A club that relies on fundraising for their gear has to start over after their clubrooms were broken into and vandalised.
The Te Arakamu Marching Club rooms were broken into between March and June, when the clubrooms were closed during the Covid-19 alert levels.
Club manager Sandra Ngatai says the club rooms, located on Taylor St in Eltham, were covered in glass, dirt and dog faeces when she opened them for the squad's uniform fitting on June 14.
"We had closed the rooms in March for the alert level 4 lockdown. We hadn't been in since then so the damage would have been done during that time."
Sandra says she and her sisters Rachael Vaimaso and Phillippa Ngatai-Turahui had noticed the damage two weeks ago.
Earlier this month, the club had received confirmation from Marching New Zealand that they could start the new season.
"We were very excited. On June 7, we held a muster and since it went well we decided to hold a training session for our senior and under 12 teams on June 14."
She says while she was at the training, Rachael called her and said the club rooms had been damaged.
"I didn't think it would be as bad as what it was so the two teams came with me, as we were going to have a uniform fitting after training. As soon as we walked inside, I told the girls to go and wait outside. We were all absolutely heartbroken."
The clubrooms were locked with a cutter and snap proof padlock.
"Unfortunately it must have been cut or snapped."
Sandra says some of the gear has gone missing and other gear has been completely ruined.
"The carpet needs to be ripped out and thrown away. We're trying to scrub and clean the uniforms, boots and hats but if the stains don't come out, we will have to buy everything new. It will cost roughly $5000 to fix the damage."
A set of jackets for a team costs roughly $1500 and boots cost around $245 a pair.
Last season, the club fundraised for the new jackets which are now ruined.
"It is really upsetting as we had everything but we now have to restart. It's going to be hard."
Sandra says the club fundraises for the gear and to pay competition fees.
"We fundraise to get through the season. The Eltham community is very helpful with this, as they attend our quiz nights and always get on board."
The damage may mean the club can't go to the nationals in March, she says.
"We were working on fundraising to pay for our teams to go to Dunedin for the nationals. We had everything else and this was our only focus. This has to be put on hold as we fix the damage. We're going to try our best to still get there but I'm just not sure if we can."
Sandra says she is thankful for the help offered by the community.
"Rachael put a post on the Eltham Grapevine Facebook page asking if anyone had seen anything and we were flooded with messages of people asking how to help. We're thankful for the community getting behind us."
Sandra says she is going to report the crime to the police.
A police spokesperson says they encourage anyone who believes they have been the victim of a crime to report it.
"You can report an incident that has already happened by calling 105, anyone who has concerns for the immediate safety of themselves or others should call 111."