Introduction – National Sports Day is also known as Rashtriya Khel Diwas and is celebrated every year on August 29 to honor the birth anniversary of the Indian hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand. This day is also celebrated to spread awareness about the importance of sports and sporting activities in our country.
Indian hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand is one of the greatest Indian hockey players and earn three Olympic gold medals with great victories at the 1928, 1932, and 1936 summer Olympics. Thus, Dhyan Chand was also known as ‘’The Wizard of hockey’’. He was completely devoted to hockey with the disciplined team of the British Indian Army. According to the official website of the Olympics, Dhyan Chand practiced hockey at night when he completed his regimental duties in the daytime. So, he got the name Dhyan ‘’Chand’’. Dhyan Chand represented India in 185 matches in which he scored over 570 goals during this career ranging between 1926 and 1949. Major Dhyan Chand was also awarded Padma Bhushan India’s third highest civilian honor in the year 1956.
History – Earlier, the Government of India announced that National Sports is celebrated every year on August 29 in the year 2012. Firstly, National Sports Day is observed on August 29, 2012, to celebrate the birth anniversary of Indian hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand. It also marks the 11th anniversary of the National Sports Day celebration in the year 2022.
Significance – – National Sports Day is celebrated to commemorate the legacy of Major Dhyan Chand that plays an important role in the growth of Indian hockey. The Government of India presents several awards to players and teams to celebrate National Sports Day. There are several events, and programs that are organized by the Indian Government to celebrate this day. The main aim of National Sports Day is to spread awareness about the importance of several physical activities and sports in life. There are many other awards such as Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award, and Dronacharya Award, for honoring their contribution to Indian sports.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country’s highest sporting honor, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is being renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in the memory of Indian legend hockey player Dhyan Chand on August 6, 2021.
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Arjuna Awards in India are introduced for recognising the exceptional accomplishments of the players in National sports. Arjuna Awards were introduced by the Government of India in the year 1961. Arjuna Award includes a bronze statue of Arjuna, a scroll and a cash reward of Rs. 5, 00, 000. The Government of India has recently revised the scheme for the Arjuna Award. According to the guidelines, to be eligible for the Award, a sportsperson should not only have had good performance consistently for the previous four years at the international level with excellence for the year for which the Award is recommended, but should also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
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