Ravne na Koroškem, 24 June 2019 – At the first session of the Minds of Steel Football Camp, organised by the football clubs Fužinar and Peca within the project Minds of Steel by SIJ Group, the young football players steeled themselves with the help of Petra Majdič. The unstoppable ex cross-country skier and Olympic bronze medallist encouraged the young to adopt a way of thinking, needed to achieve top results and forge a mind of steel, which is more crucial than talent or luck in key moments.
The third football camp organised by FC Fužinar and FC Peca took place from 24 to 27 June. The camp, which will from now on bear the name Minds of Steel Football Camp, joined more than 70 young boys and girls, aged 7 to 16, at the football stadium in the Ravne Sports Centre. As membership in the football club is not a prerequisite for attending the camp, a merry crowd of children gathered who love moving and chasing the ball. A very special first practice for the aspiring footballers was made possible by SIJ Group and its Ravne-based companies SIJ Metal Ravne and SIJ Ravne Systems. They invited the ambassador of the Mind of Steel Project, Petra Majdič, to share that you have to be brave, fearless, disciplined and firm. And who could better embody a mind of steel than Petra Majdič, the legendary cross-country skier who won the Olympic bronze medal in unusual circumstances, extreme even for top sports (she competed with five broken ribs). A mind of steel is what usually decides on the final success in various tests in sports and life.
Through various group challenges and games which required a lot of communication, patience, trust and co-operation, Petra Majdič helped the young refuel their passion for what they do, and showed them a new perspective on football and sports in general. But mostly she tried to awaken their own inner minds of steel. The sixteen-year-old footballer Jovan Savić, who played his first game in the senior team last year, believes the session with Petra Majdič was educational: “For Petra Majdič’s challenges today, it was very important that the team talked and was coordinated. This session will come in handy at future games where communication between players is very important.”
Success is the result of team work, as the nine-year-old Žan Sfaxi learned at the session with Petra Majdič: “I want to become the best football player in the world. With perseverance and training, I’ll make this happen.”
“What stuck with me most were Petra’s words that you must not give up when things get tough. Petra also never strayed from her path,” emphasized the thirteen-year-old player Tia Krivic, who has been playing football for seven years.
Petra Majdič brought her “diamond” bronze medal from the Vancouver Olympics, which she won with her mind of steel, for the camp participants to see and feel. At the end of the training for minds of steel the young players received awards with her autograph.
The unusual, but very useful practice also impressed Sanel Džambić, head of the football camp and an employee of SIJ Ravne Systems. “In FC Fužinar, we started the third football camp in the best way possible – our players awakened their minds of steel which they will need at practice as well as in life in general if they want to achieve their goals. The camp participants enjoyed the get-together with Petra Majdič, and I believe she gave them the momentum and motivation for hard work which is required to achieve success in sports. We admire her mind of steel, power and positive approach to life, character traits which she continues to develop and selflessly share with us after the end of her sports career. Thanks to Petra and SIJ Group which enabled this special first practice at the football camp. Children never forget such events, positive stories and encouragement – and we know that these are crucial and a big help in moments when an athlete’s progress is tested.”
With its sports partnerships, SIJ Group successfully continues its mission of a socially responsible company and awakens minds of steel. With various events and activities, it spreads the message that, as emphasized by mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications in SIJ Group, “to achieve success in various fields, you need a mind of steel, which has been an integral part of SIJ Group’s character from the very beginning".
SIJ Group is planning and undertaking numerous other athletic activities with its sports partners. In Ravne they plan to execute two more practice sessions or meetings with Petra Majdič. Swimmers and volleyball players will get to train with her in autumn.
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