International Joint Seminar in Sports History – Olympism (April – July 2024)

The 2024 Olympic Games are an opportunity for the Willibald Gebhardt Institute (WGI) in Münster (Germany) to organise a seminar on the Olympic Games. The WGI is an institute affiliated to the Institute of Sports Science at the University of Münster and an official Olympic Studies Centre (OSC).

The seminar is being organised in cooperation with the following partners: Junior Professor Dr Helga Leineweber (Department of Education and Culture at the Institute of Sports Science at the University of Münster), Professor Dr Annette Hofmann (University of Education in Ludwigsburg, Vice-President of ICSPE, Vice-President of the German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) and Deputy Chairwoman of the German Olympic Academy), European Committee for Sports History (CESH), Professor Dr Daphné Bolz (University of Rouen Normandy, CETAPS UR 3832), President of the European Committee for Sports History CESH).

The lectures begin on 8 April and end on 8 July 2024, from 4.15pm to 6pm. Participation is possible via Zoom or in person in seminar room Ho 101 of the Institute of Sport Science at the University of Münster.

Use the following link to access the programme and the language of the papers, and to register:

A presentation in English is available here:

Best wishes,

Prof. i.R. Dr. Michael Krüger (Institut für Sportwissenschaft der Universität Münster, Germany)

German-Italian Sports Relationships event, 7 Oct 2023, Cologne (D)

On Saturday 7 October 2023, 12-1:30 PM, an event will take place on:

Italia-Germania in dieci istantanee. Storie di una relazione sportiva e sentimentale

Sport in den Beziehungen zwischen Italien und Deutschland

CESH members welcome!

Venue: Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Universitätsstrasse 81

50931 Köln (Germany)

German presentation:

Italian presentation:

L’Istituto italiano di cultura di Colonia in collaborazione con l’European Committee for Sports History, sabato 7 ottobre 2023, accoglierà undici dei maggiori studiosi di storia dello sport italiana, che in 90 minuti ripercorreranno le tappe più significative della relazione tra Italia e Germania. In ogni disciplina sportiva, la competizione tra questi due paesi ha assunto un valore importante sul piano diplomatico e su quello sentimentale, coinvolgendo non solo la classe politica, ma anche milioni di appassionati, i quali hanno visto in questi incontri un significato altro, volto a connaturare la propria dimensione identitaria nel segno della comune appartenenza all’Unione Europea. Per ognuno degli undici studiosi coinvolti, c’è stato un evento che meglio degli altri ha caratterizzato questo rapporto. Senza conoscere quale, secondo gli altri colleghi, sia stato tale avvenimento, questi dieci ricercatori si sfideranno, cercando di convincere il pubblico che l’episodio da loro raccontato sia l’icona reale della relazione sportiva tra i due paesi. Si assisterà, perciò, ad un “boxeo” storico-sportivo, che coinvolgerà il pubblico in un affascinante percorso a ritroso durante il quale verranno rievocati i più importanti momenti caratterizzanti le relazioni tra Italia e Germania, dando un importante contributo alla riflessione sul ruolo della cultura popolare nei rapporti tra le due nazioni.


Fabien Archambault (Université Paris-1 Panthéon Sorbonne)

Daphné Bolz (Université de Rouen Normandie)

Clément Luy (École normale supérieure de Lyon & Université de Rouen Normandie)

Eleonora Belloni (Università di Siena)

Erminio Fonzo (Università di Salerno)

Deborah Guazzoni (Società italiana di storia dello sport)

Nicola Sbetti (Università di Bologna)

Daniele Serapiglia (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Juan Antonio Simón (INEF-Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

Francesca Tacchi (Università di Firenze)

Lorenzo Venuti (Università di Firenze)

Publication: A History of Sport in Europe in 100 Objects (2023)

With great pleasure we announce the publication of the book A History of Sport in Europe in 100 Objects (eds. Daphné Bolz & Michael Krüger), Hildesheim, Arete, 2023, ISBN: 978-3-96423-107-9


Many CESH members participated in this project. Do not hesitate to spread the word and invite your libraries to order it.


