Be bowled over at the 2017 Just World Indoor Bowls Championships
Between 13th and 29th January 2017, Potters is once again rolling out its blue carpet to host the 2017 Just World Indoor Bowls Championships. Here’s what you need to know…
2017 is the 19th year that Potters Resort has held the event, which attracts players and spectators from all over the world.
It’s the only world championship final to be held in East Anglia with over 20,000 spectators attending the 17 days of live international tournament action and the final week televised live by the BBC.
Choose from the thrilling opening weekend as play gets underway, which also includes the World Bowls Tour Annual Awards evening, right through to the nail-biting final. There’s four individual events during the Championships: The World Indoor Singles Championship, The World Indoor Pairs Championship, The Ladies World Matchplay, and The Mixed Pairs World Matchplay.
The very best players and upcoming bowls stars from across the world will be battling to take home a trophy and earn a singles prize of £55,000 in the highlight in the bowls calendar.
In the 2016 Championships, Nick Brett won the singles title for the first time, while Ellen Falkner won her third title in the women’s singles.
Stewart Anderson and Darren Burnett took victory in the pairs, with Burnett also claiming a second victory teaming-up with Katherine Rednall in the mixed pairs.
Potters Bowls Ambassador, Greg Harlow, is reigning Scottish International Open winner, Grand Prix Bowls champion and English Champion of Champions winner. Other accolades include 2010 World Indoor Bowls Champion and 2014 World Indoor Pairs winner. Greg, who manages Potters Bowls shop on Resort and online, will be competing once again in the 2017 Championships and we can’t wait to cheer him on!
Just, previously known as Just Retirement and recently merged with Partnership Assurance, are delighted to be sponsoring the bowls for the fourth year running. Just believes that everyone deserves a fair, secure and fulfilling retirement by providing simple, flexible and innovative retirement income products and services.
Bowls breaks are available, as well as day tickets, so call 0333 3207 497 for more information or to book.
We can’t wait for another thrilling Championships to take place. We’ll be bringing you interviews with last year’s champions Nick Brett and Ellen Falkner very soon!
Want to know about the history of the Championships at Potters? Then read on…
History of the Just World Indoor Bowls Championships at Potters Resort
Bringing the tournament to Norfolk was the brainchild of Potters Resort’s chairman and tourism innovator Brian Potter MBE, who sadly passed away in November 2014, aged 73.
Trying to think of a way to encourage people to come to Potters midweek and all year round, he had his ‘Archimedes moment’ while shaving one day and developed the winning idea of offering bowls breaks to attract more mature guests to the Resort.
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 an enormous success and when the World Bowls Council saw the facility in action they moved the championships to Hopton the following year.
The Potter family, now under the guidance of Managing Director, John Potter, has continued to invest heavily in a vast range of other sporting and leisure facilities: the world-class Atlas Theatre and a new family Game Zone area in 2015, as well as bar and reception areas and continuous improvements in accommodation and hospitality.
As host and sponsor, Brian invested more in the sport of bowls than any other single individual in the world. This was recognised by the sport with the family being presented with a special award for Services to Bowls.