Jan Dijkema, President of the International Skating Union (ISU), has offered measured support for the recent outspoken report published by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) which considers how new commercial competitions can co-exist with those already established in the sporting programme.
The report commented: "A protectionist approach is not going to cut it and International Federations can ill-afford to rest on their laurels while claiming a historical right to govern a sport."
Dijkema is currently Saitama in Japan for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, which are due to start on Wednesday (March 20) and run until next Sunday (March 24).
"As a sociologist, I am very much interested in developments in society and in sports,” he told insidethegames.
"As ISU, we have not been able to analyse the entire report yet due to the busy winter season.
“Nevertheless, I support the finding that IFs will need to develop a more proactive, creative, marketing driven and collaborative mind set and to re-evaluate their role and strategies in order to capture current and new generations with sports.
"It is difficult to predict the future.
"evertheless, I also foresee a further professionalisation in the organisation of events with an increasing collaboration with specialised marketing and media companies in order to adapt to the rapidly changing world. It is a race without a finish."
As part of the ISU’s concern for athlete welfare it has written in numerous safeguards to its rules regarding future co-existence with independent commercial competitions.
It has also enshrined an agreement whereby "up to 10 per cent" of profits from such independent ventures will be paid to the ISU as Solidarity Contributions going to athlete welfare and development.
The ISU has also put a new level of safeguarding in place for athletes.
"Recently there were reports of abuse and harassment on a Korean short track athlete," Dijkema said.
"The ISU condemns any kind of abuse or harassment and we published a full statement on this matter in December.
"The ISU has recently created a new role of Ombudsperson in order to give Athletes, ISU officials and office holders and the public the possibility to submit any complaints or concerns without having to go through the official process which usually consists of submitting a complaint to their Federation or the ISU Disciplinary Commission."
For the full interview with Jan Dijkema click here.