Ljubljana, 27 November 2020 – The Slovenian Steel Group, the company SIJ Acroni, the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations (NOC SLO), the company Batt Crew and the NGO "Dejmo" have signed a partnership, the aim of which is to construct five sustainable slag pumptracks by 2022. It is a one-of-a-kind project, which follows the principles of circular economy, because it creatively uses slag, a by-product of steel production, to build pumptracks. It enables the partners in the project of sports infrastructure for all to contribute towards reducing the consumption of natural resources.
Five partners are involved in the project of sustainable pumptracks. In addition to the Slovenian Steel Group and NOC SLO, SIJ Acroni will supply the slag for the project, Batt Crew will construct the pumptracks and the sports and cultural society Dejmo will motivate current and future cycling enthusiasts. Each has their own mission, but with one common vision: to have a pumptrack in every Slovenian municipality. They will add five to the map by 2022.
In total, it will require almost 10,000 tonnes of slag. To build the pumptracks, black slag in different grain sizes produced by SIJ Acroni will be used. A medium-sized pumptrack requires approximately 1,900 tonnes of slag, which will be used to build the rollers, berms and drainage. Janez Bajda, the procurator at Batt Crew, a company with a wealth of experience in building cycling infrastructure, is looking forward to getting the first shipment of slag which will become a pumptrack.
The creative use of steel and its by-products in sports infrastructure SIJ Group, the largest steel producing company in Slovenia, is constantly striving to see steel as a material useful in sports and sports infrastructure as well. As part of our sponsorship endeavours, we are constantly developing creative ideas and projects for using steel and the by-products made during its production. "The 20 outdoor gyms, which were development and built by the efforts of our colleagues, will soon be joined by 5 slag pumptracks constructed by us and our partners, where members of the local communities all across Slovenia will be able to test their minds of steel," said Tibor Šimonka, Senior Vice-President of SIJ Group.
Building on our cooperation The project of sustainable pumptracks is also the continuation of SIJ Group's sponsorship cooperation with NOC SLO. Last year, we agreed to work together on constructing steel outdoor gyms until 2022. This project, which enables people in local communities to work out all year round, is proof that we can do more when we work together. We are stronger. And spending quality time in the local environment is vital, especially in these trying times. "The fact that we and our partners in the project of sustainable pumptracks share the common goal of bringing one of them into each Slovenian municipality fills me with optimism and a hope for better days. I am proud that we as an umbrella sports organisation are part of a wonderful sports story for all of the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia," Bogdan Gabrovec, the President of NOC SLO stated.
We live the circular economy Slag is one of the by-products from steel manufacturing. The company SIJ Acroni is constantly searching for ways to use them. Slag is already being used successfully to build roads. In this project, we have found a creative use for it by using it to build pumptracks, where it will replace natural material – gravel. This will make the pumptracks more sustainable, because their construction will decrease the use of natural materials and increase the consumption of the by-product. "We are proud to be a part of an industry that produces steel according to the principles of circular economy and that is always searching for new and sustainable uses for its by-products, including in projects benefiting local communities," mag Branko Žerdoner, the Managing Director of SIJ Acroni, stated on signing the contract.
Developing sports for all By building sustainable pumptracks, we provide communities with sports infrastructure suitable for all generations and we encourage people to spend time outdoors. Dejan Gorenc, a former racer and mountain biker, the chairman of the society Dejmo and the initiator of the Pumptrack Slovenija movement believes that the cooperation of the partners on the project has opened up the door for a better future of Slovenian cycling. "Thanks to the right partners in the project, pumptracks are now becoming more accessible to all up-and-coming cyclists and for Slovenian municipalities as well," he says.
Social responsibility: better access to infrastructure The project of sustainable pumptracks is also a reflection of the social responsibility towards Slovenian municipalities, which normally finance the construction of local sports infrastructure. By donating and using slag, construction costs will be lower, which means that sports infrastructure will be more accessible for the people of the local communities all across Slovenia.
The partnership agreement was officially signed during the 15th Sports for All congress, but the ceremony itself was done slightly differently due to the strict measures for overcoming the coronavirus epidemic. See the video for more!
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.
SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.
mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications
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