The President's Page
Since Westman High School Rugby was organized in 2003, there have been two Past Presidents and one current President: three individuals whose dedication and efforts have greatly furthered the development of Rugby in Western Manitoba. It is worth noting that Westman Champions have gone on to win the Provincial rugby championship bringing their school’s rugby programs recognition.
2003 - 2006
Wilf Taylor was President of Westman High School Rugby for four seasons including the inaugural year in 2003.
Wilf is from the community of Minnedosa and was approached by Barry Dowsett to get involved with rugby at the high school level. Having coached plenty of high school varsity sports over the years, Wilf had no issues running for the Presidency role.
Wilf had spent 35 years in the education field and spent countless hours contributing to high school volleyball, badminton and rugby. Wilf also found time out of his busy life to coach community fastball as well.
A life member of Kinsmen, Wilf also took the large task of being "Rebuilding Chair" for the Minnedosa United Church after it tragically burnt down. With so much to do, Wilf decided to step away from the presidency in 2006.
Wilf has given back to the community of Minnedosa and will always be a part of the building and establishment of Westman High School Rugby. A true founder of rugby in Western Manitoba.
2006 - 2007
Barry Dowsett has been involved with rugby since the 1980's when he was introduced to the game while serving in the armed forces. Barry joined the Brandon Barbarians Rugby Football Club in 1998 where he played and contributed to the club off the field as well.
Barry has contributed to the game immensely including the establishment of the Minnedosa high school rugby program in 1999. Barry served as coach and referee for many years. Barry was also one of the founding members of Westman High School Rugby in 2003. Barry recruited Wilf Taylor as the first president and Barry ran as Vice President from 2003 - 2006. With the departure of Wilf Taylor in 2006, Barry readily stepped up and ran as President for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Even during his presidency role, he continued to referee and coach the Minnedosa Chancellors.
With the Busy life of having a family, Barry decided to step away from the game as president and coach in 2008 and wanted to focus more on his children and their extracurricular activities. Barry helped establish the Minnedosa youth rugby program and stayed involved until 2012. Barry made his return to the Minnedosa high school program in 2013 and 2014 as a volunteer, but stepped away at the end of the 2014 season.
Barry Dowsett will always be seen as a founder, builder and major contributor to the game of rugby in Western Manitoba.
2008 - Present
Brian moved to Brandon in 2001 and was hired on as a teacher in the community of Souris where he still teaches today. Brian was introduced to rugby when he was in high school in Prince George, BC. He also played at the club level for a limited time in Prince George.
After Being away from the game for roughly seven years, Larry Townsend approached Brian after hearing he had some rugby background and was encouraged to establish a rugby program at Souris School. The program was established first with a girls program in 2002 and a boys program grew with interest in 2003 during the inaugural year of Westman High School Rugby. Brian also joined the Brandon Barbarians Rugby Football Club in 2002, which he has been heavily involved with over the years as a player, executive member and director.
Brian has been a major contributor to the development of rugby in Western Manitoba. Besides establishing and coaching the Varsity programs at Souris school, he has established the youth rugby program in Souris and has coached at the Provincial and National levels.
After Barry Dowsett stepped down in 2007, Brian accepted the nomination of President of Westman High School Rugby and has served that role ever since. Brian was the Rugby Manitoba High Performance Director from 2014 to 2018. He also started a women's University Rugby program at Brandon University in 2018. He continues to shuffle his busy volunteer and family life to develop the game of rugby in Manitoba.