The law February 7, 1958, n°. 88, gave definite rules for teaching physical education and for the development of sport in the Italian school. It also marked the paths for the establishment of the Higher Institutes of Physical Education, first and foremost the public Institute of Rome besides others, that could arise and get the “equalization” with the need to fill an educational long void. The law provided that an Institute should be emanated by a cultural institution and that was how it came to Florence, 28 March 1958, with the establishment of a Study Centre for Physical Education and Sporting Activities. Many important Florentine sports personalities and university professors from different Faculties joined the project at its very first foundation. During its first years of activity, the Study Centre, under the Presidency of Giovanni Calò, worked on the establishment of the Higher Institute of Physical Education (ISEF). Moreover, the Centre worked on the development of research, documentation and specific educational activities that were then widely developed in the following years. The fervour of the Centreʼs initiatives during its early days and the involvement of the City, with the Mayor Giorgio La Pira, brought in a short time to the legal recognition of the Research Centre, which was founded as a Moral Entity with Decree of the President of the Republic n° 107, February 2, 1962.
During the following life of the Research Centre numerous cultural and educational initiatives have been developed, by catering the needs and requirements coming from the sporting and the academic world. In the early 90s, according to the approval of the European Sports Charter, a strong interest by the European Union towards the sector of physical activity and sports emerged. During this period, numerous initiatives, thematic networks and structures studying the different aspects of a changing world, from education to the sports activity, history, etc. come to life. In this context, the Research Centre holds a new role of attention and participation to international events with a progressively specific involvement. The Research Centre has many scientific relations with cultural institutions at international level, through exchanges, participation in conferences and dissemination of documentation: •European Network of Sport Sciences Education & Employment
•International Council of Sport Sciences and Physical Education
•European Committee of Sport History
•European Observatoire for Sport and Employment
•Association Internationale des Ecoles Supérieures dʼEducation Physique
•International Association Sport Information
•European Association for Sport Management
In the academic year 2013-2014, CESEFAS was the only Italian cultural institution to be present at the round table held by the World Conference MINEPS UNESCO on physical education and sportʼs topics. The Research Centre makes available scholarships for the best paper presented by young students at Congresses and Conventions of scientific relevance.