Graffiti vandals hit sports clubrooms

GRAFFITI vandals have stepped up their attacks on local sporting clubs, targeting clubrooms at the Alfredton reserve. 

The Ballarat Swans and the Ballarat-Redan Cricket Club were the latest victims, having their rooms spray painted at the weekend. 

“Graffiti has been going around the reserve for several years but this was the worst act of vandalism we have seen,”  Ballarat Swans president Shane Manley said. 

“It’s really bad this time and very heavy across all the walls.

“The frustrating thing is it’s (football club) all run by volunteers, hosting several hundred boys and girls, and these immature idiots are creating more work for everyone.” 

Mr Manley believed youths living close to the reserve were responsible for the recurring vandalism, which he thought had occurred late at night or early in the morning. 

‘’You’d have to question what their parents are doing,” he said. 

The vandalism had got to the stage that the club was considering putting CTV systems and security systems in place.

“It’s a combination of frustration, anger and disappointment at this stage,” said Mr Manley, who added the junior side and the cricket club’s rooms were damaged more than the senior side’s facilities. 

Ballarat Swans junior coach Karl Drever said the rooms, which were installed two years ago with a grant from the City of Ballarat, had been targeted for the first time. 

“It’s disappointing when you get brand-new facilities that the council has put a lot of money into,” he said.  “I can understand people stealing stuff to get money but there doesn’t seem to be any financial benefit from vandalism.” 

Ballarat-Redan Cricket Club president David Sproules said the vandalism was a “nuisance” more than anything else.

“It’s a matter of time before they get caught,” he said. 

City of Ballarat City infrastructure acting general manager Chris Hutton said the graffiti at the Alfredton Recreation Reserve was removed yesterday. 

Mr Hutton said funding applications had been made to both levels of government for CCTV surveillance projects over the past three years, however none had been successful. 

“The random and widespread nature of graffiti makes it difficult to pin-point candidate locations for CCTV application,” he said.

william.vallely@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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