Judy Potter, Director at Potters Resort, is ready to take her seat in the International Arena once again as we host the Just 2020 World Indoor Bowls Championships from 10th to 26th January 2020. We always love seeing Judy and her beautiful jackets and we caught up with her to talk about what she is looking forward to this year, whether she plays bowls and how many jackets she owns…
What are you most looking forward to about the Just 2020 World Indoor Bowls Championships this year?
As a family we enjoy hosting the biggest televised event in bowls and 2020 will be the 22nd consecutive year that it has been held at Potters Resort, and I will be taking my usual seat in the arena to support all the action. 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 over the years. Of course, nothing beats watching the bowls action up close and the tension mounts as each bowl is played.
Where do the competitors come from?
It is a truly worldwide event, so we have players from as far away as Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa and New Zealand, and some from closer to home, such as multiple World Champion Greg Harlow who works for us as the Potters Bowls Ambassador managing the weekly competitions on our popular Bowls Breaks, as well as our in-house and online bowls retail shop, Potters Bowls Shop, that now supplies bowls equipment around the world.
Do you play bowls yourself?
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 from two-time World Indoor Singles Champion, Tony Allcock OBE, but I now leave it to the professionals!
Your jackets have become famous – how many have you got?
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 a couple of your favourite jackets?
I love them all, but I have very special and sentimental memories of two of my jackets. One was worn in 1996 when Potters was awarded the ‘Holiday Centre of the Year’ award by the English Tourist Board, which was the number one award in the country for tourism and really was an incredible achievement. The other was when Brian was awarded his MBE in 2013 at Buckingham Palace for his services to the industry - it is a day I and the family will never forget.
Have you made any New Year Resolutions?
Yes! Not to buy any more jackets – I hope I can keep it!
Will there be a 'guess the colour of Judy’s jacket' contest this year, and if so, what charity will it raise money for?
Each year, we have a prize competition for spectators attending throughout the Championships to guess the colour of the jacket I wear at the Singles Final. It’s raised many thousands and contributes to the year round work of The Potters Friends Foundation.
The foundation was set up in memory of Brian to support worthy causes and acts of kindness in our community, and as a family we are so proud and humbled by the support we have had in raising lots of money and helping good causes in Brian's name.
This year all the money raised from the jacket competition will be donated by the foundation to Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station, who I am honoured to be a Patron of and delighted to be able to support this worthy cause.
What else are you looking forward to in 2020?
2020 is a milestone year for Potters Resort as it was 100 years ago that Herbert Potter, Brian’s grandfather, opened Potters for the very first time. I am proud that we remain a family business with both my son, John, my daughter, Jane, and daughter-in-law, Celia, working in the business. My grandchildren, Harry and Amelia, work at Potters in their holidays, and perhaps one day they may be the fifth generation to take on the stewardship of our special Norfolk Resort!