Conseil International du Sport MilitaireBased in Brussels, Belgium, the CISM (Conseil International du Sport Militaire) is second in size only to the International Olympic Committee as an organiser of multi-discipline sports events. In English, the organisation is known as the IMSC (International Military Sports Council). It stages events such as the Military World Games and the World Military Cup for 134 member nations.

The motto of the IMSC is “Friendship through Sport”. Military personnel who may previously have met in battle have the chance to reacquaint themselves under more peaceful circumstances. The sense of camaraderie felt among military athletes is counterbalanced only by a keen competitive spirit. The chief aim of the organisation is to promote world peace through sporting activity and education.

History

Organised military sports events were held as long ago as 1919, just after the First World War. This is when the Inter-Allied Games were held at the Pershing Stadium, which existed until 1960 in what is now the 12th arrondissement of Paris, France. Between June 22nd and July 6th in 1919, military personnel from 18 countries competed against one another in 19 different disciplines. About 1500 athletes took part, all of whom had served in The Great War. Among the conventional sports that were contested at these games were military specific disciplines such as shooting and hand-grenade throwing.

A second Inter-Allied Games was held after World War Two, in 1946. This took place, symbolically, in the Berlin Olympic Stadium. During a less varied programme than that of the post-WW1 games, 7 nations competed in track-and-field disciplines. One of the motives behind these games was to re-establish peace and normality after two of the most harrowing episodes in mankind’s history. British troops played football and other sports against German sides not long after the Second World War, much to the dismay of some recently occupied nations.

In May 1946, prior to the second Inter-Allied Games, Colonel Debrus and Major Mollet founded the Allied Forces Sports Council. This was supplanted in early 1948 by the current CISM/IMSC, with Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as its founding member nations.