Ravne na Koroškem, 18 June 2019 − Petra Majdič, ambassador of the project Mind of Steel, brightened the day of 25 student athletes of the Ravne Grammar School. With a motivational workshop, interesting group challenges, and her own story and personality, she encouraged the young to find their minds of steel, and to stay committed and focused when striving for their goals. The get-together was a part of the Mind of Steel project and was made possible by SIJ Group, especially its Ravne-based companies SIJ Metal Ravne, SIJ Ravne Systems and SIJ ZIP Center.
With sponsor partnerships in the local communities in Ravne na Koroškem and Jesenice, where it operates, SIJ Group strives to maintain and bolster its long-term partnerships for the mutual benefit and development of the communities, with which it is intrinsically intertwined: “In 2018, SIJ Group formed unified sponsorship and donation guidelines, where key partnerships in the two locations were defined. We wanted to enrich and further our activities as a sports partner, which is what the Mind of Steel project is aimed at. With the help of our sponsorship recipients and our ambassador Petra Majdič, we use different events and activities to spread the message that achievements in any area require a mind of steel. This has always been part of SIJ Group’s brand identity. Today, with the help of the Mind of Steel workshop and Petra Majdič, we delivered this message to the young, maybe even our potential co-workers,” mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications for the SIJ Group, said at the meet.
Petra Majdič, an ambassador of the Mind of Steel project, touched the young with her personal experience of competing in extreme circumstances of winning an Olympic medal despite having broken ribs, and her wealth of (athletic) experience. After listening to her story, the students formed teams and tested their minds of steel – they built a paper tower which had to hold up a ball, ran a track with all team members standing on one carpet, and played “three in a row” where team members had to run to a field and place their sign.
The motivational workshop was also attended by Eva Potočnik, student of the Ravne Grammar School and a football player, Žan Rihter, also a student of the Ravne Grammar School and a swimmer, and Črt Ikovic, a Ravne Grammar School alumnus, student of mechatronics and snowboarder, all of whom are already achieving excellent results in their respective age groups. In this school year, all three also received a special scholarship awarded by SIJ Group in co-operation with the Olympic Committee of Slovenia to perspective young athletes whose parents work in SIJ Group. Črt Ikovic: “Through her experience at the Vancouver Olympic Games, Petra vividly showed us what it means to have a mind of steel not only in sports, but in everyday life.” Eva Potočnik said that in order to succeed, you have to take matters into your own hands – whining and self-pity won’t get you anywhere. And Žan Rihter liked that they tested their motivation through actual group challenges. And it is because of them – classmates, friends and young athletes –that SIJ Group organised the workshop at the Ravne Grammar School.
After meeting their role model with a mind of steel, the responses of other students were very positive. Urban Mihelič, first-year student athlete, thinks that a mind of steel and hard work trump talent and that defeats are part of progress. “We didn’t win the basketball game, but we find it more important that we didn’t lose hope and give up.”
For the school staff, these types of events are a welcome addition to the school’s regular activities. Dragomir Benko, the principal of the Ravne Grammar School, emphasized that it is not everyday the school is visited by a top athlete with such a mind of steel and successful life story as Petra Majdič. He believes that success in sports and success in school go hand in hand: “Top athletes were also excellent students.”
At the end of the event, the participants were handed certificates for actively taking part in the Mind of Steel workshop, made possible by SIJ Group. Petra Majdič, the ambassador of the Mind of Steel project, left everyone with the message that having a mind of steel is invaluable: “Nobody in life can guarantee that you will be winners, or that you will ever win. But you can always depend on your mind of steel – it is the only guarantee that you will try to improve on a daily basis.” She also brought her “diamond” bronze medal, which she won at the Vancouver Olympic Games with her mind of steel, for the students to see and touch.
SIJ Group is planning numerous other athletic events with its sports partners. In Ravne na Koroškem, a football practice with Petra Majdič will take place on Monday, 24 June, as part of the Mind of Steel Football Camp FC Fužinar.
SIJ Group is active in numerous sports partnerships in Jesenice and Ravne na Koroškem, where its companies operate. SIJ Acroni, SIJ Ravne Systems, and SIJ Metal Ravne sponsor several sports clubs in their local communities. Through this and numerous additional activities and events for reinforcing the mind of steel, their support is taking on a new dimension and added value for SIJ Group’s employees and the local communities. To raise general awareness of healthy living and the importance of recreation, and to spread knowledge about the importance of steel in sports and sports infrastructure, SIJ Group is also a leading partner of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia at the national level. Together they strive to erect open-air steel street workout stations in various Slovenian cities and towns, they grant sports scholarships to young athletes whose parents work in SIJ Group. With its approach and sponsorship strategy, SIJ Group follows the corporate vision of sustainable development, which far exceeds the social responsibility towards the environment and the local communities.
Petra Majdič, the ambassador of the project Mind of Steel, is a former Olympic athlete and the most successful Slovenian cross-country skier in history. The general public knows her story from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, when she won an Olympic medal, despite a fall that left her with broken ribs. With her personality and life story she personifies what it means to have a “mind of steel”. She is now spreading this message through the sponsorship project Mind of Steel, working as an ambassador of SIJ Group’s sponsorship and donation partnerships among local communities, employees, and the general public.
SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group, d.d.
mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +386 1 242 98 27
Mobile: +386 41 313 532