Press release

Slovenj Gradec, 17 September 2020 – sports fans of all generations from Slovenj Gradec will be able to strengthen their bodies and minds in the new steel outdoor gym from now on. The new sports facility, whose ambassador is the global climbing superpower Janja Garnbret, is now the 13th of its kind. With it, the SIJ Group, in cooperation with the Olympic Committee of Slovenia (NOC SLO), is pursuing the common objective of the "steel" project until the end of 2022, with a total of 20 outdoor gyms, three every year.

As part of the cooperation between the Slovenian Steel Group and the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations, with the support of the local community, the new steel sports ground in Slovenj Gradec got an ambassador, who is currently the best female climber in the world. A board describing Janja Garnbret and her successes proudly stands next to the latest sports facility in Koroška.

The ceremonial opening of the steel outdoor gym, which is made of 86 metres of steel tubes made by SIJ Acroni, was attended by  the president of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sport Federations Bogdan Gabrovec,  the Head of Corporate Communications at the SIJ Group mag. Sara Wagner, the deputy mayor of the municipality Slovenj Gradec Martina Šisernik, the chairperson of the Slovenj Gradec sports association mag. Mojca Verhovnik and the head of the regional NOS SLO office Rok Konečnik.

The SIJ Group uses the Made of Steel project, incorporating various activities, to awaken a mind of steel in people. A mind of steel has always been part of the SIJ Group's character, and by building steel outdoor gyms in local environments, they wish to disseminate that mindset among the population. Each outdoor gym has a board standing next to it with an inspiring story of a local sports hero, which helps people to find their own minds of steel.

The heroine and ambassador of the new outdoor gym, which can be officially used from today on by all local sports enthusiasts, is a young local athlete, a potential medal winner at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and the best climber in the world, Janja Garnbret. At the ceremonious unveiling of the outdoor gym, which took place in her local environment, Janja Garnbret proudly stated, "I want to thank the municipality of Slovenj Gradec and the local sports association. I am proud and grateful to be the ambassador of the steel outdoor gym in my home environment, which has been supporting me from the earliest days of my athletic career. I feel that being the gym's ambassador gives me the opportunity to give something back to my local community. I also feel very close to the motto of the SIJ Group, and I can get fully behind it, because if anybody knows what a mind of steel is, it's me. So, I'd like to thank everybody one more time. This really means a lot to me."

The president of the Olympic Committe of Slovenia Bogdan Gabrovec affirmed the statements of the young athlete and added, "The SIJ Group wants that sports enthusiasts would use the outdoor gym to take even better care of their bodies and health."

"Working out here will be a challenge for many. Reaching your desired goal is never an easy task, but succeeding and reaching your potential in any area – sports, education, culture or business – takes a mind of steel. By erecting outdoor gyms, we want local communities all across Slovenia to find their own minds of steel," mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications at the SIJ Group added.

The deputy mayor of Slovenj Gradec Martina Šisernik was especially enthusiastic about the new acquisition and, naturally, the gym's ambassador. She stated, "We work well with the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – the Association of Sports Federations. Its regional office is doing fine work and it thrills us to see this good cooperation in action as a part of the national project to inspire a healthy lifestyle, which you are running together with the SIJ Group. And part of this incentive is taking place right now, in front of the local youth centre. We are proud that our champion and queen of climbing Janja Garnbret is the gym's ambassador, because the facility will stand out even more with her name next to it. Its intended purpose of making sure the young and old are physically active will be reached and it will awaken a mind of steel, a desire for a healthy lifestyle and a drive in all of us to overcome obstacles."


The steel outdoor gym in Slovenj Gradec is the third of its kind in Koroška. Last week, the swimmer and Slovenian Olympic athlete Tjaša Oder became the ambassador of an outdoor steel gym in Ravne na Koroškem, while another one is located in Prevalje. We can say that the gyms in Koroška posses a true, even super Olympic power. The two latest additions bring the total number of outdoor steel gyms to the magical figure of thirteen, which certainly does not mean that the SIJ Group is done building them. As soon as October, the next one will be unveiled in Pivka. Until then, you can join an organised workout session on all of the gyms built so far in Slovenia, which will be a part of the European Week of Sport from 23 to 30 September. The organised workout session on the outdoor gyms with a "mind of steel" will take place on Sunday, 27 September, between 10 and 12 am. More information is available on the website of the European Week of Sport



The SIJ Group is the largest vertically-integrated metallurgical group in Slovenia. It operates in accordance with circular economy and its products are at the top of European and global niche steel markets. The SIJ Group is one of Slovenia's biggest exporters and is a pillar of employment in the regions Gorenjska and Koroška.

Additional information:

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