The New Bedford School Committee voted to name the new fitness center at New Bedford High School the “Robert Archibald 'Bobby' Watkins, Jr. Fitness Center” after former Chicago Bears Player, Ohio State University football Hall of Fame Inductee, and New Bedford High School alumnus Bobby Watkins.

Speaking on behalf of her husband, Rillis Watkins told WBSM News that it was a great honor to have something that will be so beneficial to high school athletes named after Bobby.

"It should be very beneficial especially since when Bobby was playing football they didn't have these state of the art things," said Rillis Watkins "it's really magnificent for any high school to get that kind of equipment, it's fantastic."

She says it will help foster athletic development which watkins says teaches valuable lessons to all students no matter how well they do on game day.

"Winning is important but it's the playing and the camaraderie that they have, that stays on for a long, long time.

While praising his athletic accomplishments Mayor Jon Mitchell told WBSM News Watkins should also be celebrated for his moral courage and the example he sets for today's young athletes.

"He was one of the primary African-Americans who broke the color barrier in major college football as well as in the NFL and he really sets a great example for students at the high school," said Mayor Mitchell.

Mayor Mitchell says he expects the fitness center to open sometime this spring.

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