Prof. Wolfgang Decker, Fellow of CESH, passed away in April 2020

Prof. Wolfgang Decker, Fellow of CESH no. 19 (Deutsche Sporthochschule, Cologne, Germany) passed away on April 28. 

Prof. Fernando García Romero, Fellow of CESH, has written a short obituary. May he rest in peace.


On April 28, 2020, Professor Wolfgang Decker, a historic member of the CESH College of Fellows, passed away at the age of 78. Professor Decker is the author of a vast scientific production, based on a very solid academic background: he had studied sports sciences at the Deutsche Sporthochschule in Cologne, where he would be Professor of sports history from 1976 until his retirement, and also classical studies, archeology and Egyptology at the University of Cologne. He has been the world’s greatest specialist in Egyptian sport, a subject on which he published, in addition to many articles, some fundamental books: his general works Sport und Spiel im Alten Ägypten (Múnich 1987; English translation Yale 1992) and Pharao und Sport (Mainz 2006), the critical compilation of texts Quellentexte zu Sport und Körperkultur im alten Ägypten (St. August 1975) and, in collaboration with Michael Herb, the compilation of iconographic sources with an extensive comment Bildatlas zum Sport im Alten Ägypten. Corpus der bildlichen Quellen zu Leibesübungen, Spiel, Jagd, Tanz und verwandten Themen (Leiden 1994).
He has also been for the last 50 years one of the greatest scholars of ancient Greek sport, a period to which he dedicated, among countless other works, his book Sport in der griechischen Antike. Vom minoischen Wettkampf zu den Olympischen Spielen (Hildesheim 2012, translated into Greek in Athens 2004) and his biographical dictionary of great athletes from the Ancient World Antike Spitzensportler. Athletenbiographien aus dem Alten Orient, Ägypten und Griechenland (Hildesheim 2014)He was also one of the main promoters of the magazine Nikephoros. Zeitschrift für Sport und Kultur im Altertumof whose bibliographic rapports he dealt with for many years, an essential instrument for all researchers of sport in the ancient world. 
During the last stage of his academic production he was also actively engaged in studying the origins of the modern Olympic Games, and specifically the contribution of Greece, since his precise knowledge of the modern Greek language (he was a great polyglot) allowed him direct access to the reading of the original sources; one of the fruits of that work was the book Praeludium Olympicum. Das Memorandum des Jahres 1835 von Innenminister Ioannis Kolettis an König Otto I. von Griechenland über ein Nationalfest mit öffentlichen Spielen nach dem Muster der antiken panhellenischen Agone (Hildesheim 2006). 
Wolfgang Decker has been a teacher in the broadest, noblest, and truest sense of the word. To his intelligence and wisdom, he added exceptional human qualities. We are left with his work and we still have the memory of his intelligent and at the same time funny conversation, of his slow speech in any of the several languages ​​he dominated, of his always kind and polite treatment, of his generosity towards his colleagues and disciples, whatever his age and academic rank.
Prof. Fernando García Romero 


Prof. Decker
Prof. Wolfgang Decker in CESH 2014 Edessa congress (2014).


24th CESH/ISHPES Congress (Lisbon) 14-16 September 2021. NEW FORMAT: on-site and online

24th CESH Congress, organized along with ISHPES, will be held at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, on 14-16 September 2021.




NEW General Assembly agenda, 15th September:


  1. Welcome by the President (Huggins)
  2. Nomination of a Recorder
  3. Apologies for absence
  4. Approval of the Minutes of the GA in Lausanne 2019
  5. Acceptance of the Agenda for Lisbon 2021

CESH Reports:

  1. President’s Report (Huggins)
  2. General Secretary’s Report (Viuda-Serrano)
  3. Treasurer’s Report (Jallat)
  4. Auditors’ Report (Faniopoulos)
  5. 10.Vote on the Reports
  6. 11. Nomination of two Auditors for 2021-22

College of Fellows:

  1. 12. Report on the college of Fellows of CESH (Albanidis)
  2. 13. Election of the President of the College of Fellows
  3. 14. Election of the new Directing Board of CESH
  4. 15. Proposal of a modification to the Internal Regulations for membership of the College of Fellows.

