International Military Sports Council

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International Military Sports Council
Conseil International du Sport Militaire
CISM Logo.jpg
Abbreviation IMSC/CISM
Motto Friendship through Sport
Formation February 18, 1948; 68 years ago (1948-02-18)
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Region served
Colonel Abdul Hakeem Al Shino (Bahrain)
Website CISM

The International Military Sports Council (IMSC) or Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM), established 1948, is one of the largest multidisciplinary organisations in the world. CISM is the second largest multi-sport discipline organization after the International Olympic Committee, holding more than 20 competitions annually.[1] Soldiers, who may previously have met on the battlefield, now meet on the sports playing field. It organises various sporting events, including the Military World Games and World Military Cup for the armed forces of 134 member countries.[2] The aim of CISM is to promote sport activity and physical education between armed forces as a means to foster world peace. The motto of CISM is “Friendship through Sport” and is based on three pillars of sport, education and solidarity.[3] This is in accordance with the philosophy and the ideals which were set in CISM’s mission statement in 1998, signed by all the member countries.

The current elected President of CISM is Navy Commander Abdul Hakeem Al-Shino of Bahrain and the General Secretariat is located in Brussels, Belgium under the management of the Secretary General, Colonel Mamby Koita of Guinea.


Interallied Games[edit]

The first Interallied Games were held in Joinville, Paris, France with 1500 athletes competing in 24 sports representing 18 nations in 1919. The second Interallied Games were held in Berlin, Germany in 1946.[4]

Allied Forces Sports Council[edit]

The Allied Forces Sports Council was set up on May 1946 by Colonel Debrus and Major Mollet. The Allied Forces Sports Council was extinguished in 1947. [5]


CISM was founded on 18 February 1948 by Colonel Debrus and Major Mollet with Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as its first five members. In 1950, Argentina and Egypt became members. In 1951, the United States joined. In 1952, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Syria became members. During the Cold War, member nations of the Warsaw Pact joined the rival SKDA rather than CISM. In 1954, Brazil joined CISM, and has subsequently participated in sport championships, hosted events, it is the main the 2011 Military World Games, officially known as the 5th CISM Military World Games, was hosted from July 15–24, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, and been involved in the leadership of CISM through attending high level working groups, sport committees, commissions, and activities, to membership on the Board of Directors and as Vice President for the Americas. In 1985, Canada joined CISM. In 1991-1995, after the fall of the Berlin Wall 31 new member countries joined CISM. This rapid progress led to recognition by international institutions as the IOC. Prior to 1995, CISM organized fifteen to twenty world championship per year. Since 1995, CISM has organized every four years the Military World Games, a multi-sport event.[6]

CISM of the Americas[edit]

The CISM of the Americas Continent consists of 18 member nations. Nations include: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela. There are two liaison offices known as the North American Liaison Office (NALO) and the South American Liaison Office (SALO). The CISM of the Americas Vice President, Colonel (Army) Walter JANDER (Brazil) serves as one of the four CISM Vice Presidents.[7]

Military World Games[edit]

The Military World Games are a multisports event organised every four years since 1995. They are held one year before the year the Olympic Games are organised.

  • The 1st Military World Games 1995 Military World Games was held in Rome from 4 to 16 September 1995; 93 nations competed in 17 different sporting events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the second World War and of the ratification of the United Nations Organization Charter.
  • In 1999, the 2nd Military World Games 1999 Military World Games was held in August 1999 in Zagreb, Croatia; 7000 participants from 82 nations competed in 20 sports.
  • In 2003, the 3rd Military World Games 2003 Military World Games was held in December 2003 in Catania, Italy; Participants from 84 different nations competed in 13 sports.
  • In 2007, the 4th Military World Games 2007 Military World Games was held in October 2007 in Hyderabad, India; Participants from 101 countries competed in 14 sports.
  • In 2011, the 5th Military World Games 2011 Military World Games was held in July 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ; Participants from 108 countries competed in 20 sports. Brazil topped the medal table with 45 gold, 33 silver and 36 bronze. China was the second with 37 gold, 28 silver and 34 bronze. Italy captured 14 gold, 13 silver and 24 bronze to round out the top three.
  • In 2015, the 6th Military World Games 2015 Military World Games was held in October 2015 in Mungyeong, Korea; Participants from 105 countries, more 15 as observer, competed in 24 sports, including five military sports. Russia topped the medal table with 59 gold, 43 silver and 33 bronze. Brazil was the second with 34 gold, 26 silver and 24 bronze. China captured 32 gold, 31 silver and 35 bronze to round out the top three.
  • In 2019, the edition of the 7th CISM World Games will take place in Whuan,China.


Numerous worldwide, continental and regional activities take place throughout 300 days of the year. The two pillars of CISM which function as the basis for these events are sport and solidarity. CISM has become a stakeholder which can no longer be ignored by the international sports community. It plays an important role in training elite athletes. A true pioneer in international sports solidarity, CISM has implemented projects organized in conjunction with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and organisations such as United Nations and the European Community. We have developed a close working relationship with national and international federations and with all international sports authorities. At the CISM General Assembly in Quito, Ecuador, Palestine was accepted as the 134th member nation of CISM.[8]


