In dark over training lights

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Photo: Ashburton Barbarians coach Johno Simon and Kate Moses ahead of a training session.

By Mick Jensen

Ashburton Barbarians Rugby League Club is hoping the community can help shine some light on a problem it has at training.

Just one of the five floodlights at Robilliard Park works and at Tuesday and Thursday night training practices, which run for two hours, spotlights need to be set up and car lights turned on to illuminate the pitch.

The darkness at training is in stark contrast to the bright season the club is enjoying this year.

The Barbarians sit top of the Canterbury Division One competition, with five wins from five games.

The floodlight issue is somewhat of a “grey” area.

The club has a lease agreement with Ashburton council to play on the Chalmers Avenue pitch, but lighting is outside of that agreement.

It has another agreement with Collegiate rugby/squash clubs to use toilets and changing facilities on the site.

Outside lighting is switched on from inside the clubrooms, but the rugby club has long since relocated to Smithfield Road and the squash club has no interest in the outside lighting or pitch.

The Barbarians are the only regular users of the pitch and the only user requiring floodlights.

Just one of the three floodlights on the north side of the pitch worked and neither of the two lights on the south side, said Ashburton Barbarians secretary Kate Moses.

Neither the council nor the squash club felt it was their responsibility to fix it and the club was now appealing to the public for help in fixing the lighting issue.

“We’re a small, family oriented club and we simply don’t have surplus cash to be able to afford to do the job ourselves.

“If just the three lights on the north side were all working, that would work for us,” she said.

Ms Moses said the lighting problem presented a health and safety risk for the squad of 28 players.

She said the “awesome season” the club was enjoying was because of internal structure and management changes and for that success to continue, the club really needed better lighting at training.

The rugby league season finishes in August.

Anyone able to help out can contact Kate Moses on 027 4545 636.