Peter Atkinson

Peter Atkinson_600x600
Hall of fame

Peter Atkinson

Administrator and Coach

Peter Atkinson was inducted into the AFLNT Hall of Fame after more than 40 years involvement as a player, umpire, coach and administrator from club level to national roles.

After a playing and umpiring career in country South Australia, Atkinson arrived in Darwin in 1973. Following a short involvement at Nightcliff, he switched to umpiring. 

He was awarded the 1973/74 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Grand Final appointment under the single umpire system, ending a seven-year period where the game was officiated by “fly-in” Victorian Football League (VFL) and South Australian National Football League (SANFL) umpires. 

Atkinson continued umpiring the next season until Cyclone Tracy in December 1974 when he was seconded to a sports committee by the Federal Government-controlled Darwin Reconstruction Commission. 

The committee coordinated an exhibition Australian Football game played between then SANFL powerhouses Sturt and Glenelg, and in addition, Atkinson took on the role of secretary of a newly created Darwin Football Association for the NTFL clubs. 

Atkinson was recruited to St Mary’s Football Club as a Colts coach (and treasurer) where he remained until 1984/85 receiving Club Life Membership in 1985. 

He spent 10 seasons at St Mary’s where he worked in administration while coaching sides to 11 grand finals for seven underage premierships before joining the NTFL as the Development Manager.

His involvement with NT representative sides began in 1974 with the Secondary Under 16 side and led to coaching and administration roles for 45 years with primary, secondary, Teal Cup and national underage teams along with senior NTFL teams variously as coach, manager and selector. Atkinson has coached 115 games at national underage level and holds a unique winning percentage against Victoria Metro and Country teams of over 50%. 

With Atkinson at the helm, the NT won national titles at primary (1987), secondary (1983) and Second Division Teal Cup in 1986, 1987 and 1989;  leading to recognition as assistant coach of the Teal Cup All Australian team in those three years. 

He was awarded the Coach of the Year at the NT Sports Awards in 1991, Australian School Sports Council Life Membership for AFL in 1997, the North Adelaide Football Club Merit Award in 1991 and AFLNT Life Membership in 1995.

A long-term supporter of NT player career pathways, he was the inaugural co-team manager of the NT Thunder men’s team. Following his retirement from his AFLNT development role, he took up a position as club development manager for the Tiwi Bombers Football Club, being rewarded by their inaugural NTFL premiership victory in 2012.


AFLNT Life Membership 1995
North Adelaide Football Club Merit Award 1991
NT Coach of the Year 1991
Australian School Sports Council Life Member for AFL 1997