A LOCAL sports club has set up a crowd funding page after its pitch was ruined for the foreseeable future by triathlon spectators using it as a car park.

Saundersfoot Athletic's pitch was used by dozens of vehicles, despite the "No parking on Saturdays" sign at its entrance. The pitch is now, in the words of the club "ruined".

The club also faces a fine for having to call off a seconds game against Lawrenny on Saturday afternoon, due to the pitch damage.

The inclement weather preceding this weekend exacerbated the damage to the pitch. The club is currently waiting for advice from local grounds maintenance experts as to the best way to repair it and the cost and timescale of that repair

"As a club at the heart of the community we are supremely disappointed that, as a result of the Saundersfoot Triathlon, hosted by Activity Wales, our pitch was used as a car park and the subsequent damage has rendered it unplayable for the coming weeks," said a spokesman for the club on Monday.

He said that a chain across the entrance as well as cones, a rope and temporary fencing to cordon the pitch off and prevent trespassing had been removed and driven over.

"We are all well aware of the limited parking in Saundersfoot during busy periods, and to host an event on one of the counties busiest weekends that actually takes away a good proportion of the limited parking spaces available has got to be seriously questioned.

"We as a club are big supporters of all events in the community, and many of our players have and will continue to take part in these events," said the spokesman.

"What we would appreciate is some contact from organisers in how we can work together to help the running of these events so that everyone can enjoy them and not at the cost of one party to the other. These events should work with the community to benefit everyone.

"Had we been contacted we could have provided marshals and coordinated parking on areas of the pitch that can stand traffic and we wouldn't have the unfortunate situation."

The community club said it had been "humbled" by the support of many local people and businesses following Saturday's pitch damage. It has set up a crowd funding page to raise funds for the repair of the pitch, and the improvement of signage and fencing to stop something like this happening again.

All money raised will go toward the improvement of the grounds and repair of the changing rooms which have been the target of vandals in recent years. To help visit www.gofundme.com/SAFCrepair.

The Western Telegraph has contacted Activity Wales for a comment but at the time of going to press had not received an answer.