Germans call on former Howe man Ian to develop the game

Ian Dawson - picture by  Celticonphotography, Munich.
Ian Dawson - picture by Celticonphotography, Munich.

It isn’t every day a former pupil of Bell Baxter High School is appointed as manager and coach of a nation’s U20 sport team.

But that responsibility has been given to Ian Dawson by Deutscher Rugby-Verband, the German Rugby Federation.

Ian (27) started his rugby as a P3 mini at Howe of Fife, where he was coached by John Lathangie and Gary Horne through to under 18.

He started working in Munich in 2011, where he joined StuSta rugby club and encouraged them to start youth development like Howe of Fife’s.

The youngsters’ successes at StuSta led to Ian joining the regional coaching team for Rugby-Verband Bayern, with the U16 and U18, boys and girls. Ian acknowledges the influence of John and Gary, saying “their results speak for themselves, they were the best”.

Howe President Murdo Fraser said: “This is fantastic news.

“Ian was a member of the famous Howe Colts/Bell Baxter squad that won the Bell Lawrie Trophy, National Cup and Royal Navy 7s.

“The experience Ian gained from this and his youth coaches Garry Horne and John Lathangie will serve him well”.

His father Douglas said the step up in coaching level shouldn’t be underestimated, adding his son would idelaly have liked to have stayed at a lower level for longer.

“But you have to accept opportunities like this when they come,” he added.

Although rugby is a minority sport in Germany there is ambition to raise standards, especially now rugby 7s is an Olympic sport.

The team’s next challenge will come in Bucharest at the WRA European U20 Championships this month.