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Vandals target sports

centre for third time

   

Gina Hobbs

News Editor

 
       
   
CALLOUS vandals have trashed Eastside Community Sports Trust facilities at Saltend near Preston for the third time in 12 months. Now organisers from the charitable organisation fear if it suffers further damage it may have to close.
The facility which is on Staithes Road just off the A1033 Saltend roundabout was broken into between 9pm on January 3 and 8am on January 4. It mirrors a similar incident at New Year 2017 and again last summer. The facility houses a gym, physio facilities and hosts rugby league, rugby union, football, boxing and community sports. It is the home of Hedon Rangers football team, the BP rugby union team and Skirlaugh rugby league. Overall it services around 700 children and young adults on a weekly basis and is thought to be the largest sporting facility of its kind in the area; hosting a large gala every summer.
Trustee James Baron told the Gazette: “The offenders prised open a window and did quite a lot of damage to each room, the main bar area and the gymnasium. They damaged doors and let off fire extinguishers. It was malicious vandalism. This is the third time we’ve been broken into in a year. We are a charitable organisation run by volunteers and every time this happens our insurance premium increases and we have excess to pay.”
He said: “I don’t want to be over-dramatic but because of the cost it takes to run it, this has set us back. It is a continuous headache – we don’t want to walk in on a morning and find the place damaged or something missing. If we have any further damage, it may have to close.”
Mr Baron said volunteers were devastated by what had happened and after calling the police had spent most of Thursday and Friday clearing up the mess so Saturday and Sunday matches could go ahead. The facility is self-funding and receives no grant aid.
“Anyone who can help us with funding through pitch sponsorship or in any way, or who could help us step up security would be welcome.”
A Humberside Police spokesman said: “Damage was caused to internal doors and a fire extinguisher was set off. Anyone with information can call us on 101 quoting the crime reference number 16/10990/18.”
To offer help contact: [email protected] or go to: http://eastsidesportstrust.co.uk/
 
         
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