HIS­TORY

of the World In­door Bowls Cham­pi­onships at Pot­ters Re­sort

EDP Norfolk - - World Championships -

Bring­ing the tour­na­ment to Nor­folk was the brain­child of Pot­ters Re­sort’s chair­man and tourism innovator Brian Pot­ter MBE, who passed away in Novem­ber 2014.

Try­ing to think of a way to en­cour­age peo­ple to come to Pot­ters midweek and all year round, he had his ‘Eureka mo­ment’ one day and de­vel­oped the win­ning idea of of­fer­ing bowls breaks.

Ini­tially, Brian and his wife, Judy, in­vested in two bowls rinks and the idea quickly took off. A fur­ther six long-mat bowls rinks and a large in­door sports hall suit­able for a wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties soon fol­lowed. But Pot­ters midweek bowl­ing breaks be­came so suc­cess­ful that eight rinks weren’t enough to sat­isfy the grow­ing de­mand. In the mid-1990s, Brian ap­proached the World Bowls Coun­cil and asked if they would con­sider mov­ing the World In­door Bowls Cham­pi­onships from Pre­ston if Pot­ters built a new fa­cil­ity.

De­spite an ini­tial neg­a­tive re­sponse, Brian and Judy felt strongly that there was a real op­por­tu­nity to be taken, and in 1997 started work on a six-rink in­ter­na­tional stan­dard sta­dium – a to­tal in­vest­ment of £2.5m.

The sta­dium of­fi­cially opened in 1998 when Pot­ters hosted the na­tional Eng­land Ladies’ Cham­pi­onships.

The event was a great suc­cess and when the World Bowls Coun­cil saw the fa­cil­ity in ac­tion they moved the cham­pi­onships to Hop­ton the fol­low­ing year.

Brian’s son and Pot­ters Re­sort man­ag­ing di­rec­tor John Pot­ter has en­sured the con­tin­u­ing as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween the re­sort and in­door bowls’ flag­ship event. It con­tin­ues to in­vest heav­ily in a vast range of other sport­ing and leisure fa­cil­i­ties.

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