City club fight to carry on

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SUNDERLAND Indoor Bowling Club are determined to carry on – despite the imminent closure of Crowtree Leisure Centre.

Sunderland Council’s decision to axe Crowtree has put the future of the indoor bowlers in doubt after 35 years at the city centre base, but a well-attended emergency meeting saw members show their keenness to find a new home.

The 251 members who attended gave the club’s officials their full support to explore every possible avenue to find a new location.

“The turnout was tremendous. Although the atmosphere was one of deflation, it was a very positive meeting,” said club secretary Richie Mckie.

“Although the members are obviously very disappointed with the council’s decision, the overall feeling at the meeting was more of ‘how can we take the club forward’ rather than shake hands and say goodbye.

“We could apply for funding to refurbish an existing building into a bowls venue, however we just don’t have a site to work with and you will not get funding for new builds.

“The council are keen to help, but it will be actions rather than words which will count.

“As a club, we can only hope those are not hollow words like previous occasions.”

English Indoor Bowling Association development and company secretary Steven Rodwell took time out to pass on his experience of similar situations across the country.

The council have expressed a clear desire to help find the club an alternate location and just 24 hours prior to the meeting the club’s committee held a meeting with councillor Mel Speding.

The club’s final day at Crowtree will be Sunday, April 21 after which the lights will be switched off for the final time.

If any developer or partner would like to assist the club in finding a new venue, they can contact the club secretary on 0191 5483292.