A GRASSROOTS community sporting club has been left shattered by an abuse of its grass roots by heartless vandals.
The Sunshine Coast Hockey Association committee faces an anxious six weeks as it worked feverishly to repair damage to nearly all of its grass fields at Ballinger Rd, Buderim.
Administrators returned to the clubhouse on Monday after a four-week Christmas break to find tyre marks scored into the grass on four of their five grass fields.
Secretary Grendell Antony said it wasn’t the first time vandals had driven onto the fields and done burnouts.
“We’ve had this a couple of times,” Mr Antony said.
He said vandals had previously cut locks on the clubhouse and run over bollards, coming at a significant expense to the club.
He said the latest damage, which had left one field usable at present, was problematic as it made the playing surfaces dangerous.
Mr Antony said the hockey surfaces needed to be level to ensure player safety, as any bumps and lumps or trenches created by the car tyres could send the ball dangerously into the air at players.
“It’s dangerous, especially with a hockey ball,” he said.
“You like it (grass) to be like a carpet.”
The artificial turf pitch remained intact but with the season due to start in March and 75 per cent of the 950-odd playing members using the grass fields, there was plenty of anxiety over whether the fields could be repaired in time.
“It’s just another expense that we don’t need,” Mr Antony said.
He said they’d requested fencing around the fields from the Sunshine Coast Council for some time, to prevent vandals driving onto the grass.
The latest vandalism, which the club suspected had been carried out on Saturday, had also been reported to police for investigation.
It’s understood on one field the damage is focused in an attacking area while the centre of another field was targeted.
It was too early to tell how much the repairs would cost, as staff were busily filling in the trenches with top soil in a bid to re-seed the affected areas and get the grass back in time.