In Sii Poland, passion is one of the company’s main values, which together with commitment supports the achievement of business goals. Sii employees find fulfillment not only at work, but also outside of it, developing their private hobbies. Supporting their interests is an important element of the approach to company employees, which is why Passion Sponsorship Program has been continuously active since 2016. This year, passion is also the subject of the company’s 2021 calendar. January and February pages are devoted to winter sports, which are also a great love of Szymon Miazga, Software Engineer, a beneficiary of 2020 Program, and enthusiast of mountains and ski-alpinism.
Passion and commitment as a value are included in Sii Poland’s strategy. Company employees embody it both at work and after hours. Sii Passion Sponsorship Program has been going on for 5 years, and already about 500 employees in total are its beneficiaries.
But not only the Program’s beneficiaries devote themselves to their hobbies. In response to the competition on positive hype, called “Sii Spirit” internally, our employees submitted photos mostly devoted to their passions. The author of the photo tells us about the history of the January calendar page and his passion for mountains.
Under what circumstances did you take your photo for the calendar?
Andrzej Mesojed, IT Support Specialist: I was on the ski tour in Slovakian Tatras. On that day, gray clouds covered the sky, but from time to time the Łomnicki Peak appeared from behind. I decided to take skins and crampons to my backpack to go skiing from Łomnicki Saddle to the very top. Unfortunately, during the entire route I was accompanied by fog and strong wind. I was extremely cold, so I had to make a stop. I drank some tea and decided to rethink the descent: I took off the skins, fastened my shoes differently, changed my bindings from walking mode to riding, dressed up warmer, put on a helmet, gloves, goggles… I set off along the ridge near the Łomnicka Pass. While skiing right next to the French Mulda, I emerged from the clouds and I saw this beautiful view… I had to stop and take a photo!
Skiing is my love: both sliding and walking. My father comes from Zakopane, from Kościelisko, so I spent a lot of time in the mountains. I started skiing when I was 5 or 6 years old and since then I have been trying to practice whenever I could.
Tell me about your last trip.
A.M.: Last year I was on a ski trip in Georgia near Gudauri. I spent almost 3 weeks there, walking in the mountains and sliding down “wild”. I lived in a private accommodation in the mountains, so every day I was greeted with beautiful views.
Do you have other passions besides skiing?
A.M.: Sailing. Part of my family lives in Tricity and most of them do that. I made a sailor’s patent in 1988, now I have a Yacht Captain’s license of the Polish Sailing Association and I am a member of the Anchor Naval Yacht Club in Gdynia. A couple of years ago I made my sailing dream come true and I bought a small yacht. I sail whenever I can! I often take part in regattas or weekend trips.
There are many people in Sii Poland who share a passion for sailing (that’s why Sii Sailing Team was created), as well as for mountains and skiing. One of them is Szymon Miazga, Software Engineer, who received funding for the development of his snowy passions under the Sponsorship Program in 2020.
How does an adventure with the mountains start?
Szymon, Software Engineer: I started mine as soon as I learnt how to walk – from hikes in the Beskid Mountains. My parents showed me many mountain ranges in Poland and beyond. I got the first three-thousander when I was 9 years old. However, I started my adventure with mountaineering at the beginning of my studies, taking my first steps on glaciers and discovering the Tatras in winter.
One area you are interested in is ski-alpinism. What is it about and what are your achievements there?
S.M.: Ski-mountaineering is a combination of alpine climbing with ski-turn skiing. The ascent usually starts with skiing. When the slope of the terrain becomes too steep or climbing difficulties arise, the skis are brought in on the back to be able to slide down the mountain. The descents lead mainly through couloirs, and their difficulty depends on the slope, terrain obstacles and snow conditions. Due to the danger of avalanches, it is very important to choose the right target. I have 3 ski-touring seasons behind me, during which I was able to descend from many peaks and passes in the High and Western Tatras. I consider the most difficult ride down to be Jaworowy Peak in Slovakia, rated 4 on a 6-point scale.
You received funding under the 7th edition of Passion Sponsorship Program. Unfortunately, the epidemic thwarted everyone’s plans, so yours is still ahead of you. What will you use the program grant for?
S.M.: I was supposed to go to the Austrian Alps for the ski-tour trip last spring and a climbing trip to France last summer, but due to Covid, some goals have been postponed to next summer. In the coming months, I am going to focus on ski-alpinism and winter climbing in the Tatra Mountains. I also hope that in spring nothing will stand in the way of a ski-tour trip to the French Alps, because my plans are ambitious and I can’t wait! I intend to spend more than a month in the mountains, multi-pitch climbing in the Chamonix area, and climb several peaks, such as Mont Blanc on the “3M” road.
How would you encourage people who want to try their hand at the mountains but have concerns?
S.M.: It’s always worth trying something new! I recommend starting with simple goals, preferably under the guidance of more experienced friends or on an appropriate course. As for newbies who do not have experience yet, I encourage you to join Sii Climbing Team. There, they will surely get a lot of knowledge, help from more experienced colleagues and will have the opportunity to participate in group climbing camps. And sometimes one successful trip may result in discovering a new passion. It is also worth remembering that the views from the peaks reward everything!
As part of Passion Sponsorship Program, Sii Poland has been supporting employees’ sports, cultural, and technological projects for years. Grants are awarded for technological projects (e.g. EVVA project), popular sports, such as running, but also for the development of a passion for outstanding individual achievements, e.g. in freediving.
See the video from last year’s winter climbing course and the animation from the most recent summer climbing camps of Sii Climbing Team.
Join us and check our Passion Sponsorship Program in practice.