I’ve always been a huge fan, user, promoter, and advocate of Eleiko and Sweden is one of my favorite countries in the world, so teaching at the Eleiko headquarters in Halmstad – Sweden was like a dream come true.
I have always admired Sweden for the level of education of its inhabitants, the quality of life, safeness, the strength of the economy, its commitment to the environment, and the kindness, friendliness, and courtesy of its people. On top of that, in Halmstad, the air is really clean, the water of the ocean is crystal clear, and you can find amazing food. The base of my feeding during my teaching there was wild game and in-season berries, with lingonberries being my favorites.
I have seen and used Eleiko bars and plates for years, so for me the quality, durability, and the “Eleiko feel”, were not new things. When I had the opportunity of visiting the factory at the previous Eleiko Headquarters for the first time, I was absolutely impressed with the manufacturing process and the testing they do of their products. After witnessing all that beauty – remember that I’m an engineer – it was easy for me to understand why the Eleiko bars have a lifetime warranty.
At about that time, I met Lennart Blomberg (R.I.P.), the former Eleiko CEO. Over the years, we shared some time together and had interesting conversations on many different subjects and I have to say that it will be hard to find another human being like him. Wise, kind, smart, great sense of humor, and always willing to help. I am proud to say that I consider him one of my mentors.
When I entered the new headquarters for the first time, I was really excited because I have heard so many good things about them, and to be honest with you, despite all the good words and comments that I heard, they all fell short. I was totally impressed! Modern offices, top technology, decoration, the museum, the store, the coffee center, state-of-the-art conference, the teaching room, and of course, the Eleiko Sports Center (more about it in a minute). But all of those qualities that I just mentioned mean nothing without what I consider is probably the most valuable asset of Eleiko – Its people. Every single person that works there is kind, helpful, friendly, always willing to help, and always providing smart solutions to the eventual issues that we might have encountered. Something else that I found profoundly inspiring, is that virtually all employees train at the Eleiko Sports Center, and you can tell that they really enjoy it! I saw them training early morning, at noon, end of the afternoon, and even in the evening, and all the faces were full of joy while training.
As expected, the Eleiko Sports Center is simply outstanding! The equipment – including just developed products and prototypes – the set-up, the environment, the… I guess you get it. It’s hard for me to express with words all the emotions that it produced in me, so I’d prefer to give you an example. Pretend that you are a kid and you enter your dream playground. That’s the way I felt every single day of my almost 2 weeks of teaching there!
Under such an environment, all classes and training sessions took place very smoothly and in a very productive and learning-oriented manner. The comments from all the students were always positive and uplifting. This time we also visited the factory, and I was as happy and as excited as the first time. Now the visit is more interactive to the point that one of our students finished the assembly of one bar.
With all of the things that I’ve mentioned, it feels like every single person at Eleiko was personally taught by Lennart. I know that some of them didn’t have the pleasure and honor of meeting him, but his family, Erik, Rickard, and Gunnila have made sure that his principles and legacy are transmitted and kept as values of the company. When you enter Eleiko, you feel Lennart’s legacy!
And the family is not only maintaining Lennart’s legacy, but also making Eleiko better and better day by day, through innovation, research, development, and hard but smart work! The way the company has grown and expanded is absolutely impressive.
All I have left to mention is immense gratitude to Gunnila, Erik, Rickard, Hanna, María, and every single person that works for Eleiko. You all made this set of classes an unforgettable experience! Thank you very much!
Looking forward to teaching again at the Eleiko Sports Center!
Coach Carlos Castro