This annual rendezvous aims not only to advertise the CISM motto of “Friendship Through Sport” with the 19 million soldiers and officers of its Member Nations but also to generate enthusiasm for the cause of worldwide peace with the international bodies that work in the same spirit.
In addition to the message of peace conveyed by this event, the project also aims to promote the principle of “sport for all” and allows everyone and anyone regardless of sporting ability and rank to show up on the start line. The CISM Day Run also builds endurable relations between our organisation and international sports organisations, Armed Forces and governments.
In 2008, the virus caught up with the wider CISM community the participants, from about 50 different nations, were now into the tens of thousands. In Vietnam, the CISM Day Run has clearly become a tradition, gathering all of the country’s Armed Forces: 160,000 feet stomped the national soil. The Greek authorities invited the European nations to Hellenic soil to represent the continent en masse. The President of CISM personally went to make a contribution and there were 13 European countries on the start line. In the Maghreb, Morocco lined up no fewer than 60,000 soldiers with the Chief of the Defence Forces in attendance while 4,000 participants were counted in Algeria. In Belgium, 1,250 runners showed up at the Defence Sports Centre in the presence of the authorities of the CISM General Secretariat. Finally, in many more countries, the civilian staff employed by the Armed Forces followed the lead of their military colleagues. From Luxembourg to Pakistan and from Sweden to Trinidad & Tobago, the message of peace is forging ahead, spreading like wildfire.
Through fields and mountains, with banners and flags, wearing spikes or ankle boots, they are many running for peace. The aim of the CISM Day Run is to illustrate the new face of the worlds’ Armed Forces: working for global stability and finally overcoming the paradox of men at arms the world over hugging each other in friendship even as they carry rifles.
The hope of seeing a million soldiers run in defence of this cause tomorrow may not be an inaccessible dream and the authorities of CISM will work hard to make it come true.
Clearly, CISM has set itself new challenges and the enthusiasm of the community is projecting itself into the future of an even stronger and bigger organisation in the international community.