Hundreds of pounds which was going to be used to provide extra sports coaching to youngsters has had to be diverted pay for emergency repairs after vandals trashed vital equipment.

Yobs have targeted a meter which controls the flood lighting at Addingham’s award winning multi-use games area (MUGA) in the village.

On three separate occasions vandals attacked the meter (above), apparently trying to rob it of the tokens used to buy lighting time.

After the third attack which completely destroyed the meter and included an attempt to set it on fire, the lights were disconnected for safety.

The attacks meant youngsters were unable to enjoy flood lit activities on the £125,000 village games area over the school holidays.

The lights have only just been able to be turned back on this week.

Mike Bolton, of Addingham Civic Society, who was one of the project managers for the games area which was opened last year, said: “What is really frustrating is that we have recently won two awards for the MUGA, one of them a national award, and we were going to use the prize money to fund more sports coaching for the youngsters of Addingham.

“Now that money will have to go to pay for the repairs.”