Canterbury Soccer Damage: Athletic Association Member Comes Forward

This past week has been rather tumultuous for some Canterbury residents and members of the Canterbury Athletic Association due to the damage that was done by vandals at a local soccer field.  There were many questions such as who owns the field, who should speak on behalf of the Athletic Association, when would they be ready to speak.  A couple of Canterbury residents did come forth and talk to area media much to the chagrin to some residents because some felt that they didn’t have the right to speak on the town’s behalf.  Whether they did or do not have the right really shouldn’t be the issue (editorial) but what happened and how can it be fixed, and the CAA to move forward past this heinous act.

Then SNSN received a letter from Laurie Marquis, Fundraising Coordinator for the CAA.  I am NOT going to dissect her letter about the incident to SNSN, but add it to this story because it’s written, in my estimation, in a very professional manner with no barbs being thrown and straight facts.  Below the pictures is the letter in it’s entirety from Mrs. Marquis.

 

Good morning!  My position on the board is fundraising coordinator. I am also the soccer referee coordinator and help with soccer wherever it’s needed. My husband Ryan is the CAA President.

I’ll go ahead and start from the beginning so you have the full story.

Last week our soccer commissioner Andrew Veloce met with the NOW organization as he routinely does. Our partnership with them allows us use of Blackwell soccer fields for Canterbury Athletic Association soccer. At that meeting, Alan Rawson explained that he had been to the field and noticed that someone had left big ruts. At that point the other damage had not been done.

On Saturday morning, Andrew went to Blackwell to assess the field and see what would need to be done to prepare for our upcoming season. He arrived to see our Kubota zero turn tractor out in the field. The vandals had broken into our storage shed and went joy riding with the mower leaving the ruts in the field and getting the tractor stuck in the mud. That mower is a few years old and was purchased for $17k.

He also saw that there were balls thrown all over and graffiti on the storage shed. Once he walked back there, he found that they had broken the lock on the side door and actually broke the handle that keeps the garage door closed. All of our first aid kids were opened and the contents thrown all over the shed and field. There had been fires in the field where balls and possibly nets had been burned. There are multiple nets for goals missing that were stored in the shed.

They had used the aluminum benches to bust holes in multiple spots on the shed including a large hole in the ceiling. They threw our paint liners in the woods. There was also a sign left propped up by the shed that had an explicit message on it.

The light poles were broken and all lights smashed. Our watering system that hooked into irrigation was set on fire. That was purchased when the fields were put in and was somewhere around $9k if my memory serves me correctly. All of the gates for the field entrances were broken. The porta-potties were tipped over.

We have filed a police report. It is unsure if we will file an insurance claim or not yet. We do have coverage up to $300k for damages. Once we meet as a board, we will have definite answers.

I know what most community members are concerned with is if soccer will be effected. Spring soccer will go on. We are working on ensuring enough space in town to make this season happen. The difficult part for CAA is that we are a small group and running the program is a ton of work. Something like this makes a lot of extra work for people who already give so much time.

We have removed all of our equipment from the field to ensure no future damage. The mower was power washed and we purchased new keys. It seems to be running fine. As you could see we cleaned up all the garbage and equipment that had been all over. We are in touch with NOW about fixing the field damage.

While we are very upset that someone would do this kind of malicious damage to a youth sports league, our community will come together as it always does and ensure the kids are not effected. Anyone with information can contact troop D.

 

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