CLEAN UP:  Volunteer groundskeeper Graham Flenady with the metal bar found at the scene and a container of small shards of glass.
CLEAN UP: Volunteer groundskeeper Graham Flenady with the metal bar found at the scene and a container of small shards of glass. Kathy Dumbleton

Smashed glass delays training on fields

CLUB members of the Panthers Rugby League Football Club were annoyed to find smashed glass all over the field on Wednesday.

Panthers RLFC secretary Chloe Stevens said it was disappointing to hear this news at the start of school holidays and has urged anyone using the field to be careful of glass.

"We can't use our field until we know it's safe. It is now unsafe for families to take their children to kick the ball around because we don't know how much glass is left on the field.”

Ms Stevens said this not the first time they had glass on the field and it was up to the club to clean this up for safety reasons.

Graham Flenady, a volunteer groundskeeper at the club was alerted to the glass on the field by a concerned citizen Wednesday morning. Mr Flenady collected a shopping bag full of broken beer bottles and a metal rod was also found nearby.

"It looks like they have grabbed the rod and smashed the bottles across the field.” Mr Flenady said. "I started setting up a perimeter and it just got wider.”

While most of the bottles and bigger pieces of glass could be picked up there is still a lot more small shards of glass left behind in the grass. "All the work you put into this club it's frustrating,” Mr Flenady said. "We are suppose to have another home game soon it's idiocy as far as I'm concerned. Someone's bored and they think lets go smash some glass over the footy fields.”

Even more upsetting is no video was taken of the incident even though the club has surveillance cameras because it occurred to the side of the field. "We can't really do anything because monitors are facing the ground.” Ms Stevens said. "It's also hard to find the exact time.”

Before training last night the players and club members scoured the field for any small pieces still left behind. The club relies on the members and players to take care of the grounds. "There is a lot of personal time sacrificed,” Ms Stevens said. "We do it because we love the club.”

"We don't bother contacting the police anymore as nothing gets done about these situations.” Ms Stevens said.

Senior Sergeant, Officer in Charge Nick Paton from the Biloela Police Station said a formal report had not been lodged however they would have investigated this matter if it had been.

Last night training was confined to half the field to prevent any unnecessary injury while they will continue to clean up the ground. "We will be up here the next couple of days on our hands and knees if that's what the club needs.” A grade coach Graeme Middlebrook said.

The Panthers are not the only club in town who have suffered vandalism like this. Central Telegraph reported the Biloela Valleys Football Club has also been the target of vandalism in recent weeks when a goal post cross bar was snapped. "It's minor damage, but it's our equipment and same thing happened last year to both goal posts.” Club president Brad Smith said at the time.


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