THE last thing Grafton Netball Association vice president Brooke Burton was expecting to see on Saturday morning when she arrived at the netball courts was scratches and gouges on three of their recently upgraded surfaces.

Ms Burton said the association had recently spent close to $50,000 on upgrading the three courts, and since there was no-one locally able to perform the repairs the association was looking at another bill of around $10,000.

"Because the area is such a big area, they need to do the whole thing, they can't just do a little bit here and a little bit there," Ms Burton said.

"It's disappointing to us as an association, and to the players too. When you spend so much time and effort into making the courts acceptable and you can't turn around and we've probably only had these finish three weeks ago, and to be greeted with this is just really disappointing."

Ms Burton said this wasn't the first time the courts had been damaged, and the association was keen to see greater security for the courts.

"Ideally we'd love to get a fence around here to stop this, because it's not the first time it's happened," she said.

"When you work hard as a committee to get things for the youth, and 99% of our players are youth, and this is what they get treated like, there's no respect.

"I was devastated and angry. We are looking at getting security cameras, and when we're spending thousands and thousands of dollars to resurface the courts to use, and there's 500 kids who play and train during the week, and if we have to shut courts it disrupts everyone.

"It might look minor at the moment, but it's going to wear and tear and get worse and could cause an injury to someone, which is the last thing we want to see."

GNA minute secretary Tammy Thompson said it was upsetting for the association to see their hard work disrespected.

"It's like coming to someone elses house and wrecking their house," she said.

"As a committee we work hard to make sure the grounds are cleaned every afternoon, we're all volunteers here and to have someone come and wreck it is really disappointing."

Ms Burton said the police had been notified of the vandalism.

"We rang the police and they've been down and had a look but unfortunately there's not much they can do unless someone comes forward and has witnessed it happening," she said.

If anyone has any information on the damage to the Grafton Netball Courts, contact Grafton Police Station on 6642 0222.



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