Ella Lee

When Ella walked onto the track in 1995 to compete in the BC Seniors Games in Oliver, she wondered what she was doing there.  At age 57, this was Ella Lee's first experience competing in a track and field meet.  She knew she could run because of her experience playing softball, but could she keep up to the other women in her race?  Her question was answered when she won the gold medal in the 200m and the silver medal in the 100m.

Ella competed again at the 1996 BC Seniors Games in Kamloops, in August.   In September she decided to enter the first-ever Canada Seniors Games in Regina where she won three silver medals in the 100m, 200m and mixed 4x100m relay.  After the meet, Ella and her husband drove two hours to the old family farm where Ella and her seven brothers and sisters grew up.  She remembered how hard her parents worked and that Ella's dad taught her “... that if you are going to do a job, do it right ....”  This is the lesson that she applied to everything she would do in the future including: playing fastball and curling, working in her banking career, and later playing mixed slo-pitch and competing in track and field.

In 1999, Ella joined the newly formed track and field club for seniors, the Tri-City Greyhounds (name later changed to Greyhounds Masters Club).  With her banking career experience, Ella volunteered to be the club's first Treasurer and to do the audits for the club's Annual General Meetings.

For fifteen years, from 1995 to 2009, Ella competed in almost every BC Seniors Games hosted by cities throughout the province.  She competed in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and javelin throw.  From 2004 to 2009, Ella never missed winning a medal in any of her running events, and at the 2008 Games in Prince George, Ella won gold medals in both the 100m and 200m.

As a member of BC Athletics, Ella also competed in several BC Masters Championships and in other BC Athletics sanctioned meets such as the Langley Pacific Invitational and Trevor Craven Memorial meets. Ella has many proud memories of her competitive days in track and field but one race stands above the rest.  In 2008, at the BC Masters Championships in Surrey, Ella and her three W70 teammates broke the Canadian record in the 4x100m relay for women over the age of 70.  Because of her quick start, Ella ran the leadoff leg, as she did for most of her relay teams.

Ella remained a member of the Greyhounds Club until 2012, even though she retired from competition in 2010.  Ella says that being a member of the Greyhounds was a “hoot”.  “We go for food after a meet and have a big wind-up event at the end of the year.  For me it's as much about spending time with the people as it is about the sport itself.”  Everyone loves Ella, especially because of her positive attitude, friendly smile, and bubbly personality.