COVID-19 has brought not only devastating restrictions for the Wodonga Raiders, but opportunistic break-ins.
The football and netball club has been open only intermittently during the year and in that time, half-a-dozen attempted and successful incidents have occurred.
This has prompted the club to seek a $55,981 community safety infrastructure grant from the Victorian government.
President Mark Johnston was glad to learn of the application's success.
"We had a lot of trouble earlier this year with break-ins, so we were looking around at what we could do," he said.
"There's normally a fair bit of activity during the week as well as on weekends.
"We had cement sheeting on the sides of the balcony people were lifting up and crawling under, they were coming in through the roof, and all sorts of things - which you wouldn't normally be able to get away with.
"There's quite an extensive list of changes ... This should fix 90 per cent of the opportunists who aren't really into doing it properly, people who just come along and try and break in or rattle doors."
Their efforts have mostly resulted in damages with the Raiders keeping little inside.
At one point, Wodonga police were conducting regular patrols of the facility and were given security footage of offenders climbing through the roof.
Neighbours around Birallee Park have called police about suspicious activity; Mr Johnston hopes to keep their support and will consult with them.
"There will be sensor lighting in various places through sand-alone solar lights," he said.
"They'll come on at dark, but only stay on for three or four hours at the most, and then they'll stay on as sensor lights.
"All the timber changeroom doors will be replaced with tamper-proof steel doors, and security screens will go on external changeroom windows."
Mr Johnston was grateful for the state government funding and said $600,000 in upgrades - the most in 20-odd years - had been allocated of late.
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"We got a state government grant with a little help from the council and we built the facilities for the netball courts, last year we were lucky enough to get a government grant for a second netball court, and we've got a lighting upgrade going on as well.
"We're also in the process of upgrading our function club rooms and canteen - we're going to be ready to go for 2021.
"Unfortunately we haven't been able to get the work done this year, but we're hoping to get most of it done by March next year."
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