ESSH Journal:

  1. 16. Report of ESSH Editor (Bolz)

CESH Congresses:

  1. 17. Presentation of the 25th International CESH Congress 2022 in Bucharest (Romania)
  2. 18. Proposals for the next International CESH Congresses

Closing procedure: 

  1. 19. AOB

Call for Papers: CESH-ISHPES-2021_CFP

Abstracts submission new deadline: 10 May 2021

Hybrid format: on-site and online. Choose yourself

2021 CESH Event:

Reduced congress fee: 50€


Location: NOVA FCSH, Almada Negreiros College (NOVA’s Campolide Campus, 1099-085 Lisbon).


Date: 14-16 September 2021.


New information about ACCOMMODATION AND PAYMENT here:




The 24th edition of CESH congress, joint with ISHPES, will be held from 14 to 16th of September 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. The theme of this year’s congress, « Sport and Politics from Antiquity to the Modern Day », aims to explore the historical configurations of the sports field and its relationship with a broad range of political processes.

CESH/ISHPES 2021 welcomes contributions centred on, but not limited to, the following research themes and questions:

  • Sport and political regimes: How can we make sense of the transformations of the sporting experience in different political regimes? Is it possible or not to put forward a political periodization of sport? What is fascist (or communist) about fascist (or communist) sports practices and spectacles? Is there an essential break between aristocratic, authoritarian and democratic sports (and, if yes, at what levels)?
  • Sport, race and colonialism: What role did sport play in colonial empires? How did the colonial politics of racial differentiation and hierarchization shape sports? And how was the colonial project shaped by sporting practices and ideologies? What can we learn about decolonization processes by putting sports centre stage? How did newly independent nations negotiate imperial memories and/or political projects of autonomy through sport? How do racialization practices operate on the sports field?
  • Sports organizations as political institutions: What is political about sports institutions and governance? How do the politics of sports organizations and clubs relate to other spheres of the political? What are the political stakes in conflicts taking place inside sports institutions? What type of political mobilization takes place inside sports organizations? How do sport organizations and practices relate with mass and popular culture?
  • Sport and imagined communities: In what ways and in which scales do sports clubs and sporting institutions come to serve as foci of community identification? How do these systems vary historically and geographically? What type of institutions shape these identifications? How do media discourses reproduce and transform sports cultures and identities? How do the moral grammars of different fan cultures relate with other identification systems (ie religious, political, regional) and other moral grammars?
  • Sports and governmentality: How have state policies shaped sporting practices and landscapes? Which groups are the main targets of biopolitical technologies? Under which rationalities have specialists of the sports field exercised and legitimised their power? Which institutions have been at the forefront of the manage-ment and administration of bodies through sport? What systems of classification and identification have been applied by different state agencies to sports practi-tioners, fans and institutions?
  • Sport and international relations: What type of role does sport play in international relations? How do national and international political questions impact on the sports field? Does the globalization of different sports practices and images follow the patterns of the international political system or does it have its own specific logics? How do sports mega-events allow us to reframe power relations in a global world?
  • Sport and Gender: How has the relationship between sport and gender evolved? What can a history of sport tell us about the construction of gender categories? How can we reconstruct our understanding of sports as gendered practices? How do sports practices contribute to the production of gendered bodies?

Abstracts (maximum 300 words) along with a paragraph with biographical information, should be sent by email to: by 10 May 2021.

Besides individual papers, we also encourage the submission of panel proposals (up to three papers). In this case, convenors should also present an abstract for the panel (maximum 300 words) alongside the individual papers abstracts in a single file.