In Torino, birthplace of the Universiade, FISU's General Assembly over the past two days has seen the celebration of two great milestones: 70 years since FISU was founded and 60 years since the Universiade was created.
From its establishment in 1949, great strides have been made in both the sporting world and educational institutions. They are strides that we have been working hard to keep pace with and, in some cases, to lead. The current General Assembly, in particular, has been looking towards the future as we make every effort to initiate positive change.
The Universiade is at the core of FISU's work and we are determined not to rest on our laurels. As of 1 January 2020, we will be migrating to a new visual identity and nomenclature, whereby the Universiade will be rebranded as the World University Games - the name by which it is already known in many countries.
We have already found success in securing hosts for our 2023 Summer and Winter editions. We have also made great progress in finding host cities for our 2025 and 2027.
And we are looking to build on our success with these flagship events by constantly looking to improve the experience for all involved. For example, starting in 2023, an international cultural festival will join the sporting competitions.
Beyond the Universiade, FISU has demonstrated its preparedness to move with the times and has continued to innovate.
The intra-university format, where athletes compete for their universities rather than their countries, extended beyond the World University 3x3 Basketball League in Xiamen to the FISU University World Cup - football in Jinjiang and the World University Cup Rugby 7s.
And yet, the vision of FISU goes far beyond the university sports movement because we are educators at heart, marrying sport and education together in order to inspire and shape future leaders.
Our commitment is demonstrated by the two successful editions of the FISU Forum and three editions of the FISU World Conference that were held in these past four years, both of which enabled us to gather invaluable insights as to how we might further improve the FISU World Conference in the years to come.
Moreover, we have continued to fully integrate anti-doping into our educational agenda. With university students going on to become policymakers, physical education teachers and more, our efforts to promote clean sport and protect clean athletes will have an immeasurable impact on the future of sports.
To ensure FISU's governance is both fit for purpose and exemplary for our members, we have raised our standards.
The introduction of age and term limits for elected FISU officials was a vital reform, and one which will guarantee regular infusions of young and fresh blood in our veins.
Moreover, the creation of the Academic Advisory Board in 2018, with rectors representing all FISU continents and key universities, as well as representation from the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), has ensured a genuine voice for one of our most important stakeholder groups, right at the heart of our decision-making processes.
FISU has a clearly defined vision and mission: we understand our key role is to shape the leaders of tomorrow through their experiences of international university sport.
Our plan to achieve this - the FISU Global Strategy 2027 - is ambitious but achievable. We have a great team and a wonderful movement. And we have a sense of purpose that comes from the opportunity to do so much good for so many.
I have no doubt that FISU will be able to look back, four years from now, with even greater pride.
Nancy Gillen will return in two weeks.