Over exposed: Brazen thieves prevent club cover up
IT'S just not cricket!
After years of putting up with vandalism, the theft of their grounds cover has sent South Tweed Heads Colts Junior Cricket Club members over the edge.
Committee members arrived at their Banora Point oval on Saturday to find their $1000 canvas pitch cover missing.
Known to be a local hangout at night time, treasurer Sebastian Koppel said finding broken bottles and rubbish was a regular occurence in the oval's undercover area.
The club owns two canvas covers, the larger $3000 one was vandalised previously with holes poked through it and now a smaller 25m x 4m cover is missing.
While the covers had been moved around the oval previously, the club's asset had never before just disappeared.
"We are used to the broken glass and rubbish, we clean it up and get on with what we have to do," Mr Koppel said.
"Sometimes they grab the covers and rip them off and muck around but generally you can recover them on the ground somewhere."
Mr Koppel said it was no small feat to steal the heavy cover.
"It would take a few people to lift and you couldn't carry it very far, you would need a car," he said.
"We searched all through the surrounding bush areas and swamp and posted online asking if anyone has seen it.
"Most likely someone is going to try and use it as a slip-and-slide."
The club is required to cover the ground to protect the pitch from the weather before matches.
"The mess and the rubbish we can deal with but now they are stealing things we have paid good money for," Mr Koppel said.
"The stolen cover was only two-seasons old and we had the heavy-duty ones which can last 10 years.
"We are a small community club who survives off our canteen and we have a few sponsors who are good to us but this is just demoralising. It's $1000 to replace."
STHCJCC cater for three junior teams of about 60 children as well as run the Woolworths Cricket Blast program for about 25 under 10-year-olds.
Mr Koppel said the club had a few senior teams but the focus was on the children.
"We are appealing to anyone who knows anything or has seen something to contact the local police," Mr Koppel said.
"It is a council ground and at various times there have been CCTV installed and whenever the vandalism stops they are taken away again and people aren't silly. They know they can do
what they want and run amuck.
"It's been going on for years, a constant thing. Not just in cricket season do it in footy season as well."