During the past decade, the town of Plainfield has experienced an explosive growth due to its proximity in Indianapolis and the airport.
Over three decades ago, to meet the need for youth sports programs, Public Service Indiana leased a 35-acre site to the Optimist Club. For the past 33 years at Lovell Field the club has run a very successful program which has grown every year. Their efforts have been strongly supported by local volunteer groups, as well as business and community leaders of Plainfield.
Now the lease cannot be renewed due to a developmental project and the community is meeting the challenge by building the Al & Jan Barker Sports Complex . This will serve all youth from age 4 to age 18. In addition, the new complex will include facilities and sports programming for those with disabilities. The new complex is targeted to open in the Fall of 2009 for soccer and, then, in the Spring of 2010 for all other sports.
In the late 1970's, the Optimist Club began sponsoring a youth soccer league. Currently, each Spring and Fall season involves nearly 1,000 youth from 4 through 15. The under age 10 youths compete in a Plainfield only division. Other players, ages 10 through 15, compete in a recreational plus league with nearby communities, which is governed by the Indiana Youth Soccer Association.
Since 1980, Plainfield boys have been able to particiapte in three local leagues which are age appropriate for grader 1-2, 3-4, 5-6. Last season over 250 boys participated in the Optimist Club's football program. Utilizing the high school coaches to conduct coaching clinics throughout the season has greatly increased participation.
The baseball program has a long history in the community. In the 1950's it outgrew the fields of the Park Department and was moved to the Public Service Indiana facility. Today, the Little League Baseball Program hosts over 1600 local youth aged 9 through 12 each season. In addition, teams from across Central Indiana particpate in tournaments.
This program although new, is growing well. It is designed to instill community pride, leadership, and an appreciation of team sports.
The following photo is of Shane Alexander of Vectren donating $20,000 from the Vectren Foundation to the Plainfield Youth Athletic Complex Fundraising Committee.
Accepting the photo are (Names from left to right):
Renea Whicker – Town Council Member
Shane Alexander – Vectren Energy
John Wiggins – Plainfield Youth Athletic Complex Fundraising Committee
Janet Haley – Hendricks County Community Foundation Executive Director