Every year, 29th August has been observed as National Sports Day in India. The first National Sports Day was celebrated on 29th August 2012, on the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand who was the star of hockey team of India. The day is used as a platform to launch various sports schemes as well as organise various sporting events and seminars to spread awareness about the importance of physical activities and sports in life.
History of National Sports Day
National Sports Day is also called with the name Rashtriya Khel Divas in some parts of India. In 1979, the Indian Postal Department paid tribute to Major Dhyan Chand after his death and renamed the National Stadium of Delhi as Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, Delhi. In 2012, it was announced that a day must be celebrated as National Sports Day with the motive of spreading awareness about the spirit of sportsmanship and propagating the message of various sports. And for this again a tribute was given to Major Dhayan Chand on his birth anniversary and announced 29th August as National Sports Day in India.
About Major Dhyan Chand:
Major Dhyan Chand was born on 29th August 1905, in Allahabad and was a great hockey player of his time. He was known as the star or wizard of a hockey player as during his period, his team gained hat-trick of gold medals in Olympics during years- 1928, 1932, and 1936. He played internationally for 23 years from 1926 to 1949. He total played 185 matches in his career and scored 570 goals. He was so passionate about hockey, that he used to practise for the game at night in the moonlight which led him to the name, Dhyan Chand. In 1956, Dhyan Chand was awarded Padma Bhushan Award, he was the third civilian to get the honour.
- Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award will be renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.