A kick in the guts for curator
By CRAIG McTEAR
ARTHUR Smart feels as though he's been 'kicked in the guts'.
The Richardson Park curator arrived at the ground at 7am on Sunday to discover vandals had paid a visit overnight.
They attacked the wicket cover he'd put in place on the northern cricket pitch at 6pm on Saturday. They caused $2500 worth of damage in the process.
They used a knife to slash a corner off the green-coloured cover and make up to 10 cuts. The hoodlums also tried to set fire to it.
Arthur says the continual vandalism attacks at the ground have left him disheartened.
"It feels like it's personal, but it's probably not," Arthur said.
"We won't be able to put the cover down until it gets repaired. It will have to be patched up."
The cover had been left overnight to protect the wicket from moisture in the lead-up to a primary schools selection trial match on Sunday.
Thankfully, that match was able to proceed despite the attack.
Arthur says Richardson Park is hit by vandals each week, whether it's the playing surface or the amenities building.
This also includes kids riding their pushbikes on the pitch.
It's getting so bad he's considering requesting a fence be installed around the ground to keep unwanted visitors out, like the one at the Coffs Coast International Stadium.
"Parents need to be asking themselves what their kids are doing of a night," Arthur said.
He also discovered a wheelie bin had been torched at the Toormina Oval amenities block overnight on Friday.
If you saw suspicious activity at Sawtell's Richardson Park, or at Toormina Oval, at the weekend, you should contact Sawtell police on 6653 1205.