didi rugby are delighted to announce a ground-breaking new partnership with the best-supported rugby club in the country, Leicester Tigers.
As well as being current Gallagher Premiership leaders, Tigers have won the English domestic league 10 times and the European Cup twice. Their Mattioli Woods Welford Road ground holds over 25,000 people, as well as some memorable moments from the club’s 142-year history.
Tigers also have a proud and deep-rooted tradition of support for the local rugby community and the partnership with didi rugby will provide a pathway for the very youngest didi stars, right through to Leicester Tigers senior rugby for girls and boys.
The new partnership will also be able to explore opportunities around matchday and schools provisions together and didi rugby look forward to working with Tigers across the whole country to get more children involved in the game of rugby.
The exciting development will run alongside Tigers+, the club’s expansive new programme to encourage more children to play rugby, and we will include pilot schemes to help local clubs with under-7s age-groups as a key source of recruitment of both players and coaches.
Vicky Macqueen, founder of didi rugby and head of the new women’s rugby programme at Tigers, said: “We are thrilled to be able to announce this partnership with Leicester Tigers and I am excited to work alongside the club to inspire children and their families to become involved in the wider rugby family.
“Leicester Tigers share didi’s values in increasing participation in rugby and physical activity, and we want to give opportunities to engage in rugby to as many children and families as possible.”
Tigers chief executive Andrea Pinchen added: “This is another great initiative for the club to be involved in. We are taking a lead in getting people playing rugby as well as watching it, and partnering with a great organisation like didi will help us do this with our Tiger Cubs right across the country.”
didi rugby provides classes for children aged between 18 months and 6 years of age. Sessions are taught under governing body, the Rugby Union’s Early Years Guidelines, which didi rugby CEO Vicky Macqueen helped to devise.
The launch of didi rugby Devon is just days away and interest in the event has been ‘absolutely tremendous’ according to franchise partner Paul Tearle.
The launch takes place at Crediton RFC on Saturday 19 February with taster classes for all three didi age groups from 18 months up to 6 years of age.
Special guests on the day will be former England Women’s international, founder and CEO of didi rugby, Vicky Macqueen and local hero, Wayne Reed.
Vicky has an impressive CV and continues to develop it, having just taken on the role of Leicester Tigers women’s head coach.
Wayne has played rugby for Crediton RFC since he was a junior. In between then and now he has played for both Exeter and Plymouth whilst making numerous appearances for Devon.
Just as he thought his rugby career had peaked, a turn of events lead him to qualify to play for England deaf and he represented his country in a number of internationals.
Paul said: “We are privileged to have both guests at the event and the response we have had from the local community has been absolutely tremendous.
“We have had to extend some of our taster sessions and have now began taking bookings for our weekly sessions in March.
“The sport of rugby and the county of Devon have been synonymous with each other since the beginning of time.. and that has been proven once again with the numbers we have coming to our didi rugby launch.”
Paul says the didi Devon team are also grateful to host club Crediton RFC who, he says, have been incredibly supportive in the build-up to the launch.
Crediton RFC has seen a number of high-profile names come through the ranks including current Bath DoR, Stuart Hooper, Exeter Chiefs club captain, Jack Yeandle and the lesser known but hugely impressive Paul Harris. Paul has been recognised by England Rugby with their ‘President’s Value the Volunteer Outstanding Contribution Award’ for 50 years of service to the club.
“Crediton is proud of its ethos to the game and wants to include as many people as possible,” added Paul.
“As well as men’s and women’s teams, it supports hundreds of children from U9s through to U16s in both the boys’ and girls’ game under a club slogan of ‘One Big Club’.
“And with that philosophy, they have welcomed didi rugby to allow more people to get involved in our wonderful game.
“I would like to thank Chairperson, Liz Goodman and committee member Jay Harris, for being particularly supportive in getting us up and running there.”
While Crediton RFC will be didi rugby Devon’s main hub, they will also be running satellite sessions across other local venues throughout the week.
The Waie Inn at Zeal Monochrum as well as Chumleigh Pavilions will run sessions on Wednesday mornings and afternoons respectively, with coach and PE teacher Dalton Dumont.
didi rugby’s partnership with WWPIS sees both parties come together to provide the young children and parents, who support didi classes, the opportunity to purchase customised ‘Our Sporting Journey’ books.
The books, which will be available soon, have been tailored for those specifically involved in the didi rugby programme and will encourage plenty of activity and interaction away from the classes, thus furthering their sporting education.
The ‘Our Sporting Journey’ series for didi minis (18 months to 3 years old), didi juniors (3 to 4 years old) and didi seniors (5 to 6 years old) incorporates two sporting years in each book with the cricket versions of the books likely due out later this year.
Our Sporting Journey
‘Our Sporting Journey’ is a series of interactive books for children, putting them at the heart of the sporting experience. They allow them to have plenty of fun, grow as people both on and off the field and immerse themselves in their sporting experience as they progress through their sporting journey.
