The timing was brutal. The Australian Open was in full swing and people were eager to brush off the cobwebs and get out onto the court for a hit of tennis.
But members of the Keilor Tennis Club were stopped in their tracks one January morning this year to find the club had been broken into and sporting equipment valued at more than $1000 stolen.
“We have CCTV footage that shows a guy break in using bolt cutters to get through the back fence, and then the lock on the shed, he took heaps of racquets and good balls,” club president Lisa Mayoh said.
Soon after the break-in Ms Mayoh applied for one of the state government’s sports and recreation emergency equipment grants, and then put the incident behind her.
This week, Niddrie MP Ben Carroll visited the club with news that a $1200 cheque is on its way to replace the stolen goods.
“We’ll give it to our coach to buy as many racquets and balls as he can,” Ms Mayoh said.
Mr Carroll said he was pleased the state government was able to help the 200-strong member club get back on its feet.
“That’s why our emergency grants exist, to provide the lifeline clubs like Keilor Tennis Club need to get on with business,” he said.