and a 20 month old who were my world 🌎, a husband, and parents who were trying to hold it all together at home, and I realised what was important – family and a bigger purpose to help more people to be fit and healthy, so no one would die from infections that they should be able to fight! Everyone should be educated and encouraged to be fit and healthy from an early age…  “didi rugby” had been born!

I kept visiting this in my mind.. researching around early years learning, reading around and interviewing key influencers around the subject of children and physical activity… I was at the time working as a PE teacher (Head of Physical Education) but also a School Sports Coordinator working with primary aged children in sport. This just cemented my vision that we needed to influence these children much younger than primary school , and actually educate and support parents to install these values and habits earlier in life.. 18 months or steady on their feet was the key to starting on the didi journey! didi sports was always the umbrella but I knew that to get didi out there it was through the tool of rugby we needed to utilise to do it – my PE teacher hat, being a Mum, ex England international rugby player and level 4 rugby coach all pointed towards rugby being the key driver. My youth and young adult life was filled with rugby, and the life it gave me in terms of fitness and health, personal achievement, travel, life long friendships was incredible.. I wanted more people to experience a taste of this.

I was extremely fortunate to have a few key people who gave me the confidence to get going on my didi rugby dream… My Mum – recently retired business woman and formerly in education, my husband who supported me to reduce my hours at work and follow my dreams, and Matt Cropp a good friend and local successful businessman who went in on the business with me providing me with the business acumen I needed to get going! Along with these guys.. an amazing network of friends and family who supported the journey.. encouraging me and sharing the concept far and wide.. I even practiced sessions with my friends children in the garden at mine – with permission to borrow them I should add. A first ever photo shoot with Max and Harry, and Matt’s two boys Preston and Myles (with Vicki Cropp on camera duty) inspired us to sit down and finally go for it – a conversation over a drink and a few notes on beer mats at Hinckley cricket club gave us the final push we needed to get going…

My young boys Max and Harry (now 11 and 10 years old) were the biggest didi rugby ambassadors- and  I truly believe that all the time we spent on didi rugby.. in terms of their  physical literacy and development, as well as social skills and learning to work with others.. 100% enabled my two to be the well rounded, sporty , bright kids that they are… Leicester City academy for my oldest boy with high performance in his SATs at end of key stage 2, and Hinckley Rugby Football, many on stage acting performances, and a very bright button for my youngest who absolutely loves to learn.

Oh yes I meant to say the name of didi rugby came from my swimming as a youth in the “Nuneaton diddy swimming league” under 12s competition … great memories of these times – didi meaning small meant a great name for 18 months – 6 years old !

In May 2015 didi rugby was officially born.. didi rugby Matt Cropp and my Mum Denise McCormack were behind me 100% working on the business start up, and Ben Avent my Redmoor colleague and rugby mate was in it from the start , assistant coaching with me .. so both of us as coaches, 8 children and  based in the old clubhouse at Hinckley RFC was, and still is, the original home of didi rugby !

didi rugby was born! 🏉❤️🙏

See you soon for part 2!

didi Franchising

didi rugby Wales Embarks on a Thrilling New Chapter Under Alun and Lydia Rise’s Leadership

didi rugby Wales Alun and Lydia Rise

didi rugby Wales is excited to announce its relaunch, now under the dynamic stewardship of Alun and Lydia Rise. This new phase promises to build on the strong legacy of excellence set by former leader Jaz Joyce, focusing on nurturing children’s development through the joy of rugby.

didi rugby Wales Alun and Lydia Rise

Alun and Lydia Rise, known for their boundless enthusiasm and extensive experience in rugby, education, and operations management, are set to redefine didi rugby’s impact across Wales. Alun, a WRU level three coach with a history of managing the WRU Welsh Exiles program and serving as academy manager at London Welsh, brings a depth of rugby knowledge and coaching acumen. Lydia complements the team with her expertise in rugby operations and business management, adding a robust operational dimension to the franchise.

The relaunch under Alun and Lydia is more than just a continuation of didi rugby Wales; it’s a celebration of the values and foundations laid down by Jaz Joyce. Their commitment to enhancing the overall experience for young players is evident. They aim to foster skill development, teamwork, and a love for the sport, ensuring that the essence of rugby is enjoyed by all.

As didi rugby Wales turns this new page, the community is invited to join in the excitement. Alun and Lydia Rise are committed to nurturing not only the physical skills of young players but also their mental well-being. They envision didi rugby Wales as a transformative platform where every child can grow, learn, and excel.

The Rise duo’s leadership marks an exciting era for didi rugby Wales. Families and children across the region are encouraged to be a part of this adventure, where the transformative power of rugby will continue to inspire and develop young minds and bodies.

With Alun and Lydia Rise at the helm, didi rugby Wales is poised for a bright and impactful future, staying true to the spirit of rugby while innovating and elevating the experience for the next generation of players.

didi Franchising