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Darwen yobs smash up £55,000 sports gym

BAD BREAK Coun Roy Davies inspects part of the damage at the AdiZone. Below left, Coun Damian Talbot says he is shocked by the vandalism

BAD BREAK Coun Roy Davies inspects part of the damage at the AdiZone. Below left, Coun Damian Talbot says he is shocked by the vandalism

First published in Darwen Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A NEW outdoor gym facility that cost £55,000 has been vandalised – a week before its official opening.

The all-weather AdiZone area has been built at the side of Darwen Valley Community Centre, Sudellside Street, to encourage the community to become more active.

It features several keep-fit equipment stations and a basketball area, and has images of Britain’s top sports stars depicted in the Adidas branded area.

Five Adidas signs were smashed, which could cost up to £1,000 to fix.

Sudell councillor Roy Davies said: “It is absolutely terrible and I am really disappointed. A big problem is that the fencing is not secure enough. Recently I got stick for saying that whatever you do in Darwen just gets thrown in your face, but this is a prime example.

“We are trying to give young people something to do, and some idiots have chosen to smash it up. It makes you wonder whether it is worth it or whether you should just give up.

“Somebody will know who has done this and they need to tell the police.”

Coun Damian Talbot, executive member for culture and leisure, said: “This fantastic facility was built for the community. I am shocked that it has been wrecked before it is open.

“In this economic climate, such facilities should be treasured as they may not come around that often.”

The AdiZone was due to be opened officially next Friday by the new borough mayor, Zamir Khan, but is now closed.

More than 50 AdiZones have now been installed across the UK, and are part of Olympic sponsor Adidas’s aim to create a legacy of sporting activity around the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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