The first 20 years
In 1965, the visionary Italian sport psychologist Ferruccio Antonelli mounted a conference in Rome. The event attracted 450 people from around the world interested in the application of psychology to sport and physical activity. This was the First World Congress of Sport Psychology.
During the conference, Antonelli and his colleagues held a business meeting and proposed the creation of a global body, thus the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) was born. In his Editorial for the inaugural issue of the International Journal of Sport Psychology, five years later, Antonelli (1970) stated:
“I shall never forget that first meeting…The encouraging approval of the Pope who granted us an audience…the wealth of the contributions,…the warm expression of friendship and esteem…regardless of all differences of politics, nation or race” (p. 3).