Charitable trust to be set up to benefit amateur rugby

Eion Edgar
Eion Edgar
The prospects for amateur rugby in Otago look much stronger thanks to Queenstown businessman and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar, former All Blacks coach Laurie Mains, Southern Wide Real Estate managing director John Faulks and Otago Country Rugby.

Collectively, they are matching the amount donated by the public to be put to repaying small creditors of the Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU).

They are also establishing a charitable trust for amateur rugby in Otago, separate from the union, to ensure the game is played by generations to come.

Last week, the ORFU avoided going into liquidation after an 11th-hour rescue deal.

Sir Eion said last night all ORFU board members were working exceptionally hard towards the best possible outcome and he supported their efforts.

"The wonderful thing about this initiative is people feel so much better if they are giving $10 and suddenly it turns into $20. That's why we are doing it," he said.

The important thing for people to know was the initiative came from the board, he said.

"Some of us are in a better position to help than others, but they [board members] are all working very hard to find ways to help the creditors. The whole team has been pulling together and I can't emphasise that enough," Sir Eion said.

More than $100,000 has been raised for small creditors of the ORFU, collectively owed about $690,000.

Sir Eion said he hoped the full amount could be paid in the next few weeks.



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