The National Sports Day or Rashtriya Khel Divas in India is celebrated on 29 August every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player and one of the most influential figures, Major Dhyan Chand. It is also observed to recognise India’s accomplished athletes who have earned recognition for their outstanding contributions across various sports.
It was started to raise awareness about the benefits of sports, cultivate sportsmanship and teamwork, and inspire people to consider sports as a viable career option.
Who is Major Dhyan Chand?
Major Dhyan Chand stands as one of India’s most decorated sportspersons in history. He led India to Olympic gold medals at the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Summer Olympics.
The wizard had an illustrious career spanning from 1926 to 1948, during which he participated in 185 matches for India and scored over 400 goals.
Dhyan Chand began his hockey journey with the regimental team of the British Indian Army.
History and significance
India’s inaugural National Sports Day was celebrated on 29 August 2012. The day plays a significant role in encouraging the integration of sports into our daily routines for overall fitness and well-being.
National Sports Day: How it is celebrated?
The celebrations encompass the felicitation of various athletes with esteemed National Sports Awards, including the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award), Dronacharya Award, Arjuna Award, and more.
People also engage in different sports competitions organized under the ambit of the Fit India and Khelo India initiatives to commemorate the event. Schools, colleges, and interested participants can register for the National Sports Day 2023 activities.
How is it usually celebrated?
Various sportsmen receive the coveted National Sports Awards on the occasion of National Sports Day in India, including the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award), Dronacharya Award, Arjuna Award, and others.
People also go on to take part in various sporting events organized as part of the Fit India and Khelo India programmes to commemorate the day. Schools, institutions, and other organizations must click here to sign up to take part in National Sports Day in 2023.