The minds of steel of young volleyball players awakened on the training with Petra Majdič

Ravne na Koroškem, 23 October 2019 – Members of the Fužinar Volleyball Club substituted jumping, blocking, serving, attacking and outplaying an opponent by developing completely different sports skills. Instead of their coach Mitja Jež, they were taken through the game by Petra Majdič, a former cross-country skier and an Olympic medal winner. As an ambassador of the Mind of Steel, she awakened in young people often hidden and "dormant" inner strength that resides within all of us – we just need to be able to awaken it and become conscious of it. This is her fourth visit to Ravne na Koroškem this year, made possible by the SIJ Group and its company SIJ Metal Ravne, a longtime sponsor of volleyball players.

The mind of steel is what gives us the drive to make the winning move in crucial moments. Through her motivational address, Petra urged young volleyball players that the key to success is confidence and belief in themselves and their abilities: “Success is the result of an extremely strong will, broad knowledge and action. But most importantly, we should set goals in advance and do everything we can to reach them.” The coach Mitja Jež pointed out that at Fužinar Volleyball Club they put great emphasis on working with young people. “We always strive to make training sessions attractive and different, such as our Minds of Steel camp. A day with an athlete like Petra Majdič is definitely a highlight. Petra's will is beyond doubt, as proven with her mind of steel in Vancouver. We all know what she endured to win the bronze Olympic medal, and her willpower is really admirable. With her presence, Petra showed young athletes how to forge the mind of steel, as without strong willpower in sports it is impossible to achieve top results. We have a lot of talents in our club and perhaps this training will help some of them on their way to success. We would like to thank our loyal sponsor SIJ Metal Ravne and the SIJ Group for making possible to spend such unforgettable time with Petra Majdič.”

Petra Majdič and her team put their introductory words quickly into practice and awakened young volleyball players’ minds of steel by facing them with different challenges. Through a slightly different training, she tried to make them aware of the necessity of setting goals and making swift decisions in given situations.

"I will always remember Petra's advice on how to set goals, ask yourself why you want to achieve them, and how not to give in when faced with a defeat or failure and keep persisting in what you want," told us Žiga Hribernik, who has been practicing volleyball for six years. During training, he realized the importance of communication and collaboration between team members. Without either of them, there is no good volleyball game.

At the end of the Minds of Steel training, the Fužinar club volleyball players also received awards with the autographs of Petra Majdič. Young volleyball players agreed in the end that the training with Petra Majdič was fun and educational. Jure Beondič especially liked the pair-work the so-called “crosses and circles” game. "I learned that the more you work together and cooperate, the easier it is for you," he emphasized, trusting us that his mind of steel and willpower are most expressive on the volleyball court.

With its sports partnerships, SIJ Group successfully continues its mission of a socially responsible company, constantly awakening the minds of steel. With various events and activities, it spreads the message that »for achieving success in various fields of life, you need a mind of steel. This has been an integral part of the SIJ Group’s identity from the very beginning, however, we also want to awaken it in Ravne na Koroškem and Jesenice, where we work and live. We are aware that being a sponsor of a club is a big social responsibility, especially in small local communities where the available financial resources are scarce,” emphasizes mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications in SIJ Group.

Involving young people in sports is an investment in their health, and for many people, through years of hard training, sport has become a way of life. Ravne na Koroškem with a more than 90 years old tradition of volleyball have been forging and developing national teams throughout these years and still today. After all, the journey of two national team players who were European first runner-ups this year, Tine Urnaut and Klemen Čebulj, also started in Koroška.

This year Petra Majdič already visited the Fužinar Swimming Club and the Fužinar Football Club, and at the end of the previous school year also students from the sports departments of the Ravne Grammar School. During the visit to young athletes in Ravne, she summed up her feelings: “Again and again, I like to return to Ravne, because young athletes are extremely open and willing to participate. I believe that with a mind of steel, persistent work and under the professional guidance of extremely dedicated coaches, they will achieve top sports results and be successful in all other areas in life.”

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 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 set up open-air steel workout stations in various Slovenian cities and towns, as well as 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 – Slovenian Steel Group, d.d.

mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications

Phone: +386 1 242 98 27

Mobile: +386 41 313 532