Wallingford Rugby club is fundraising to help replace gym equipment and secure a shed after thieves stole everything from the club in May.

The club was devastated to discover all the gym equipment had been stolen from the club shed in lockdown.

Now the club is working to raise money towards replacing and upgrading the gym equipment and making the shed more secure for the future.

Wallingford Rugby Club is a local community club that coaches 350 children and has 500 members overall aged from five to retired. The club has fundraised for Oxfordshire charities and now needs help from the community.

Doug Haggart, vice chairman of the mini and junior section at the rugby club said: “On May 17 somebody broke in and cleared us out of everything except our squat rack which is quite heavy.

“The thieves were obviously determined, and physically fit, as it’s believed they manhandled all the weights and kit via wheelbarrows for at least half a mile to make a getaway.”

After the burglary, the club was supported by its wider rugby family on social media and the club also had a mention on the BBC Rugby Podcast by England international rugby player Danny Care. However, the equipment was never recovered.

Although the club is insured for the equipment, it fears its claim will not be successful and will have to rely on fundraising.

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The rugby club have launched a crowd funding page with the aim of raising £4,000 and the team are already more than halfway there with £2,200.

The club has set up incentives to donate and those who donate a significant amount of money will be rewarded with club gifts including ties and lunches.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Haggart said: “Depending on how much people donate we are willing to give them some different gifts.

“A £50 donation is a club tie and it goes up to getting a club tie and going to one of our Vice Presidents lunches.

“£150 would be a free year’s honorary membership and a tie and two of the vice President lunches as a gift.”

He added: “We know times are difficult for many due to Covid-19, however we would appreciate any support people can give, even if it’s sharing our story far and wide where a financial donation is not possible."

The club’s fundraising page has been met with positive support. Community members who donated commented on the page.

One supporter said: “A fabulous club, that deserves the support.”

Another club supporter said: “Hope you’re pumping iron again soon. Glad I’m retired.”

Donate to the Wallingford Rugby Club at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/replacement-of-stolen-gym-equipment#start.