Potters Resort, Hopton-on-Sea, hosts the World Indoor Bowls Championships from January 10-26. Resort director Judy takes us behind the scenes
Meet Judy Potter, doyenne of the Potters holiday resort
What are you most looking forward to about the 2020 championships?
As a family we enjoy hosting the biggest televised event in bowls and 2020 is the 22nd year that it has been held at Potters Resort. I love catching up with the players and officials, as well as chatting to our guests and spectators, many of whom have become good friends. Of course, nothing beats watching the bowls action up close and the tension mounts as each bowl is played.
How many people watch the championships?
During the 17 days there will be over 20,000 people across all the sessions in the International Arena. Of course, this doesn’t include the tens of thousands who watch the live-stream online or the millions who watch when the BBC broadcasts the final week live.
Where do the competitors come from?
We have players from as far away as Australia and some from closer to home, such as multiple world champion Greg Harlow who works for us managing the weekly competitions on our popular bowls breaks, and our in-house and online bowls retail shops.
Do you play bowls yourself?
My late husband, Brian, used to joke that he had invested more in bowls than any man in the world and had never picked up a wood. I, on the other hand, had a few lessons but now leave it to the professionals!
Your jackets are famous – how many are there?
This is a leading question! All I can say is that it is my secret and I have stopped counting!
Could you tell us about your favourites?
I love them all, but I have very special memories of two. One I wore when Potters was named Holiday Centre of the Year by the English Tourist Board. The other was when Brian was awarded his MBE at Buckingham Palace for his services to the industry – a day I and the family will never forget.
How have your jackets raised money for charity?
Each year, we have a competition for spectators to guess the colour of the jacket I will wear at the singles final, to raise money for the Potters Friends Foundation, set up in memory of Brian to support worthy causes and acts of kindness. This year the jacket competition money will go to Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station.
Have you made any New Year Resolutions?
Yes! Not to buy any more jackets. I hope I can keep it!
What else are you looking forward to in 2020?
2020 is a milestone: 100 years ago Herbert Potter, Brian’s grandfather, opened Potters. I am proud we remain a family business with my son, John, daughter, Jane, and daughter-in-law, Celia. My grandchildren work at Potters in their holidays, and one day they may be the fifth generation to take on the stewardship of our special Norfolk resort!
ABOVE: Judy Potter in one of her stylish jackets