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; 67 years ago (1948-02-18)
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Region served
Lt Colonel Abdulhakeem 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 Hakeem Al-Shino of Bahrain and the General Secretariat is located in Brussels, Belgium under the management of the Secretary General, Colonel 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 USA 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 1985, Canada joined CISM, and has subsequently participated in sport championships, hosted events, 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.[6] 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.[7]

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, Uruguay and Venezuela. There are two liaison offices known as the North American Liaison Office and the South American Liaison Office. The CISM of the Americas president, CAPT (Navy) Luiz SERRANO (Brazil) serves as one of the four CISM Vice Presidents.[8]

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 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 Organisation Charter.
  • In 1999, the 2nd Military World Games was held in Zagreb, Croatia; 7000 participants from 82 nations competed.
  • In 2003, the 3rd Military World Games was held in Catania, Italy; Participants from 84 different nations competed in 18 sports.
  • In 2007, the 4th Military World Games were held in Hyderabad, India; Participants from 101 countries competed.
  • In 2011, The 5th Military World Games was held in July 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 6th edition of the CISM World Games will take place in Mungyeong, Korea in 2015, hosting 24 disciplines. At the last CISM General Assembly in Quito, Ecuador, Palestine was accepted as the 134th member nation of CISM.[9]


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.


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.[10]


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

The International Military Sports can no longer keep track of the countless military champions who are also renowned for their exploits within civilian competitions. Paul Tergat, Kenteris, Thanou, Aleksey Nemov, Valentina Vezzali, Mark Huizinga, Pavel Kolobkov, Renata Mauer, Pyrros Dimas and Fabrozio Mori are but a few of the military athletes who regularly top international sporting events.


CISM strives to organise international symposia at least every year to study various aspects of physical education and sport within the Armed forces. The last 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.

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.


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.

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.[11]

See also[edit]

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


External links[edit]