Jesenice, 11 June 2019 – Petra Majdič, ambassador of the project Mind of Steel, brightened up the day of over 80 student athletes of the Jesenice Grammar School. Using 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 Jesenice-based companies SIJ Acroni, SIJ Elektrode Jesenice, and SIJ SUZ.

With sponsor partnerships in the local communities in Jesenice and Ravne na Koroškem, 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 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. At the following workshops, students tested their minds of steel – in teams they built a straw tower which had to hold up a ball, and ran an obstacle course with their legs tied to their teammates’. The team who won the first challenge managed to build a 164-centimetre straw tower which they named Steel Petra.

The responses from students were understandably positive after meeting their role model with a mind of steel. Mark Medja, a first-year student, said: “I liked today’s workshop and would be happy to participate in similar activities. There was a moment when a mind of steel helped me achieve my goal – three years ago we won the Gorenjska football championship.” Eldor Talić, a third-year student, shared a story when he won thanks to his mind of steel: “At the end of my freshman year I had to retake two failed math tests, which I managed with my mind of steel.” And the following thought occupied the mind of Nina Grošelj, a second-year student: “You have to set a goal. And a mind of steel is the key to success.”

For the school staff, these types of events are a welcome addition to the school’s regular activities. Lidija Dornig, the principal of the Jesenice Grammar School, said on the occasion: “For our school, and for me personally, the visit from Petra Majdič, the most successful Slovenian cross-country skier, is a great honour. Many remember mostly her fall at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver which both shakes and thrills me time and time again. It is proof of what a person can do when they truly want something. A day with Petra Majdič is therefore a perfect name for a workshop with such a successful top athlete, as well as a person in general.”

A student of the Jesenice Grammar School is also young athlete Lara Krnc, who is already a top long jumper in her age group. This year, Lara is also the recipient of a special scholarship awarded by SIJ Group and the Olympic Committee of Slovenia to promising young athletes, whose parents are SIJ Group employees. 

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, an ambassador of the Mind of Steel project left the young Jesenice locals with the message about mind of steel: “Nobody in life can guarantee that you will be winners, or that you will ever win. But you can always strive to have a mind of steel – this is the only guarantee that you will try to improve on a daily basis.” 

SIJ Group is planning numerous other events with its sports partners. On Sunday, 16 June, as part of the SIJ Day, Petra Majdič will be encouraging all the children of the Group’s employees to nurture their minds of steel. The event will take place in the local community of Jesenice as part of the Mini Olympics organised by the Olympic Committee of Slovenia.


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.

Additional information:
SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.
mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications
Telephone: +386 1 242 98 27
Mobile: +386 1 41 313 532