Kranj, 13. 10. 2021 - SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group and the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations on Wednesday expanded their network of steel street workout parks, which promote outdoor recreation and facilitate various calisthenics exercises. The new acquisition, the 16thso far, is located beside the car park below Šmarjetna gora, at the starting point of the ascent up the tarmac road from Stražišče.
The street workout park in the municipality of Kranj is, after Tržič and Jesenice, the third so far in the Gorenjska region. The beginnings of the street workout park project date back to 2014, when SIJ Group decided that they wanted to provide free outdoor recreation to the communities where their companies operate and their employees and their families live, and to other local communities across Slovenia. Besides the aforementioned communities in Gorenjska, they have, together with the OCS-ASF and with the support of local communities, to date invigorated the inhabitants of Ravne na Koroškem, Murska Sobota, Ljubljana, Grosuplje, Nova Gorica, Mozirje, Krško, Postojna, Prevalje, Pivka, Slovenj Gradec, Ptuj and at the end of September those of Miklavžu na Dravskem polju.
SIJ Ravne Systems invested some 300 man-hours to produce the steel structure. The end product is made up of 86 metres of steel pipes, 44 couplings and 19 caps for columns. The steel structure is particularly strong and resilient – a requisite for workout equipment that is exposed to the elements. And steel in particular is the ideal material, as it withstands changing weather conditions well and with its strength gives users the confidence to test their body and their mind of steel.
The grand opening of the new street workout park was attended by vice president of the OCS-ASF Janez Sodržnik, SIJ Group's Head of Corporate Communications Katja Krumpak, deputy mayor of the municipality of Kranj Robert Nograšek and by president of the Kranj Sports Federation and head of the Kranj regional office of the OCS-ASF Tadej Peranovič.
Through various activities and under the blanket label Mind of Steel, SIJ Group awakens the mind of steel in the population. In the immediate vicinity of each street workout park stands an informational sign with the inspiring sports story of a local sporting hero – the ambassador of the workout station. In Kranj, this honour was bestowed upon the superb road racing cyclist Matej Mohorič.
“In my youth I climbed Šmarjetna gora many, many times. At least once a year I would cycle up giving it all I had. That is why I have quite a lot of respect for that 16 percent gradient road sign,” Mohorič commented while scanning the new steel workout's surroundings. He also had some advice for young cyclists on how to keep going when it gets difficult, when their legs are really “burning”. “You close your eyes, count to ten, open them to check where you are, and then repeat this all the way to the finish,” he told them and at the same time stressed: “For me, it's not only the finish that's important, but also the path to that finish. I am always gratified and thankful that I am in a position where I can do what I really love, and that I am surrounded by people who support me.” The Slovenian road racing cyclist and champion also told the youth that they should strengthen their core muscles, which are very important in everyday life as well as for top sporting achievements.
Janez Sodržnik, vice president of OCS-ASF, sincerely congratulated Mohorič, the Kranj street workout park ambassador, for his outstanding achievements in the past season and added: “Our steel street workout parks for outdoor recreation have already invigorated numerous inhabitants of Slovenian municipalities, who are delighted to make use of them. Today we are handing over the 16th steel street workout park in the 16th municipality so far. This means 542,000 people now have access to a street workout parks. I am convinced that in Kranj, a sporting city if ever there was one, you will make the best possible use of it.” He also pointed out its broad potential for use by various groups: “The street workouts are an important acquisition for us all. Besides clubs and societies that foster competitive and recreational sport, they are available to preschool and schoolchildren. Research shows that our upper body often lacks strength, that children today do not climb enough. The street workout offers an opportunity to change this for the better.”
“Top achievements in sport as well as in business require a mind of steel, which has been in SIJ Groups DNA since the very beginning. Through our collaboration with the OCS-ASF and the installation of 16 steel street workout parks we wish to awaken the mind of steel in everybody,” added Katja Krumpak, SIJ Group’s Head of Corporate Communications.
Kranj deputy mayor Robert Nogaršek was also moved by the new acquisition. He first thanked everyone who had taken the time to attend the opening ceremony and continued by saying: “I hope that we will all be proud of this new acquisition, and that it will motivate us to be more active.” He invited all those present to warm up on the street workout park before climbing Šmarjetna gora, and also invited them to attend Friday’s opening of the first sustainable pump track, which happens to have been built in Kranj. SIJ Group also played a major role in this project. Steel slag, which is one of the byproducts of the steel industry, was creatively used instead of a natural material – stone chippings.
SIJ Group is the largest vertically integrated metallurgical group in Slovenia. Its products occupy top positions in European and global niche steel markets. It is among the ten largest corporate groups, among the largest exporters, and one of the most important employers in Slovenia.
SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.
Katja Krumpak, Head of Corporate Communications
Telephone: +386 1 242 98 59
Mobile: +386 1 41 814 041