The books all have plenty of activities for children and encourage positive interaction between children and their parents. They involve plenty of parental involvement, whether that be in having positive conversations, playing in the garden or helping to stick in the pictures that will allow everyone to build up a memory book that will last a lifetime.
didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen said it was a very exciting collaboration with WWPIS.
“We fully believe that our values and ethos as didi rugby are fully in-line with the wonderful work that WWPIS do.
“We are all keen to get children and parents involved, at an early age, of realising the benefits that are to be gained from being physically active.
“This partnership will enable us to influence more families to get involved in physical activities from the age of our early didi classes (18 months) upwards.
“WWPIS have being doing some amazing work and, like us, are keen to promote healthy and active lifestyles, so we are delighted to be able to link up with them on this project.”
didi rugby are delighted to announce that children’s cancer charity Jessica’s Arc will be our official chosen charity.
Jessica’s Arc is one of the ‘arcs’ within Alice’s Arc, a charity launched to raise funds for funding research and finding a cure and less harsh treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma – a cancerous tumour that develops in the body’s soft tissues and mostly effects children and adolescents.
It is a battle that is very close to CEO Vicky Macqueen’s heart after her niece Jessica Macqueen died aged nine after a very short fight with the disease, just five months from diagnosis to passing away.
Vicky said: “The heartbreaking devastation of the loss of a nine-year-old to rhabdomyosarcoma has been hideous for the whole family and community.
“For us to find out more about the cancer is now crucial to protect other families. It’s so underfunded at the minute and Jess didn’t really stand a chance with the lack of large scale investment in treatment for this rare disease.
“We are 100 per cent behind it and anything we can do to prevent this kind of heartache for future families to go through.
“That’s really important to me as one of Jess’ family members and also as CEO of a children’s activities company too.
“And it is super important to my brother and sister-in-law who lost their daughter.
“So didi rugby is officially taking on Jessica’s Arc as our chosen charity and we want to make a big impact on cancer research in this area.
“We will be delighted if anyone that can contribute to our cause.”
didi rugby will be hosting a series of fund-raising events in 2022 with a very exciting competition to follow later this month.
Jessica’s Arc will be sending any funds in its early stages, to Alice’s Arc.
Childhood cancer is the number 1 killer of children under the age of 14.
Over 4 new drugs have been approved in the last 20 years to treat childhood cancer.
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.
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.
“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.
didi rugby is delighted to announce the launch of classes in Devon in mid-February 2022.
The announcement represents more good news for parents of children in the south west of England, following the launch of sessions in Cornwall in the summer of 2021.
didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen says she is delighted to be bringing fun, excitement and activity to a rugby-mad corner of the country.
Paul Tearle and Gemma Carnegie will be heading up the new classes and the launch will take place at Crediton RFC on Saturday 19 February between 9.30am and 11.30am.
It’s a club that is dear to the heart of Paul, who started playing rugby aged 11.
“I have been a two-club man all my life and they are Crediton RFC and Sheffield Tigers RFC,” he said.
“Now back at Crediton, I’m threatening to put my boots back on at some point!”
Paul works as the PE teacher in the local comprehensive school and has already 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 well as teaching, he also 20 years of experience working at a successful holiday camp for children aged 3-15 which was recently voted ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted after its latest 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,” Paul added.
“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.”
Fellow coach Gemma is head of PE at a secondary school and has been teaching for 20 years.
She’s also been playing for two decades too and says she is a strong advocate of England Rugby’s core values of team work, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.
Theme which Vicky Macqueen highlighted were also driving factors behind the didi rugby ethos too.
“Paul and Gemma are going to bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to our didi rugby Devon classes and that is exciting for all involved,” she said.
“They have both got plenty of experience in teaching and a love of the game which they will pass on to the children and parents who are going to be coming to their classes.
“We have loved bringing our ethos of fun, activity and confidence to the children in Cornwall over recent months and Devon is another powerhouse of rugby activity so I am sure there will be many parents keen to start their children’s rugby journey at a young age and get them running around having fun at our classes.
“To be launching at Crediton RFC is great too. It’s a strong part of what we do as a business to build links with clubs local to our classes so that we can provide a natural pathway for kids to keep on enjoying the sport when they become too old for didi at the age of six.”
*** To book your child’s free taster session at the launch of didi rugby Devon please email – email@example.com ***
She plays for the Bristol Bears in the English Premiership and has taken part in the Commonwealth Games and World Cup.
didi rugby is delighted to have such a well-known, talented and committed player join our winning team.
Jasmine takes over from Robyn Lock and Andrew O’Sullivan who are moving onto other ventures having done an amazing job of building up our didi rugby classes and spreading our values across south Wales over the past few years.
The founder and CEO of didi rugby, Vicky Macqueen, said she was excited to be working with someone who has unbridled passion for the game and getting more youngsters involved.
“It’s great that Jasmine Joyce has decided to join the didi family,” she said.
“She will bring a huge amount of passion to her classes and I am sure there will be lots of coaches in Wales who are going to learn so much from her.
