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Conseil International du Sport Militaire
The United States Armed Forces is a member of the International Military Sports Council, which is also known as the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM). CISM is the second largest multi-sport discipline organization after the International Olympic Committee.
The U.S. Delegation competes in 19 of the 26 sports offered averaging around 12-15 sports annually. CISM Championships are hosted around the world and provides an avenue for the United States to project a positive image with valuable military-to-military engagements through sport.
CISM represents the highest level of military athletic competitiveness, which often includes Olympians and World Champions. The United States has been a member since 1951 and hosts one to two CISM Military World Championships or events each year.
Below is information directly from the CISM Official Webpage:
Founded on the 18th of February 1948, the International Military Sports Council (CISM) is one of the largest multidisciplinary organisations in the world. We organise various sporting events for the armed forces of our 133 member countries. Soldiers, who may previously have met on the battle field, now meet in friendship on the sports playing field. 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.
Our ultimate goal is to contribute to world peace by uniting armed forces through sports. The motto under which we operate is "Friendship through Sport".
The elected President of CISM is Colonel Hamad Kalkaba Malboum (Cameroon) , and the General Secretariat is located in Brussels under the management of the Secretary General, Colonel Morisod (Switzerland).
Sport and Solidarity
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.
CISM annually organises over twenty Military World Championships for different sports in which all member nations can take part. We also organize continental and regional competitions and every four years the Military World Games and most recently Winter Games are held. These are multisport events organized by CISM in conjunction with CISM member nations. The 1st Military World Games were held in 1995 in Rome. 93 nations competed in 17 different sporting events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of the 2nd World War.
Four years later about 7000 participants from 82 countries met in Zagreb, Croatia to contribute to the great success of the 2nd World Military Games. The 3rd edition was held in Catania, Italy from the 4th to the 11th of December 2003. Participants from 84 different nations competed in 18 sports.
The 4th CISM Military World Games were held in Hyderabad, India from October 14th till 21st, 2007. A record number of 101 participating countries celebrated world peace and showed the remarkable spirit of friendship and solidarity that unites all CISM member countries. The next edition will take place in July 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The 1st edition of the CISM Winter Military World Games was held this year in Italy, in Aosta Valley Region, where 43 different countries and more than 800 athletes have competed at the highest level in winter sports.
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, 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 almost every year, to study various aspects of physical education and sport within the Armed forces. The last symposium with the topic “Sports science: fundamental tool of modern sports management” took place in Prague, Czech Republic from the 18th to 23rd of 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
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.”
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.
Our Solidarity activities is comprised 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, 43 country-flags flew for 8 days in the fields of the Aosta Valley – Italy, representing more than 800 athletes
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