Body blow: Rhinos Rugby League Club president Tony Stackhouse at the site of the burnt out storage shed at McKittrick Park, South Grafton.
Body blow: Rhinos Rugby League Club president Tony Stackhouse at the site of the burnt out storage shed at McKittrick Park, South Grafton.

Fire setback to Rhinos' season

ARSONISTS continue to take their toll on the Clarence Valley and the latest victim, the Grafton Rhinos, have been left dumbfounded by the senseless burning of the club’s storage shed and the loss of $8000 worth of training gear on Thursday night.

The shed, which was once a canteen and a gate building, had been unused for many years but was filled with relatively new training gear only three weeks ago after a working bee, said Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse.

Filled with tackle bags, tackle suits, footballs, training poles and sponsor signage, the timber and corrugated iron shed was set alight shortly before 10pm on Thursday.

It was completely destroyed along with 19 nearby rubbish bins and Grafton fire fighters who attended the scene along with the South Grafton brigade blamed arsonists.

“The amenities of the Grafton area are being severely affected by these people that keep on setting fire to things,” Mr Stackhouse said.

“The more I look at it (the wreck of the shed) the more I realise what was missing.

“We have a hard-working voluntary committee, like all sporting clubs, and this sort of thing just puts us really behind.”

Club officials said early consultations with Clarence Valley Council, the owner of the land and building, indicated the building would likely be insured but not the contents.

Mr Stackhouse said the club, though disappointed, had no choice but to move on and look to raise funds through upcoming events and a new loyalty card promotion which would begin next week.

“At this stage of the year, with no games yet, the club hasn’t got the cash to go out and buy new training gear,” he said.



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