Welcome to Szolnok, where you will join some of the best student athletes in the world in celebrating the FISU World University Canoe Sprint Championship.
The International University Sports Federation (FISU) recognises that just to be here has required many victories, some big and some small. Many of these victories will have brought results that are easy to recognise, like a winning score in a race or in a game. Others are less tangible, like finding the right balance between training and studying. All are equally important.
Our work at FISU is focused on providing opportunities for students - the leaders of tomorrow - to be positively influenced by their experiences of international university sport. Whether a student emerges as a champion, is helping to organise the competitions, or attending in support of a team, we know that they can all learn essential life lessons that cannot be taught in a lecture hall or classroom.
The best athletes are those who bring single-minded determination to what they do. But before, throughout and after the competitions, FISU urges you all to take full advantage of this opportunity - to go home with memories that will last a lifetime, and perhaps even some new friends from faraway places.
By taking part in the FISU World University Canoe Sprint Championship, you will be contributing to a record-equalling programme of events across 34 different sports, some of them new to FISU.
None of these events would be possible without the gracious generosity of the hosts, and I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the National University Sports Federation of Hungary and the organisers for their excellent efforts.
FISU is also grateful for the ongoing support of the International Sports Federations. Together, we aim to provide the highest level of technical excellence, both on and off the field of play. We remain convinced that the best student athletes deserve nothing less.
I am confident that the World University Championship in Szolnok will provide you every opportunity to shine, and I wish you a fair and exciting competition!