ISCA celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby looks back at how it all began. Stay tuned to find out how you can celebrate with us, <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>!

“It was 20 years ago today…”

On this day 20 years ago, representatives of 15 national Sport for All organisations established the INTERNATIONAL SPORT & CULTURE ASSOCIATION (ISCA). The founding meeting on 10 February 1995 took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was the culmination of earlier discussions among grassroots sport organisation leaders on how to establish a platform for political and organisational collaboration across national borders and cultural boundaries. 

The founding members’ guiding philosophy was based on their strong belief in the dynamic strength of cultural diversity, organisational pluralism and, not least, their desire to help individual citizens exercise their right to physical activity. 

A driving force for them was that many grassroots sport organisations found themselves excluded from existing international sport structures, like the single sport federation structure, because of the “one country, one member rule”. The grassroots approach was also neglected by the international federations, whose primary focus was to standardise rules for international competitions. The founding members simply felt that the grassroots sport voice was missing internationally. 

Ultimately, their aim was to raise political awareness of Sport for All and to use international collaboration and knowledge to develop non-profit grassroots sport organisations.
Sport and physical activity has its recreational purpose, but active participation in grassroots sport and the civic NGO sector has broader implications for society as a whole. ISCA’s founding members believed in the “power of people” to give grassroots sport a voice and the power of â€œMoving People” to create positive change in society. This is underlined in ISCA's Vision and Mission (left). Today, 20 years after the foundation of ISCA, we now have 182 member organisations who are Moving People in 80 countries across the world. 
Over the past two decades ISCA has helped shape the sport and physical activity sector and redefine the notion of “sport”. Today, more than ever, we know how important it is to support political and organisational infrastructure that recognises sport and physical activity as the key to creating more active, inclusive, productive and, ultimately, liveable societies. 

So ISCA looks forward to many more years of MOVING PEOPLE!


Mogens Kirkeby, ISCA President

A year of celebration...  

2015 will be packed with highlights, with the NowWeMOVE campaign launching a year-round calendar of events and our new project, Youth on the MOVE, expanding its sister campaign, Move Brasil, in Latin America. Keep an eye out for ways you can get involved and your invitation to be part of our 20th anniversary celebrations at the MOVE Congress this year.

ISCA 20th anniversary testimonials

"What is most impressive for me is the dynamic, fast and progressive development of ISCA in only 20 years. This is in regard to membership, the development of its activities, its increase in turnover, and also in regard to political recognition... ISCA has become a very strong voice on sport-political issues, especially in Europe."
Herbert Hartmann, ISCA Vice President and former German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) Vice President 
"Nemunas has taken part in all of ISCA's general assemblies, from the first in Copenhagen in 1995 to the most recent in Rome in 2014. Over the last 20 years ISCA and Nemunas have both become much stronger. With ISCA's help we have visited countries throughout the world, improved our English skills and become partners with organisations in different countries. Congratulations ISCA on your 20th anniversary!"
Kestutis Levickis, Nemunas (Lithuanian Sport and Culture Association) Chairman and founding ISCA member 
"We welcomed the establishment of a worldwide organisation like ISCA, which offered us membership and participation in various interesting projects and programmes where we could both learn a lot and share our know-how with others... We would like to express our thanks to ISCA for its cooperation and assistance, which has helped to develop our Sokol movement, and to congratulate it on its 20th anniversary."
Vladimir Dostal, Czech Sokol Organisation Head of International Affairs and founding ISCA member
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