Stefan, you are a passionate runner. How did it all start?
It happened by coincidence! My friend, who is now my trainer, suggested I start running. After a few trainings I liked it very much and since then I haven't stopped. That was six years ago. What I like about running is that it gives you a sense of freedom: you can run as long and as fast or slow as you want - just put on your running shoes and go!
After various races like the half-marathon in Belgrade, you participated in the Divča Winter Trail Run, a challenging course in western Serbia. What did it mean to you?
Divča Winter Trail was the first race of the season. I usually do many runs in a row, but each one is challenging. To finish this one, in which I participated for the third time, I had to run for 15 kilometers in different altitude, terrain and weather conditions. I also had to finish it in less than four hours. As the race took place in the Maljen Mountains of western Serbia, we also dealt with a steep climb. It wasn’t easy, but I had no doubt that I would make it.
Would you recommend this race to your colleagues?
Absolutely, yes! I was successful in one case: A colleague from the sales team will join me for the next run. I would recommend this trail to anyone who loves sports, nature, adventure, and good vibes - and to those who like to face challenges and are not afraid to test and move their own limits.
How does the training affect other aspects of your life?
Running helps me in both my personal and professional life – everything feels easier to handle. My body and mind are used to withstanding different efforts. It helps me stay focused and overcome some challenges at work. So, I will definitely keep running: To push the limits and develop my full potential. I'm going to do six more races this year.
How did Xella support you during the Divča Winter Trail?
Xella supported me with necessary sports equipment like special training shoes and clothing, which I didn't have and without which I couldn't participate in this trail. I really appreciate it. My colleagues at Xella were also very supportive, and that means a lot to me. I am very grateful to my company and my colleagues!
What do you like about your job as a mechanical maintainer at Xella?
Xella has a great team. It feels like a big family. I like the perspectives and the chance to further your education and develop your knowledge and skills.
What role does sustainability play in your job?
I’ve learned a lot about sustainability since I started working here in 2020. Xella is very committed to this issue. There are a lot of projects going on here that contribute to a sustainable future. The last one I remember is for reusable pallets. It's called: "Return the Pallet, Save the Planet!"
What does “safety culture” mean to you in your daily professional and personal life?
To become an outstanding company, it is very important to take care of your employees. In my opinion, Xella is one of these companies. We invest a lot in our safety culture. I feel very safe and protected at my workplace.