The chairman of Tavistock Athletic Club has said the bill from a suspected arson attack which nearly destroyed the athletic track and equipment yesterday could run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Following yesterday afternoon's incident at Tavistock College where a container and the running track were extensively damaged by fire, Alistair Kinsey told the Times: 'As you can imagine I’m completely devastated for all the club members and the wider community. Three weeks ago, Tavistock came together with our annual Tavy 13 and primary school challenge, with over 3,000 athletes and spectators of all ages on a bright beautiful Tavistock morning.

'I’m now faced with the scorched remains of a valuable piece of athletics equipment and the destruction of the athletics track. The bill could run in to tens of thousands of pounds, the loss of education time to the college, and athletic competitions that will not be able to held. Tavistock is an amazing community and I fully expect everyone to help in bring the individuals to the attention of our local police.'

The athletic club was determined that the monthly Tavy 5k race went ahead as normal on the track this morning (Saturday) despite large areas of it being unusable.

Police have appealed for witnesses to the incident which occurred at Crowndale Road, Tavistock, at around 3.55pm on Friday 14 April.

Detective Inspector Neil Lloyd said: “We are appealing for anyone who has read anything on social media which may assist the enquiry to get in touch.

“If you witnessed the incident or have any information or video footage that could help with our enquiries, please contact police via our website here or by calling 101 quoting 50230084908.

“Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at or by calling freephone 0800 555111.”