What I would create if I worked in the ISU.
Denis Ten

Hi Denis! I’ve found your article quite interesting because I have had similar ideas myself, I tried to implement a few and have seen many people try different projects in the figure skating and gymnastics world without success, for this reason I think I can add a bit to the subject.

The project features you present are without doubt useful but the question you need to ask yourself is “Would people actually use the platform?”. This is the main pitfall of such projects, you have two levels to consider, the institutional level, federations and clubs who may use the platform to improve their event organisation workflows, and the athletes/other sport professionals. Just a couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend, who is an IT expert, and we were commenting that it is ridiculous to find competition start times and entries published in pdfs(gymnastics), which are difficult to read on a phone, if you consider how easy it would be to create a more user friendly system. I remarked that I would very much like to do it, but then instead of using my system, either the federations or clubs would clone it badly, destroy my efforts and tank their own because it’s not what they are supposed to do… Athletes aren’t the most participative people either, in particular in sports where a large number of them are still in school. Just take a look at the replies you’ve had here… then there’s also the language barrier for many, differences in internet access and technology available, varying skill levels using online platforms, basically you’d have to be careful to make sure that the platform was accessible to as many as possible. Also, in term of discussing issues, perhaps people would be weary of doing it on a platform associated with the ISU.
I recall that a few years ago Skate Canada created a social network platform of sorts, can’t remember its name, but as far as I can tell it’s no longer around.
Developing sports related platforms is a high risk, under appreciated effort, even though they can be extremely useful and have an important part in the grooming of a stronger community, fans included. Isabel

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