Plainfield resident Kelly Enk was recently named the 2021 Northern Will County Special Recreation Association (NWCSRA) Athlete of the Year and was honored at the NWCSRA Recognition Dinner in December.
“Kelly has been with us for a very long time and is very involved in our athletics programs,” said NWCSRA Athletics Coordinator Carrie Henry. “I have only known Kelly for a short time, but in this time, she has impressed me a great deal with her positive attitude, great sportsmanship, fun-loving personality and the teamwork she displays every time she steps on the court or field.”
Kelly’s family moved to Plainfield in 1996 when Kelly was 2 ½ years old. Both Kelly and her younger sister, Shannon, began participating in special recreation programs at the then Joliet-Bolingbrook Special Recreation Association (JBSRA) around 1999. Plainfield residents were added to JBSRA in 2005, and the association later became the Lily Cache Special Recreation Association (LCSRA) in 2012 when Joliet left. In April 2020, LCSRA merged with NWCSRA.
In addition to her favorite sports, Kelly also participates in numerous activities at NWCSRA. She attends the Adult Day Program held at the Plainfield Township Community Center 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. She also has participated in variety of programs including Social Club, Dinner & Movie, Girls Night, Zumba, Paint and Sip Soda, and trips to Four Winds Casino and the Chicago Wolves.
“Kelly is always excited to see everyone at programs,” Henry said. “When she arrives, I will always hear her yell from a distance, ‘Hi Carrie!’ I love the excitement and energy she has when seeing her coaches and fellow teammates. It is obvious being a part of a team is very important to Kelly. I can see she loves the friendships and comradery she builds while participating in her favorite athletic programs.”
As for winning the Athlete of the Year award, “I was shocked and excited,” Kelly said. “I could not believe I was picked.”
Though she was surprised, her family surely wasn’t as this was not Kelly’s first athletic honor. The decorated Plainfield resident has many medals from years of competition in Special Olympics, including her favorite which was a gold medal in the 2019 Individual Floor Hockey Skills State Competition held at Northeastern University in Chicago. She was also honored that day to carry the Olympic Torch on its final walk to signify the commencement of that year’s Floor Hockey Games.
Kelly, who is 28 and had seizures as a baby that caused mental impairment, will continue playing basketball through February 8. That doesn’t include Special Olympics regional games that decide who goes downstate in March for the state championship. Soccer begins mid-March with softball following in April. All the activity certainly keeps her parents, Randy and Anne Enk, busy.
“I can only be in so many places at one time!” joked her mother Anne.
When not participating in activities through NWCSRA and Special Olympics, Kelly also enjoys shopping, movies, picnics, puzzles, board games and hanging out with her four other siblings.
In addition to the NWCSRA honor, Kelly also will be recognized at the February 9 Plainfield Park District Board of Commissioners meeting.