Keswick Rugby Club is facing a £4,000 bill after being targeted by vandals who ripped out seating and smashed glass panels in the stand at Davidson Park.
The clubhouse has also been damaged by youths who were spotted on the roof trying to break in, while smashed bottles have had to be cleared off the pitch before training sessions can start.
The problems come as the club, which proudly regards itself as a community asset, has had its income drastically reduced while it is unable to play league fixtures until at least the new year because of COVID restrictions.
“We’ve always had a problem with youngsters using our stand to drink in and leaving their bottles and cans behind — but this is worse,” said newly-elected club chairman Allan Lambert, who has succeeded Trevor Keough, now vice-chairman.
“Since last Sunday’s training session, a length of seating in the stand has been ripped out and thrown onto the pitch, together with some broken glass.”
Besides running two men’s teams, the club recently added a ladies’ section to its training sessions as well as providing sport for boys and girls aged seven upwards.
During the first lockdown, glass panels in the stand, which had been donated to the club, were kicked out and the broken glass scattered.
Since then, bottles have been smashed in the stand and cans and other materials thrown onto the pitch. Youths were seen on the roof of the changing rooms and it appeared they had been trying to access the building through a skylight.
“An estimate to repair the damage with vandal-proof materials came to a little under £4,000.
“The cost of cleaning up, repairing the damage and ensuring the pitches are safe is a commitment the volunteers who run the club could do without.” Allan added.
He said police support for the club had been “excellent”, but added that they would welcome assistance from anyone who can provide any information.