- The National Sports Day or Rashtriya Khel Divas is celebrated on 29th August every year in India as a tribute to hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand who was born on this date in 1905.
- The day was first designated and celebrated in 2012 as India’s National Sports Day.
- The nation celebrates the day honouring our sports stars.
- The president gives away sports awards such as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award, and Dhyan Chand Awards on this occasion.
- The primary motto of National Sports Day is to promote awareness about the significance of sports and being physically active in day-to-day life.
- The Government of India organises various programs, events, seminars etc to raise awareness about the significance of National Sports Day.
Major Dhyan Chand
- Widely known as the ‘Wizard of Hockey’, the greatest hockey player of India, Major Dhyan Chand Singh, was born on 29th August 1905 in present-day Praygraj, Uttar Pradesh.
- He played as the centre forward at three Olympic Games for India winning Gold Medals at Amsterdam in 1928, Los Angeles in 1932 and Berlin in 1936 where he was the captain.
- He was a member of the first Indian overseas army team that toured New Zealand in 1926.
- Major Dhyan Chand scored more than 400 international goals in his career from 1926 to 1948 while scoring nearly 1,000 goals in his entire career.
- In a bid to pay tribute to such a legendary player, the Government of India decided to celebrate his birthday as the National Sports Day in 2012.
- Before this recognition, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan Award by the Government of India in 1956, the third-largest civilian honour in India.
- He breathed his last on 3rd December, 1979, in Delhi having slipped into a coma.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT