The All-in-One Bowls Club Management System

In the spotlight: Bob Atkins, Adur Indoor Bowling Club

Categories: Bowls

Welcome to the second in our “In the Spotlight” series, where we’ll be interviewing Bob Atkins from Adur Indoor Bowling Club. 

What’s your position at Adur?

I’m the Marketing & Membership Director, with additional responsibility for looking after Bowlr and any of the club’s technical developments. I’m also the Summer & Winter League Secretary. 

How long have you held the position?

I’ve been League Secretary since 2012 and a Board Director since 2016. 

When did you first become a member of your club?

I’ve been at Adur since 2010! 

Who would be your all-time favourite bowler & why?

I haven’t really got a favourite but I enjoy watching all the quality bowlers at Potters each year. 

What’s your favourite thing about being a part of the bowls community?

The best part, without a doubt, is the people. Especially within my own club, we have a great crowd of warm-hearted people. I also have a fantastic personal sales support team who are on hand when a potential member visits the club. 

What got you interested in bowls in the first place?

I was very much a loner throughout my career as a Senior Sales & Marketing Manager, as it involved a lot of travel within the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, and the Americas – not a recipe for making friends! So being part of a community with lots of terrific people was a huge draw for me. 

Can you tell us a bit more about your career and background? 

I'm a toolmaker by trade and qualified as a production engineer. 

I was fortunate to have been picked out whilst working in the Metal Box Toolroom in my area to move into the commercial office to do design and cost estimating. This led to a switch to the commercial life, initially as a Commercial Manager, and then into full time sales, marketing and product development management in the packaging industry. 

From this start, and having developed a brand-new product business, I was headhunted and became the General Manager of a packing company in Cape Town, SA. After that, I returned home to continue developing products for Courtaulds for almost 15 years. Finally, having negotiated a redundancy package, I started my own business on a commission-only basis, doing sales, marketing, and commercial management for small and medium-sized packaging companies. I retired at the time of the financial crash in 2010 or thereabouts. 

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

My real parents that I never knew as I was adopted at the age of about a year.

What would you cook for them?

Not really sure, having never known them. For my adoptive parents it would probably be a full Sunday roast, as we all enjoyed them when I was a lad. In fact, my wife said she married me for my cooking skills!   

What are your other hobbies, aside from bowls?

The bowls club keeps me pretty busy, so I don’t really have much time for any other hobbies. I do enjoy good walks along our Sussex coastline, especially when it includes a drink and lunch in our local yacht club in Shoreham that overlooks the river.   

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

I've been very fortunate, through my work, to have seen a lot of the world. But my heart is still in Cape Town and always will be. Table Mountain is like a magnet to me.   

Name one item that you couldn’t live without. 

My office, together with my bar at the end of our garden. Two different types of sanctuaries. 

What’s your hidden talent?

I don’t really have a hidden talent! What you see is what you get, so to speak!

Share a surprising fact about yourself

That after all my years of travelling, I'm still married to my first and only wife who had to bring our two daughters up singlehandedly for the most part. I did pop in when I could mainly at weekends or sometimes between flights. 

What’s your favourite time of year and why?

June as it’s my birthday and wedding anniversary on the same day! 

If you won the lottery, how would you spend the money?

Assuming it was a big win, I would keep some for ourselves to enjoy for holidays. Then I would use the rest to look after our two daughters and their families, and finally to support our favourite charities.  

Want to be featured in our next spotlight blog post?

If you’d like to be interviewed for the Bowlr Spotlight series, please get in touch with Andy ([email protected]). Thanks for reading and see you again soon!