Five min­utes:

Pot­ters Re­sort, Hop­ton-on-Sea, hosts the World In­door Bowls Cham­pi­onships from Jan­uary 10-26. Re­sort di­rec­tor Judy takes us be­hind the scenes

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE -

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

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