Sailing at the 2003 Military World Games, IMSC at Catania, Italy

CISM annually organises over twenty Military World Championships for different sports in which all member nations can take part. They also organize continental and regional competitions and every four years the Military World Games are held. This is a multisports event which is organized by CISM in conjunction with CISM member nations. The sports include: Basketball; Bowling, Boxing, Cross country running, Cycling, Golf, Judo, Marathon, Modern Pentathlon, Orienteering, Parachuting, Rugby football, Sailing, Shooting, Skiing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming (sport), Tae Kwon Do, Track and Field, Triathlon, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball and Wrestling.[9]


U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team competes in the accuracy competition at the 2007 Military World Games, Hyderabad, India

CISM strives to organise international symposia at least every year to study various aspects of physical education and sport within the Armed forces. In 2008, was the symposium about “How to emphasize the importance of sports within the Armed Forces at national and international level” took place in Sofia, Bulgaria from the 24th to the 25th of September 2008. The last symposium with the topic “Sports science: fundamental tool of modern sports management” took place in Prague, Czech Republic from the 18th to 23 September 2009. 70 participants from 27 countries have been there with this occasion. One of the most relevant moments was the re-launching of CISM Academy. The Proceedings Book of this Symposium is going to be printed in April 2010 and distributed to all CISM family.

Sport for Peace[edit]

Frank Workman (US), tries to take down Aydin Polatci (Turkey), 130-kg Free-Style. 19th World Military Wrestling Championship (CISM), Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

In 2005, CISM organised the seminar “Sport and peace” which was held in Mantova, Italy. Representatives from more than 22 countries, International Organizations, IOC, UN, UNICEF, Sports Associations, CISM Member Nations and organizations directly dealing with peace, health, sport and education attended the Seminar.

All participants agreed that sport had become a significant tool to help the rebuilding of societies in post conflict situations In October 2007, during the 4th Military World Games in India, CISM organised in partnership with the IOC, the Indian Olympic Association and the Organising Committee of the World Games, an International Forum on Sport for Peace, with the theme: “Sport, a concrete fundamental tool to promote Peace”.

Through their lectures, the different authorities presented their experiences and expectations concerning the usage of sport as a tool to educate and help the process of reconstruction in post conflict situations.

This year, on the 20th of March, in the framework of the Winter Games, CISM organized in close cooperation with IOC, the International Forum on the subject Sport for Peace – “From positive initiatives to systemic integrated programs”.

This extraordinary event, together with our previous initiatives (Mantova 2005 and Hyderabad 2007), have successfully demonstrated that sport (and especially military sport) is a fundamental tool capable of promoting peace and may be useful for peacekeeping missions worldwide. All participants and institutions recognized that CISM and the Armed Forces are important players in the Sport for Peace Movement, and agreed that partnerships are the most relevant learned lesson that can concretely foster the use of sport as a development tool in conflict areas.

The Forum counted on eminent authorities such as HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and other distinguished guests as lecturers from IOC, United Nations, NATO, Vatican, Sport and Peace Organization, Former Commanders in Peacekeeping Operations, and CISM authorities and showed that our Council is able to build bridges between international institutions and to create synergies.

All participants of the Forum have signed a declaration entitled “CISM Aosta Call-to-Action 2010 on Sport for Peace” summarizing the common wishes and asking all institutions to formally establish a bilateral and mutual agreement in order to undertake concrete programs aimed at sharing good practices and effectively implementing Sport for Peace programs.


Solidarity programme to CISM is a means to promote sustainable development to strengthen less privileged CISM member countries, in order to create equal opportunities to all CISM nations for their participation in CISM events.

Solidarity is one of the two pillars which guide CISM's activities. The Olympic solidarity is in fact based on the CISM model developed some decades ago. CISM's solidarity program has many parts. Projects range from organising technical clinics in less privileged countries and transporting athletes to championships, to shipping sports equipment to disadvantaged regions. Its most recent undertaking is the start of a regional development sports centre in Kenya.

As we can see on the above-mentioned statement, core terms such as: solidarity and development are present in the CISM Statute as guidance to CISM actions. Solidarity is one of CISM pillars which guide our activities. The Olympic solidarity is in fact based on the CISM model developed some decades ago.

CISM's Solidarity activities consist of many projects ranging from organising technical clinics in less privileged countries, transporting athletes to championships or shipping sports equipment to disadvantaged regions. In the last years, there are more and more solidarity actions organised by our member nations, who organize training camp, send or invite coaches in exchange for knowledge, provide and coordinate transportation and even pay commercial flight tickets. All based either on CISM membership and “Friendship through Sport” or often based on bilateral contracts.

The establishment of Regional Development Centres (RDC) is one of the main objectives of the CISM support policy throughout the world. The first step in this direction was taken in 2006 when the CISM African Development Centre (CAD) was founded in Nairobi, Kenya. Our most recent undertaking is the start of the newest Regional Development Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

With its network, manpower, infrastructures, and its capacity of initiative, CISM wishes nonetheless to give, within and outside CISM, a significant contribution in terms of solidarity. Consequently, CISM Headquarters will increase our activities in that field, making it more visible for CISM country members and for other organizations.

Due to the last solidarity project, the Travelling Plan for the 1st Winter Military World Games 2010 Winter Military World Games, 43 country-flags flew for 8 days in the fields of the Aosta Valley, Italy, representing more than 800 athletes.

Women in Sport[edit]

Canada was the first country to include women’s categories while hosting Taekwondo in 1993, had the first female sport committee president (sailing) and also hosted the 1st Women in CISM Week in Kingston in 2008.[10]

See also[edit]

Boyd Melson (right), during the 2007 Conseil International du Sport Militaire Military World Games


External links[edit]