didi rugby announces a new Franchise in Swansea

didi rugby is proud to announce didi rugby Swansea which will be running under the awesome duo Robyn Lock and Andrew O’Sullivan who both live and breathe the core values that under-pin didi rugby.

They are super excited to start their didi rugby journey, already planning sessions at different venues with some dynamic and exciting coaches coming into the team!  ​Their ultimate aim is getting more children physiclly active and a part of the rugby family.

Vicky Macqueen founder of didi rugby said;

” I am so excited to have Robyn and Andrew on board, they are just perfect to run didi rugby Swanse, their passion and enthusiasm for getting little ones involved in didi rugby is awesome.”

” I cant wait to support them through their journey!”

Robyn began her rugby career at Swansea University having played netball for 10 years and went on to play for the Uni team, Swansea RFC and then the Ospreys. She is now a qualified Welsh Rugby Union coach.

“I have always been in love with sports, but rugby has been the one to help me grow as an individual,” said Robyn.

“Thanks to rugby, I am now more confident, happier and healthier and am surrounded by my friends all of the time. I love every second that I am in a rugby environment, whether that be recreational or competitive.

“My role as an Active Young People Officer has allowed me to witness the positive impact that play and physical learning can have on youngsters. By combining that with the experience and opportunities that rugby can provide, with an added element of fun, children will develop a positive association with physical activity.

didi Rugby announces a new Franchise in Swansea

“Just as rugby allowed me to grow, I believe that didi Rugby can help children grow too. I see didi rugby as a great gift to your child because you are enabling them to gain fundamental skills which will act as the building blocks their physical activity journey.”

Andrew started his rugby early on in his life, playing touch rugby for Glais RFC. He began to find his feet in his mid-teens and was selected for Swansea Schoolboys , as a prop.

Andrew is still an avid Ospreys fan and long-time season ticket holder at the Liberty Stadium and his passion for the game remains as strong as ever.

“I have always loved sport because it has created some of the best moments in my life, whether that is through the thrill of the game or more importantly, through the friendship and bonds the sport creates,” he said.

“For this reason, I believe so strongly in the didi Rugby programme. Getting kids to realise what a fulfilling life experience sport and physical activity can be as early as possible can only set them up for a physically, socially and mentally healthy life.”

“Opportunity to be an Athlete Mentor was a Privilege” – by Vicky Macqueen

Opportunity to be an Athlete Mentor was a Privilege” – by Vicky Macqueen

‘I was very privileged to be recently selected to be an athlete mentor for this year’s National School Games at Loughborough University.

The four-day event was a fantastic taste of a multi-sport event on a huge scale for young athletes. It basically amounted to a Mini Olympic Games!

The young athletes had come through several rounds of competition within the school games competition pathway before they reached the pinnacle of National school  games.  There were teams representing Ireland, Wales and the different England regions ; North, the Midlands, south east and south west . I got the privilege of working with them all…

The young athletes enjoyed the whole experience from wearing accreditation to gaining access to areas where media and press conferences are held.
Athlete mentors delivered sessions to inspire and motivate the athletes with the core values of the games such as: honestly, respect, team work, passion, determination and self-belief.

We also delivered an athlete mentor Q & A session to hundreds of athletes that opted for the workshop on ‘gaining the edge’.

It was a fantastic experience to be involved in such an occasion. I had the privilege to make an impact on the performance and experiences of young athletes that will remain with them throughout their career. Hopefully, it will also inspire them to achieve success in their chosen sport.

My highlight was when the Ireland squad won the final, and came running over to me to thank me for their talk in the morning which they say inspired them to victory!

I am not sure it was down to me but it was lovely that they felt that they had gained from me being there as a mentor for them. And it was great to know that I had made a difference to those determined young athletes”

didi rugby announce exciting franchise developments

didi rugby is moving onto the next stage of its development and becoming a franchise.

The business, founded and devised by former England Women’s international, Vicky Macqueen has grown at a rapid rate since its inception in 2015.

Now, just two years later, more than 1,500 children are enjoying didi rugby classes on a weekly basis all around the country.

And a number of franchises are about to launch around the UK. Opening up a didi franchise will not only enable interested parties to develop their own businesses but it will be done with all the branding and infrastructure of the didi family already in place.

It will also give franchisees the chance to learn ideas and structures from founder, Vicky Macqueen, whose knowledge and skill-base gleaned from an international career, an RFU Level 3 Coaching qualification, and a teaching degree in physical education, has helped to devise the didi coaching guidelines for each separate age group.

Tight-knit didi family

Franchise owners will become part of a tight-knit and dedicated didi family.

didi rugby franchises aim to create active, confident and skilful children in a safe and fun environment. That physical activity they enjoy then will provide a base for them to remain active in later life.

“We are all very excited about hopefully giving more children access to the game of rugby and the fun and skills it can provide,” said Vicky.

“The success of the didi family so far has delighted us and enabled us to open dozens of centres around the country.

