ISU President Jan Dijkema has sent an open letter to the skating community outlining their plans for the upcoming year ©Jan DIjkema

The President of the International Skating Union (ISU) Jan Dijkema has written an open letter outlining their plans for the upcoming year.

The 71-year-old was elected earlier this year when he won by 63 votes over 52 for Hungary György Sallak in a second-round run-off after France's Didier Gailhaguet and Britain's Chris Buchanan each withdrew.

He became the first Dutch President of an Olympic International Federation since Els van Breda Vriesman left her position at the helm of the International Hockey Federation in 2008.

Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2017, the ISU has grown from just six members to around 90 at present from all continents across the globe.

"On behalf of the International Skating Union and the ISU Council, it is my pleasure to wish you all the best for the holiday season and a very happy, inspiring and prosperous 2017," read the message from Dijkema.

"I would also like to use this opportunity to thank you for your commitment to promote and develop figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating and synchronised skating over the past year."

Also in the message, Dijkema outlined the three pronged approach the governing body is going to use to expand the sport over the coming 12 months.

Dijkema outlined the governing body's strategy to expand the sport in 2017 ©ISU
Dijkema outlined the governing body's strategy to expand the sport in 2017 ©ISU

The first stage is development and the ISU hopes to establish a new and result-oriented development programme with an increased budget.

In 2017, they are also aiming to launch sustainable projects that focus on the education of coaches and officials and more competitive opportunities for junior skaters among others.

ISU Centres of Excellence, an online development platform and partnerships between members are all hoped to play an important role in this area.

Promotion, marketing & digitisation is the second area targeted for growth.

"Priorities include developing new ways to assist Organising Committees with local promotion and implementing a fan-centric digital strategy," said Dijkema.

"An example is putting forward fan content in an innovative way on an updated ISU websites and we will also update the commercial structure to facilitate ISU partners."

The third and final area targeted for expansion is good governance.

"We will implement new initiatives to further increase transparency, inclusiveness, sustainability, sports integrity and solidarity," added Dijkema.

"An example is the establishment of the ISU Athletes Commission."