Organisers of Eastbourne junior parkrun were shocked to discover a box containing essential equipment for the weekly event was broken into and items stolen.
Despite a sign saying nothing inside was of value, locks were cut off the box and it was plundered of equipment including the junior parkrun landmark flag.
Liz Lumber, a member of the core volunteer team, said, “This was an act of thoughtless criminal damage and theft which is very disappointing to the community involved with the Eastbourne junior parkrun.”
They reported the incident, believed to have taken place on August 27, to the police but officers said further leads were needed to continue inquiries.
Despite this, the juniorparkrun team will continue to host its free event every Sunday at 9am.
Run by a team of friendly volunteers to keep the children safe and happy, it is a 2k run, walk, or jog for children of all abilities aged four-14.
The local event launched in March 2018 with the help of sponsors who raised more than £3,500 – including Hailsham Harriers, Eastbourne Rovers, Eastbourne Rovers, Eastbourne Council, Brewers, Beatty Rd Co-op, Orbital Roofing, Team Intrinsic, Clements & Harris, Gill and Garth Collins and Marilyn and Malcolm Newman.
Often the number of children participating in the friendly Sunday morning fun run ranges from 60–120.
To participate, children simply need to print a unique barcode by registering through the website www.parkrun.org.uk/eastbourne-juniors.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org