Norwich’s Bex Field set for World Indoor Bowls Championships debut at Potters Resort at Hopton-on-Sea
Bex Field admits she will be living a dream when she makes her debut at the World Indoor Bowls Championships a week on Sunday.
The 22-year-old from Norwich faces Scotland's Julie Forrest in her opening singles game and admits the memories of her first visit to the Potters Resort at Hopton-on-Sea will come flooding back.
Field was first taken to Potters as a 13-year-old and fell in love with the tournament.
'I still really can't believe it if I am honest,' she said. 'I went to watch my pairs partner at the time, I was about 13, and I sat thinking 'wow, it's amazing'. Eight or nine years later I am actually doing it and I can't believe it. I am really looking forward to it.'
Field is honest enough to admit the nerves will kick in – but wouldn't have it any other way.
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'I prefer to be nervous before I play,' she said. 'I think it just gets your adrenaline running and makes you perhaps not hungry for it or tense, but in a better state. I think it is better if you have a little bit of nerves going on.
'The most important thing in the games we are playing, because it is sets play rather than 21-up, is to get a good start, so you need to start running from the word go really.'
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Field and Forrest have never gone head to head, but the Norwich player has seen her at close quarters.
'Julie is an exceptional player – she is a serial title winner, for want of a better term,' she said. 'I haven't played her before, although I have played in the same competitions – she was playing alongside me when I won the Junior British Isles title this year. She was on the rink next to me and I know she is not going to be an easy one to face.'
Field, who plays out of the Norfolk Bowling Club in Unthank Road, is not short of honours of her own: she started playing when she was eight, and was in the England Under-25s team when she was 14.
During her second year at the UEA she won the National Junior Ladies singles, and during a year abroad in Spain, she returned to play in the British Isles Championships – this time bringing home the Ladies Pairs title. She now plays for the England senior team and is one of the country's top female bowlers.
'I am really proud of what I have done and that's the reason I will be there, I suppose,' she said.
So is the CV strong enough to lay a genuine claim to the title?
'I think it is all on the day when it comes to bowls. If I settle down quickly enough and I play well I can't see why I can't do well, but I won't go in there thinking, 'yes, I am definitely going to win the thing' – that's a little bit silly. Generally I have good hopes of getting through a couple of rounds and if I do I can go from there.'
Field moved to Norwich when she began studying for a degree in translating and interpreting and now works as a marketing assistant at Fountain Partnership.
'I can't thank them enough really,' she said. 'I couldn't do this without them.'
Support also comes from afar – friends from her former club in Lincolnshire, the Boston IBC, will be heading to Hopton-on-Sea while her parents and grandparents will be travelling from Yorkshire.