“I believe in what we are doing and so I want to keep pushing and have more and more people in place to get more and more children involved in the fun and values that rugby offers.

“We are hopeful that children who both try and enjoy didi rugby will go on to play for local clubs when they have come through our learning environment.”

didi rugby leads to large new intake of children at Hinckley RFC in Leicestershire

Hinckley Rugby Club in Leicestershire has seen an explosion of children joining the youngest age group and club coaching co-ordinator Tom Kilburn has praised didi Rugby for its role in that rise.

In fact, so big has been the increase in numbers at the club’s junior set-up, they have decided to form a new age group of Under-6s to accommodate the extra children.

The majority of those additional members have come from didi Rugby classes in Hinckley and Burbage.

Tom explained that Hinckley RFC were not only delighted with the new players that had joined but were very impressed with the skills the Didi Rugby graduates had already picked up at such a young age.

“This season at Hinckley Rugby Club, we have seen a fantastic influx of young players and that has led to us having to re-think our offering,” he said.

They can already catch and pass

“A normal yearly intake of Reception and Year 1 tends to be around half a dozen and they are normally siblings of older children who have trained with the Under-7s.

“This season has seen 40 children of this age range join us so we have had to create a brand new age group of Under-6s.

“I have been really impressed with the ability of these children, most are in possession of great motor skills, with the ability to listen and follow instructions well.

“The major positive I have found, is they can already catch and pass which helps a long way to making our sessions active, purposeful and enjoyable.

“The children that have graduated along the pathway are true testament to the fantastic work that Vicky Macqueen and her team are doing at Didi Rugby.”

Vicky is the founder of Didi Rugby and said she was delighted that so many children had taken the natural pathway and joined club rugby after enjoying their sessions with Didi.

It's like a production line of smiley faces

“It is our goal to teach the youngsters as much as possible during our sessions and hope that they have enjoyed themselves so much by the time they reach the age of six, they decide they want to keep playing rugby at a club,” she said.

“To hear that so many children from our Hinckley and Burbage classes have joined Hinckley Rugby Club is heart-warming for all of us involved in those classes.”

“And to receive such kind words from Tom about the levels of skills the children already have is obviously a great testament to the programme we are running. Long may it continue.”

John Tilley, the chairman of Hinckley RFC added: “The great thing about didi is that they work within clubs like ours to produce the next age group of kids ready to leap into Mini Rugby. Its like a production line of smiley faces!”

If you would like to try a free taster session at a Didi Rugby class close to you, find out where we are based: Find a Class

Vicky Macqueen took her boots and Deep Heat over to Ireland

didi Rugby founder Vicky Macqueen took her boots and Deep Heat over to Ireland to return to the playing field once more in an England shirt after being invited to play in a Ireland Legends v England Legends game ahead of the Women’s World Cup final.

“Not only for the fact that my competitive senses had been heightened by the promise of a hit-out and some competition.

But also because I was seeing so many friends and former team-mates in an environment that was so special to all of us.

In fact, the first person I bumped in to when I arrived at the ground was legend Carol Isherwood and it took me back to when I was first selected for the England Academy in 2002 when Carol was the women’s programme’s performance director.

When I went into the team meeting room, there was time for some proper goose bumps though as I was surrounded by the very people I had looked up to when I first came into the England squad as a youngster.
The likes of: Gill Burns, Giselle Mather, Helen Clayton, Maxine Edwards were all there, as was Amy Turner and my ex-England captain Catherine Spencer. Seeing them all again brough back memories of the camaraderie and friendships that were born in a rugby shirt and will never go away.”

As the team was announced, we were all told our red rose number and mine was #119. It was a very special moment because we and seen all the Women’s World Cup squad tweeting about their red rose number and how special it was for them ahead of their World Cup final against New Zealand the following day. It really made me feel part of history.

As we warmed up, got our programmes and shirts in the changing rooms, had team photos and signed a few autographs on the way out for warm-up, I felt like I was in a time warp.

All of my senses were heightened and the distinctive smell of Deep Heat even registered in my memory banks. Then seeing the Irish team all lined up at the start reminded me of a great game against them in 2006 when we won the Six Nations Grand Slam in England. I scored a try on that day and enjoyed one of the best games of my life, so I felt very fired up”
“I ended up playing 80 minutes too. A fact that my lungs totally disagreed with! I absolutely loved every minute of it and came off the pitch knowing I had given my all in a great display of women’s rugby.”

“The game finished 12-12 – referee Alain Roland saw to that (in Ireland on his birthday) but the result really didn’t matter. What was more important was the legacy we have left and the way we felt a part of the England family and the World Cup! Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for the England girls, led by Sarah Hunter, the next day in the World Cup final. The best two sides in the world put on an amazing display of rugby in Belfast on Saturday night. Unfortunately, for England fans, New Zealand got the upper hand but they deserved their win. I headed to the ‘friends and family bar’ after their final to meet up with them and then back to the hotel to remind them just how well they had played. It was a wonderful weekend”