The bowls section of Ashbrooke Sports Club aka Sunderland Bowling Club is very strong at the moment with both male and female members active throughout spring and summer in club, city, county and national competitions.
However the game of bowls in general, like many sports, is suffering through a lack of funding at various levels and a number of prestigious competitions are now struggling to find participants. One such competition is the Ashbrooke Cup, which is hoping to encourage new clubs in the north east to take part in the very near future. Here is a ‘flyer’ which is being used to explain the significance of the trophy and hopefully to attract those new competitors;
"The Sunderland Bowling Club has a long and proud connection with the Durham County E.B.A. Challenge Cup - better known simply as the Ashbrooke Cup. This was established in 1907 by club member Fred Wainwright and has been held traditionally on the second Wednesday in June. In general six teams have taken part in the competition and the club archives still has the minutes of the meeting in March 1907 when 'a silver cup value to £25' was presented for competition. The E.B.A. (now part of Bowls England) was only four years old when the competition started and Sunderland B.C. was then one of the country's leading clubs providing both national champions and internationals and hosting visiting international sides. Only wars and the current decline in bowling clubs have prevented competition for the cup and it has changed hands on numerous occasions. After well over a hundred years the Ashbrooke Cup is a competition which deserves to continue to function as a proud beacon for the club, the north east of England and the game of bowls itself."