Juli Elders, A Chatham-Kent Athlete Who Came baCK

Juli Elders (right) and wife Lisa at the Raptors trophy tour

Chatham-Kent sends athletes across Ontario, Canada, and the globe each year to compete athletically. Sponsored by baCK to Chatham-Kent, we’ll be featuring local athletes who have left Chatham-Kent, and are now baCK, living, working, and staying connected to our own vibrant sports community in CK.

This week, we feature Chatham’s Juli Elders.

Elders is a former All-Canadian competing with the University of Manitoba, and representing Canada’s National Track and Field teams at multiple events in her storied career, focusing mainly on shot put. Elders also medalled at the Canadian Weightlifting Championships. These accolades earned Elders induction into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Here are Juli’s responses to our baCK to Chatham-Kent athletes interview:

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Chatham Ontario.

2. What is your favourite Chatham-Kent pastime?

Visiting Erieau, Thames Art Gallery, and browsing the Chatham Kent Public Library.

3. What did you do after high school?

After high school I attended the U of Manitoba with a track and field scholarship. I graduated with a degree in Psychology.

Some of my highlights include being team captain and setting a new shot put school record, being named all Canadian and Academic All Canadian, winning Canadian Junior nationals, 5x provincial champion, competing at Nationals for 10 years and being named to the Canadian National team 3x. I
competed and placed 16th at the World University Championships held in Japan. More recently, I was honoured on the U of M Walk of Fame; inducted into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 as a member of the JMSS OFSAA basketball championship team; and again as an individual athlete (for track and field and Olympic weightlifting) in 2016. I am very honoured to be part of this group.

4. What are you doing now?

I work for Christian Horizons.

5. What has made you happiest, or been the best surprise about moving baCK to Chatham-Kent?

Discovering local sights and events that I did not have the chance to enjoy the first time I lived here. Some favourites include Rondeau, multiple walking trails (www. chatham-kent.ca/Trails) (www.facebook.com/WalkCK), and the Dresden Night Markets.

6. What would you tell someone who is considering living in Chatham-Kent?

CK has a lot to offer with close proximity to green spaces, nature and the 401. Chatham is a safe community with a low cost of living.

7. Why did you choose to move baCK to Chatham-Kent?

Family. After living in Winnipeg and Toronto for 10+ years, it is nice to be back in Chatham and close to my family.

8. Describe your current sports involvement?

I am a big basketball fan; the San Antonio Spurs is my favourite team and I have been a Raptors fan since day one. Some of my best memories are of my wife Lisa and I attending Raptors games when we lived in Toronto; tickets were $15 in the Sprite Zone, and 25 wins per season was considered “good.”

I have always been a WNBA fan and now the Minnesota Lynx is one of my favourite teams to follow. It is so exciting to see Bridget Carlton play at such a high level.

After living for competitive sports, I have gradually shifted my focus to my health and wellness. I’d like to thank Peach Physiotherapy and Wellness for helping me reach my goals.

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