“I am also certain that children who attend our classes in Wales will benefit from her knowledge, enthusiasm and experience.
didi rugby South Wales
“Jasmine is such a well-known star in Wales that I am sure there will be plenty of parents keen to meet her at classes too!
“We would like to thank Robyn and Andrew for all they have done for didi rugby in Wales and wish them all the best for their futures.”
didi rugby South Wales sessions will end for the festive period on December 19 and resume again on January 10.
Book your child’s place at any of our classes across the didi rugby South Wales offering by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out where Jasmine’s classes will be held by visiting our ‘Find a Class’ page.
One of didi rugby’s most exciting launches in years will take place in August.
didi rugby Cornwall will fly out of the blocks in central Truro on Saturday 21 August.
Fun for all ages from 18 months to 6 years will run from 9am to 11.30am with a real family activities day being planned for all.
The launch will take place at Boscawen Park and will be attended by didi rugby founder and former England international, Vicky Macqueen.
It will also feature former England star and didi rugby ambassador, Heather Fisher who will be playing games with children and signing autographs.
The launch is the first phase of plans that are being put in place by didi rugby Cornwall owners Chris Morrison and Ross Denning to spread didi rugby far and wide throughout this rugby-mad county.
“Sports that are fun and engaging is what we’re all about. The fact that it is through rugby, a game that we have tremendous respect for is giant plus,” they said.
“Cornwall has a long history of producing great rugby talent, from its county representation in the national championships to professional and international representation from the likes of Phil Vickery, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Nowell and Lucy Demaine to name a few.
Truro Rugby Club
“We are privileged to work with local rugby clubs and schools to bring the game to girls and boys from 18 months to 6 years.
“It’s a great privilege to be bringing the didi rugby brand to Cornwall. Vicky and the didi family have been nothing short of amazing and supportive on our journey to launching this great platform.”
didi rugby Cornwall have already formed a development link to Truro Rugby Club. Part of the didi ethos is to build partnerships with local clubs to offer youngsters a natural pathway to keep playing the game when they become too old for didi classes at the age of 7.
didi founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen said they were hoping to build links with other clubs in the county as soon as possible.
Getting children active
“Chris and Ross are keen to get as many children and parents involved in our wonderful sport as possible.
“They have a real passion for getting children active and having fun and have already been receiving some great sport from the local community as they put their plans in place.
didi rugby’s new franchise lead for south Cambridgeshire is the sort of person you would want on your side in the trenches.
Meet Amanda Jones.
Shelford RFC’s new rugby development officer will be heading up the launch of new didi rugby classes attached to the club from the launch date of July 31 onwards.
Having grown up on the streets of Port Talbot in Wales and been in the army for eight years, Amanda has been used to battling for the things she believes in all of her life and has harboured a desire to pave her own way in some traditionally male-dominated environments.
Values of didi rugby
Previously, that has included gender inequality in rugby and encouraging more children with physical and learning difficulties to get involved in the sport.
Her latest challenge is to spread the values of didi rugby far and wide across the south Cambridgeshire region and, with a committed club totally behind her, she is naturally looking forward to it.
“I have previously been involved with setting up a girls team for 11 to 17-year-olds from scratch which attracted 30 members on two years,” said Amanda. “It helped being persuasive, passionate and female!
“I have also been fighting against gender inequality too and tried to tackle why so many dads bought their sons to rugby but not many mums bought their daughters to rugby.”
Amanda has also worked for the RFU as a community coach and the Saracens Foundation as a project officer around inclusivity which involved trying to encourage kids with physical and learning difficulties into rugby.
“That was really rewarding,” said Amanda. “I remember one child who really struggled to talk but loved the social side of rugby and now talks really well.”
That passion to help people is still burning bright as Amanda begins her role as the didi rugby lead for South Cambridgeshire at Shelford RFC, where classes will take place on a regular basis after a big launch on Saturday 31 July.
“Shelford see a vision which is not just about men’s rugby. Now we will have children from 18 months involved in the club and a pathway for them to keep on enjoying all the good things that rugby brings.
“There will be some children of that age who, due to the pandemic, have never had a chance to properly socialise with kids their own age.
“My sister had a baby boy during lockdown and now I have an 18-month-old nephew who struggles to interact.
“Not only will didi rugby give them the chance to build their confidence in social settings, it will also give parents of these children a chance to enjoy being out with other parents of kids the same age too.”
didi rugby founder and CEO Vicky Macqueen said she was excited about the didi rugby coming to Shelford RFC.
“This is a club with fantastic and inclusive values that are perfectly aligned with what we are trying to achieve at didi rugby,” she said.
“I have been hugely impressed by their plans and ideas to build a strong didi rugby base and I can feel the passion of the people involved in the club.
“Amanda is great. She is a tremendously driven individual and a background in inclusivity. She has an infectious personality which will be ideal for bringing didi rugby to the local community.”
If you would like to secure your free place at the big didi rugby launch at Shelford RFC on July 31, please contact email@example.com
Amanda can also be contacted for more information about the times and dates of the regular classes that will follow. Free taster sessions are available to everyone.