Unusual times call for unusual measures – this saying has probably never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many people, the way we live, learn, work and communicate has changed more in the past year than in a whole decade. Figure Skaters and Coaches had to learn to #KeepTraining without ice for several months in some cases. Competitions were cancelled. Travelling to a coach or choreographer in a different country became very difficult if not impossible. But, as necessity is the mother of invention, the situation prompted new developments.
A team of highly qualified experts developed a toolkit for organizing virtual events which was officially launched on January 28, 2021. This online guide teaches everyone who is interested how to host different types of virtual events such as seminars, officials’ practice, live and non-live competitions, trial judging, monitoring sessions, test events with feedback, and basically any type of virtual event people would like to host for Figure Skating educational or development purposes and empowers the Skating community to #KeepLearning. In addition, the Toolkit can support similar activities for both Short Track and Speed Skating. The ISU Virtual Events Toolkit is available for everyone to use on the ISU eLearning platform.
The Toolkit aims to help anyone interested in organizing a virtual event and it puts all the necessary information into one place. The Toolkit is free and openly available for anyone to access on the ISU eLearning platform. The instructions in each section of the Toolkit are presented in both written and video format and include screenshots and recordings to show how the virtual tools work in detail.
Among the events that took place in the past months using the ISU Virtual Events Toolkit include; Technical Panel practice sessions for all Figure Skating disciplines, live contests with feedback for Skaters, and virtual workshops for Skaters, Coaches, and Officials. There were even lessons in English and in nutrition for Skaters.
However, the experts stress that virtual events are not meant to replace real-life ISU Championships and other high-end competitions. Nevertheless, the ISU experts continue developing the Toolkit and virtual events as they have a huge potential to reach all ISU Members and Skaters at every stage of development.
On the one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult and partly impossible to cover distances, to meet in person, to hold events. On the other hand, it made people creative and brought them closer together in overcoming these challenges.
The ISU Virtual Events Toolkit group of experts will be holding a webinar series for those who are interested in learning more on how to use the Toolkit.
SAVE THE DATES!
Starting in May, every week a new webinar will take place following each section of the Virtual Events Toolkit:
How to host a Virtual Meeting or Webinar – May 4, 2021
Digital Success Strategies for Skating – May 11, 2021
How to host a Technical Panel Practice – May 18, 2021
How to use the Toolkit Online Scoring System – May 25, 2021
Video Recording for Virtual Events – June 1, 2021
How to host Virtual Events ~ Live or Submitted Videos – June 8, 2021
Further information on the webinar series will be available in due course.