Coaches at a Kirkcaldy club have expressed their fury at the ‘cowardly’ vandals who caused £40,000 of damage to equipment over the festive break.
Balwearie Gymnastics Club was forced to shut its doors for a few days following the damage to a number of pieces of gym apparatus between December 21-27.
Police in Kirkcaldy are currently investigating the incident which took place at the club’s premises in Mitchelston Industrial Estate.
In total 17 separate pieces of vandalism were identified within the facility.
Police described the extent of the damage as “breath-taking.”
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In a statement, Lynette Sharp and Lorraine Crawford, head coaches said they, along with coaching staff, parents and gymnasts have all been ‘deeply hurt and distressed’ that someone could target the club in this way.
They said: “Between Christmas and New Year our club was targeted whereby someone forced entry to our premises and once within, damaged a number of pieces of gym equipment.
“No property was stolen but approximately £40k worth of damage was caused to our equipment rendering it unusable. “Persons took sharp implements and cut all trampoline mats, crash mats and dismantled our bars all of which are vital to the development of all our young gymnasts.
“They have smashed glass all over the gym and cut our ‘phone lines. They then glued the locks shut after leaving to delay us discovering the same. This occurred during the festive period when the gym was closed.
“This has impacted the club greatly and forced us to close for a few days until we could make the gym safe.”
Lynette and Lorraine said a number of companies, parents and gymnasts have all assisted in starting to carry out repairs.
One parent has also created an online fundraising page which has currently generated £2000 towards the clean-up bill.
The club said it would not be defeated by the vandals.
“Balwearie Gymnastics has hundreds of gymnasts of all ages who all come to our club to learn, keep fit and compete in local and national competitions within what is nothing more than a fantastic rewarding sport.
“Myself, all the coaching staff parents and gymnasts are all deeply hurt and distressed that someone would carry out this cowardly act preventing young children and young adults the ability to practice and their sporting passion.
“However, we will not allow this incident to hinder our gymnasts development and we are fully focused on having the gym fully functional with our equipment being repaired or replaced within the next few weeks.”
They added: “The gym is still open for business as usual and we will of course be working closely with the police to ensure the persons responsible are caught and brought to justice.”
Detective Constable Michael Nodes of Kirkcaldy’s Criminal Investigation Department said: “The sheer scale of the vandalism undertaken during this incident is breathtaking and it has deprived the local community of a number of this expensive equipment.
“We are eager to trace those responsible and are appealing to the public for information. I would ask anyone who was in the Mitchelston Industrial Estate between Friday, December 21, and Thursday, December 27, and saw anything suspicious, to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
“I would also ask anyone with CCTV that can assist our enquiries to please submit this to police for consideration.”
Those with information can contact officers at Kirkcaldy CID on 101, quoting incident number 2354 of December 27, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.