Introduction – National Sports Day is observed in India on August 29 every year to honor the birth anniversary of Indian hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand.
Indian hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand played an important role to help India contest their first hat-trick of Olympic gold medals with great victories at the 1928, 1932, and 1936 summer Olympics. So, Dhyan Chand was also called as ‘’ The Wizard of hockey’’. Dhyan Chand was completely dedicated to hockey with the regimental team of the British Indian Army. As per the official website of the Olympics, during night, Dhyan Chand practiced his hockey game under the moonlight when he completed his regimental duties in the daytime. Thus, he got the name Dhyan ‘’Chand’’. During his career, Dhyan Chand represented India in 185 matches in which he scored over 400 goals.
History – Firstly National Sports Day was celebrated in India on August 29, 2012, which remembers or honors the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand.
Significance – National Sports Day is celebrated for honoring the legacy of Major Dhyan Chand by acknowledging the importance of sports in our life. On this day, several events, seminars, and programs are organized by the government for raising awareness about the significance of several physical activities and sports in life. There are several awards such as Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award, Dronacharya Award, and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna are discussed to sporting heroes for honoring their contribution to sports.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that the country’s highest sporting honor, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is being renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in memory of Dhyan Chand, a legendary hockey player on August 6, 2021. Dhyan Chand was dead at an age of 74 on December 3, 1979. He was also honored with the Padma Bhushan, a country’s third-highest civilian award. Now, the Indian male hockey team won the bronze medal after 41 years at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.