Soccer theft shatters innocence of youth

It seems when it comes to crime in Ballarat, not even our young in our city are safe.

While the media is constantly reporting about tradies, stores and homes being targeted by heartless thieves, when it comes to the innocent young ones being the victims it turns us cold and makes our blood boil all at the same time.

The latest victims of the crime spree were junior soccer players from the Sebastopol Vikings, who had their sporting gear stolen from changerooms at the weekend.

Around $1500 worth of clothes and gear, as well as a Fitbit and a wallet, were stolen from the Morshead Park grounds while the Vikings kids were playing a match on Friday night.

These kids were out enjoying themselves on the soccer pitch. They were innocent children, whose parents had probably worked extremely hard to save money for the sporting gear, which doesn’t come cheap.

Some of these kids actually worked part-time jobs at supermarkets and fast food outlets after school, on weekends and during holidays to buy the gear.

They will now have to go without their soccer gear for some time until their parents can afford new clothes and shoes. Or borrow from mates until they can afford new items. Or work harder after school to save up for more gear.

Vikings coach David Strachan said the young soccer players were very upset by the heartless theft.

“... they work part-time during school to save up for these things,” Strachan said.

While hindsight is a marvellous thing – yes the items were left in an unattended changeroom – these are young children playing the game they love and should not have their innocence shattered by such a callous act.

To the thieves: What gives you the right to shatter the innocence of youth? Have you thought about getting off your backsides and getting a job (like these kids and their parents)? How would you feel if your items, which you furiously saved for, were stolen? Or if it was your child who was shattered by such a theft?

If you have any semblance of a conscience at all, return all the stolen items. You may just feel better about yourself if you do.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to crimestoppersvic.com.au