Local clubs left gutted
Building fire devastates sport juniors
THREE local sports clubs still trying to recover from the recent flood have lost more than $10,000 worth of gear in an overnight fire.
Emergency services were called to John Rabjones Oval/les Cave Oval about 11.30pm on Tuesday to reports of a building fire.
Tweed Shire Council said the building, which provided changerooms and storage to the Murwillumbah Vulcans AFL, the Murwillumbah Football Club and Murwillumbah Cricket Club, was badly damaged and would need to be demolished and re-built.
Vulcans committee member Dave Cogger said the club had already been struggling after losing canteen equipment and stock in the recent flood. He said the canteen was the club’s main source of income and, with its past three matches called off due to wet weather, this Saturday’s games were important for its financial stability.
“The U15 girls relied on those changerooms. Now they’ll have to get changed upstairs with someone standing at the door – it’s not good,” Mr Cogger said.
“It’s not about us, it’s about the kids and getting them away from the computers.
“First there was the flood and now this.”
Mr Cogger estimates the club’s losses from equipment stored in the burnt building at around $2500, on top of $5000 in damages from the flood.
Murwillumbah Football Club’s junior director Chris Shapland said all equipment was gone, including 60 balls, nets and line markers. The losses are estimated at around $5000.
“I don’t know how we could play on Saturday. This place is usually packed with 150 kids. We’re having a meeting to see what we can do,” Mr Shapland said.
The losses for the club’s juniors come after its seniors lost their gear in the flood. Murwillumbah Cricket Club also lost $5000 of equipment in the fire. Matt Mccann,the council’s unit co-ordinator of recreation services, said it was heartbreaking to see the hard work of volunteers and players allegedly destroyed by vandals.
“The building will be replaced and the clubs will no doubt keep going but what’s the point in this senseless act of vandalism,” Mr Mccann said. “We’ll be doing all we can to work with the police and clubs to find out who did this.”
INSPECTING THE DAMAGE: Police assess the remains of the damaged changeroom in Murwillumbah.