Leyland Warriors wheelchair rugby league team are having to cope with the loss of £2000 worth of equipment due to theft.
Thieves stole two of the club’s specialist chairs, as well as six spare wheels, making it almost impossible for the club to fulfil its plans to expand into the wider community.
The club is welcoming new players in impressive numbers, but will now struggle to get new players out on the pitch due to the theft.
The wheelchairs are specially designed for the sport, and are fitted with an extra ‘anti-tip’ wheel at the back.
The wheels also go further out at the bottom than they do at the top to make them less likely to tip sideways.
Club chairman Phil Roberts revealed that the club would now have to apply for additional grants to replace the chairs.
The loss of the equipment could also jeopardise the club’s plans to take the sport into local schools in September.
“We bought the wheelchairs using a grant from Sport England about a year ago. The ones which have been taken are worth £900 each,” he told the Leyland Guardian.
“We’ll have to apply for more funding now to replace these wheelchairs. They were in a storage unit at the site, and they’d only actually be in there for a couple of weeks.
“I used to keep them all in my van but I sold that so I started keeping them at the club in a lock-up unit.
“It’s possible someone has seen us putting them in there after training one night.
“We don’t have any insurance yet because we’ve never had anything of much value in there.
“The two they’ve taken were the cheapest types, so I think anyone who knew what they were looking for wouldn’t have touched them. They’re no good for the metal.
“We’ve been looking all over the fields in case it was just kids and they’ve dumped them, but we haven’t found anything.”