KSI (Red Sports International) Physical Culture badge,
In silver-plated brass and enamel; measures 28.0 mm in
height, 25.6 mm in width. The artwork in characteristically
early Constructivist style incorporates an unusual mixture
of elements: hammer, sickle, plow, and a sportsman holding
an ice axe. The inscription along the top on the left side
is "Physical Culture", with lettering "USSR KSI" on the red
Excellent condition, outstanding for this early award. The
enamel is perfect, details of the artwork essentially
pristine. The silver plating is extremely well preserved
showing only minor wear to the raised points of the
athlete's figure. The screw post is full length, over 10
and includes very scarce original wing nut that holds
reasonably well despite somewhat worn threads in mid
of the screw.
The KSI or Red Sports International was created in 1921 as
volunteer organization having the ambitious global goal of
uniting "all workers' and peasants' gymnastics and sports
organizations that are oriented toward class struggle..."
The charter of the society didn't make any secret of the
true purpose of physical training: it was to prepare the
masses for violent actions by creating "physically nimble,
vigorous, fully determined fighters capable of [armed]
resistance." Soon the organization came up with a set of
physical fitness requirements appropriately named "Ready
Class Struggle" - a model for the later GTO "Ready for
and Defense" program. The 1925 "Physical Fitness" badge
established a year after the formation of the USSR was
awarded to athletes that passed the rigorous qualification
tests. This badge thus became the first Soviet sports
qualification award of "all-Union" level.
To see other early Soviet sports badges, please follow this
link: "Soviet Sports Awards"