The dream of the Surrey Sports Museum for an Ironman athlete who launched a fundraising campaign – Surrey Now-Leader


An endowment fund aims to create a new sports museum in Surrey, thanks to a seed donation from a very avid Ironman competitor.

The museum would “commemorate Surrey athletes who have shown mental toughness and commitment to take their athletic performance to the highest level,” according to a press release from the SurreyCares Community Foundation on Thursday 23 September.

The foundation will manage the fund, which was started with $ 1,000 from Elizabeth Model as a gift after completing her 100th Ironman triathlon.

The sports museum would be located in downtown Surrey, where Model is the CEO of the region’s business improvement association (BIA).

“The fund intends to showcase, profile and inspire athletes who have roots in Surrey. This may include the development of a permanent exhibition and exhibition space in downtown Surrey, ”says an article on a new website linked to, where donations are being collected. The goal of the endowment fund is $ 100,000.

In 2018, Model was the first woman to participate in all the Ironman races in the world. She has run on all continents and says she plans to continue running at venues around the world.

A resident of Burnaby, Model is also a member of the Surrey Police Commission.

“Sport has the power to bring people together and celebrating Surrey’s many outstanding athletes is a great way to do it,” Model said in Thursday’s press release.

“To mark my 100th Ironman race, I am proud to partner with the SurreyCares Foundation to create the Surrey Sports Museum Endowment Fund, through which we can inspire others to strive for exceptional goals.”

Christine Buttkus, executive director of the SurreyCares Foundation, said the organization was delighted to work with Model to create the Surrey Sports Museum Endowment Fund.

“The museum will showcase Surrey’s many extraordinary athletes and their accomplishments, which will ultimately bring the community closer together while celebrating the absolute best athletes Surrey has to offer,” said Buttkus. “This donation will create a legacy for the future.

It is not immediately clear whether the Surrey Sports Museum would include a Surrey Sports Hall of Fame, an idea pioneered two years ago at a 2019 meeting of the Parks, Recreation and Sports Committee. the culture of Surrey. City staff were asked to report on a potential model for such a room.

Other communities in Metro Vancouver have gyms to honor athletes, builders and organizers.

“I fully support him and it is something that should be done,” said Coun. Doug Elford, vice chairman of the committee, told the Now-Leader in 2019. “We have a rich sporting history in Surrey, and there is generational activity in many different sports. There are just great people, athletes and organizers, who deserve such recognition. We have a big, big story that needs to be recognized. “

Coquitlam has a sports hall of fame, as do Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Delta.

Notable Surrey athletes include Olympic wrestler Daniel Igali, NHL hockey players Brenden Dillon, Colin Fraser and Scott Hannan, baseball player Adam Loewen, footballer Sydney Leroux, football player Geroy Simon, professional wrestler John Tenta and rugby star Kelly McCallum, among others.

“Every organization has a great people and a great history,” Elford said in 2019, “including Chuck Bailey and Orest Springenatic in baseball, and we have NHL hockey stars that have appeared, you know, and all the players. softball and people like Rocky Rockwell in Cloverdale, one of the early founders of rodeo. The list goes on, it’s intimidating, and a lot of names will appear in every sport.

As for Model, she had planned to do her 100th Ironman triathlon in South Africa in March 2020, the month COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. The race was postponed, as was a race in Oklahoma two months later and other Ironman events.

This month, Model completed her 100th race on September 12 at Ironman Wisconsin, in 16 hours, 32 minutes and eight seconds.

“It was quite a trip,” Model said later. “I never started to think about numbers. It’s always been about traveling, keeping fit and meeting wonderful people along the route of exploration.

An Ironman triathlon consists of a 3.86 kilometer swim, a 180.25 kilometer bike ride, and a 42.20 kilometer full marathon, completed in that order and without interruption.

Since 2005, Model has been doing long distance triathlons.

She hasn’t always been an endurance athlete, far from it in fact.

“I was very overweight in college, and I stopped weighing myself at 268 pounds, and I know I hit around 280 pounds,” she recalls in a 2018 interview. As a kid, I was very, very active, and between going to school and college, I just gained weight, not being active enough. And when I graduated, it was a case of, ‘My God, I’ve never weighed that much’, and I just started to be active again and eat right and not slam in the dorms, and everything, and the weight is came disabled. “

Years later, by the time she turned 40, and long after entering the business world, Model found the energy to run a marathon and “became addicted” to running. endurance. “I started in 2005 in Penticton, in August of that year,” Model said. “I was 46 at the time.

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