A message of empowerment will be brought by dogsled to the students of CD Howe Public School on Friday, November 30. The 2016 Junior Beargrease Dogsled Race champion and Hammarskjold High School student Julia Cross will be visiting the CD Howe students to share her experiences as a female in a non-traditional male dominated extreme sport.
“Julia has faced many barriers to her success over the years, from the natural challenges of a sport that takes place over hundreds of kilometers of rough terrain in the worst winter weather conditions, to people questioning her skills and ability to even participate in the sport,” says Elaine Oades, Principal of CD Howe Public School. “By overcoming challenges and proving that she can succeed and excel, Julia has gained great insight into the value and purpose of teamwork, sportsmanship, and being prepared for any situation that can arise.”
With the help of her faithful training dogs Kate and Koa, Julia’s interactive presentation will take students on a journey through a mock dogsled trip, where students will learn and practice preparedness, problem-solving, and teamwork. Throughout the presentation, Julia will entertain and educate her audience with humourous and inspiring stories from her own journey, and over the course of the presentation students will learn that winning doesn’t mean coming first.
Julia is a competitive dogsled racer and is currently “mushing” with Moe-Town Kennels of Hovland, Minnesota. Julia has been dogsledding since 2007, and her family used to carry mail by dogsled in the early 1900s. She won the inaugural Junior Beargrease sled dog race in 2016, placed second by 43 seconds in 2017, and was a joint winner of the Mid-Distance Beargrease (150-mile) Sportsmanship Trophy in 2018. In addition to her racing, she is a regular and founding columnist for The Sled Dogger magazine, a dog obedience and agility trainer, and public speaker. She hopes to be a Veterinarian, and the first Canadian to win the 1000-mile Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska.