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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Thieves steal Cumbrian archery club's bows and arrows

Thieves have devastated an archery club after stealing all of its bows and arrows.

Jeff Higham photo
Jeff Higham

The committee at Maryport Archery Club has been forced to cancel its weekly have-a-go sessions which were popular with local children, after yobs broke into a padlocked container and swiped 16 bows, worth around £2,000.

Volunteer Jeff Higham, who gives up hours of his own time each week to help, said he was “absolutely disgusted” and is urging those responsible to return the bows.

“Somebody has just come along and taken everything we have worked for,” he told the News & Star. “We started the sessions this year to boost the club’s image and to give the children an opportunity to join in. We have 15 children – some as young as 10 – and adults who attend. “It was great fun, but that has now been taken away.”

Mr Higham donated £500 worth of equipment himself for the sessions which take place at the club’s home at Netherhall Rugby Ground.

“We had to turn all of the children away,” said Mr Higham. “They were really upset as they love it and have been coming down for weeks on end.

“This is all down to somebody’s selfishness. I just can’t understand how nobody saw them carrying the bows away.”

The only positive to come out of the situation, said Mr Higham, is the community response. More than 7,000 people have visited the club’s Facebook page to read posts about the missing items and people have been spreading the word and offering donations for new equipment. Other archery clubs in the county have also offered to lend bows until the situation is resolved.

Olympic archer Alan Wills, who lives at Frizington, has also slammed the actions of the thieves. Mr Wills started his own archery career by attending similar sessions, saying without them he would not be at the stage he is today.

“This is a pointless theft which has just been done out of badness as they can’t sell or use them,” he said. “I just hope they do the right thing and return them.

“All of the people who help at the club are all volunteers and this is really sad news.”

A police spokesman said the force is investigating the theft and appealing to anyone who has information to call 101.

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