ORFU community services manager Richard Perkins. Photo by
The Otago Rugby Football Union almost went bankrupt in
Mosgiel man Richard Perkins has played a key role in its
Mr Perkins, the community services manager of the ORFU, has
worked tirelessly to get the union back on its feet.
When he joined the ORFU late in 2001 it had a staff of 28.
After the meltdown it was forced to shed staff and now has 10
full-time employers and two part-time staff.
Mr Perkins has been the workhorse for the organisation and
during the rugby season he works seven days each week and at
least 12 hours each day.
''It's very busy during the rugby season,'' he said.
''You have got to be available to volunteer people who have
their day jobs. There is a lot of after-hours work.''
He is the knowledgeable member of the staff and has a good
grasp of what is needed to make rugby in Otago thrive.
''I'm just one of the staff who are doing a bit of extra
work,'' Mr Perkins said.
''The same volume of work is coming in and being managed by
Mr Perkins works with volunteers from rugby clubs and
''That's how I can manage to keep my head above water,'' he
''I work with the many great volunteers we have in the sport
of rugby in town and country who run the game across the
province on our behalf.''
The passion of the volunteers gives Mr Perkins the energy to
''I love the sport and get spurred on by those people,'' he
''I'm the mail box for our volunteer groups and committees. A
lot of the stuff from clubs comes to me and I circulate it to
the sub-committees who come back with their decisions.
''We have elected volunteers on committees and we work with
the Dunedin City Council and the clubs. I just try to
co-ordinate things. I can't be the dictator. We have elected
"They have a duty and responsibility and it gives them some
power. If you take away their power of decision-making they
will ... tell us to do it ourselves.''
Mr Perkins grew up in Dunedin and was educated at St Edmund's
then St Kevin's College in Oamaru from 1973-77. He was in the
First XV in his final year.
He played for the Dunedin club as an openside flanker from
1978 to 1987 and then became a player-coach for West Taieri
for seven years.
He worked as an assistant land registrar for 23 years before
joining the Otago Rugby Union in 2001.