Former FRC director to be honored

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The Hammond Sports Hall of Fame will be inducting John Bobalik into its 2018 class, as one of seven local athletes selected.

“It’s a great honor and I’m extremely humbled,” Bobalik said. “It’s also a reflection of all the people I work with. It’s an individual award, but you don’t get an honor like this without a great team by your side.”

Bobalik, former Fitness Center director, completed 20 marathons, helped start the Calumet Region Striders Track Club and initiated the Hammond Clinic Corporate Fitness Program throughout the years.

Bobalik also co-developed the FRC with John Friend, former director of Athletics, and Robert Jensen, former assistant vice chancellor of Health, Recreation and Sports, and helped to develop the Fitness Center at the Westville campus in 2016.

“One of the little-known facts about the FRC is that it was never intended to be an auxiliary gym. It was designed for fitness education but that major fell through,” Bobalik said. “It was originally the Physical Education Recreation Building and then John Friend had the idea to turn it into what it is now and we loved it. It’s become one of the most popular places for students to hang out.”

The ceremony will take place during the 32nd annual induction banquet at the Hammond Civic Center on March 13.