Kranj, 18. 10. 2021 - On Friday, 15 October, the first sustainable slag pump track in Slovenia opened in Kranj. Three more slag pump tracks will be built in 2022 as part of the partnership between the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations, SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group, Batt Crew d.o.o. and Dejmo society.
The construction of sustainable slag pump tracks is a unique project that observes the principles of circular economy by creatively building them using steel slag, a by-product of the steel industry. The slag is used instead of stone chippings, and thus helps reduce the consumption of natural resources.
Five partners are involved in the sustainable pump track project. In addition to SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group, which donates the slag, its company SIJ Acroni, and the OCS-ASF, Batt Crew builds the pump tracks and the Dejmo sports and cultural society motivates cycling enthusiasts.
Black steel slag of various granulations, that is processed in SIJ Acroni, was used to build this pump track. Slag is already being used in road construction, but it has now been used for the first time to provide drainage and build the bumps and banked turns of a pump track.
SIJ Group, the largest metallurgical group in Slovenia, are constantly striving to understand and present steel as a material with a wide range of uses, including in sport and sports infrastructure. In the sponsorship field they have thus been developing creative ideas and projects for the use of steel and the by-products of steel production.
"SIJ Group produces steel according to the principles of circular economy. Motion along the bumps of the pump track is also circular. I am convinced that these bumps will be a joy for young people, an incentive for recreation and the awakening of the mind of steel, the inner strength for perseverance and steadfastness on the way to the goal, which has always been an important part SIJ Group's character. I am delighted that the Municipality of Kranj responded to our initiative, and today we are handing over the first sustainable slag pump track in Slovenia," said Katja Krumpak, SIJ Group's Head of Corporate Communications, at the grand opening of the first sustainable pump track in Slovenia.
With this new project, SIJ Group and the OCS-ASF are building on their sponsorship cooperation. They have been putting up steel street workouts in local communities across Slovenia since 2014. It was below Šmarjetna gora in Kranj that the 16th was opened this week. The project, which offers locals the opportunity to exercise outdoors throughout the year, is proof that we can do more together. That we are stronger together. And quality leisure in the local environment is extremely important.
"Making sure that as many people as possible are physically active in their free time is an important part of the OCS-ASF's role. We strive to create an environment that encourages sporting activity, and sports infrastructure is a precondition for having a wide range of options. If we manage to do this sustainably, we can be all the more satisfied. Pump tracks are today a very appealing and popular recreational site. They are intended for both children and young people as well as adults, for recreation and competitions. At the same time, they also offer numerous possibilities for the use of equipment: bicycles, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades… we can even jog on them," said Taja Škorc, director of the Department of Sports for All and Sports at the Local Level of the OCS-ASF. She also used the opportunity of the grand opening to thank the Municipality of Kranj, SIJ Group and all those involved for making it possible to also mark with this event the 30th anniversary of the Slovenian umbrella sports organisation.
By building sustainable pump tracks with steel slag, we encourage outdoor recreation and build sports infrastructure for the whole community and for all generations.
"I am happy that we have gathered and built this pump track here in Kranj. It is important not to dig up natural resources but to use what is already available. This was the first time we came across steel slag as a substitute. After research and testing, we decided to build pump tracks with this material. We have done something that we are all proud of," revealed Janez Bajda from Batt Crew, which is known for building mountain bike infrastructure, and now also the aforementioned pump track. Bajda also pointed out the unique characteristics of pump tracks. The one that stands out most is that they can be ridden completely by "pumping" – generating momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedalling. He also urged all children to use the track safely, to ride on it in the correct direction and, of course, to use a helmet.
The sustainable slag pump track project also reflects our social responsibility towards Slovenian municipalities, which usually finance the construction of local sports infrastructure. With the slag being donated, construction costs will be lower, which means that the sports infrastructure will be more easily obtainable for municipalities and thus more accessible for residents of local communities throughout Slovenia. "I am pleased that we are handing over this pump trail in the very environment where I spent my youth. In the Municipality of Kranj, we want to provide a foundation – sports and infrastructural, which is a condition for young people and adults to develop and maintain their physical capacity," enthused Deputy Mayor Robert Nograšek about the Kranj municipality's second outdoor recreation acquisition this week. This Gorenjska municipality also happens to have become a street workout richer on Wednesday.
Dejmo society's Dejan Gorenc hosted the lively event in Kranj. Singing performances by children from the Najdihojc and Mojca kindergarten units further enlivened the grand opening. The organisers also prepared a short presentation of the properties and uses of slag, while cyclists and instructors Matej Žan and Jan Porič took care of the youngest, who tackled Foksi's challenges on the pump track.
SIJ GROUP operates in accordance with the principles of circular economy. Steel slag is one of the by-products of the steel industry. SIJ Acroni is always on the lookout for new ways to use it. Steel slag is already being used in road construction, and within the framework of this project it has been creatively used to build pump tracks, where it will replace a natural material – stone chippings. By reducing the amount of natural materials used in their construction and replacing them with a by-product, the pump tracks become symbols of sustainable building practices.
SIJ Group is the largest vertically integrated metallurgical group in Slovenia and a market leader in European and global niche steel markets. It is among the ten largest corporate groups, 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 phone: +386 41 814 041