29 August is celebrated as the National Sports Day of India in honour of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. The day was designated as India's National Sports Day in 2012. Major Dhyan Chand was a hockey icon in India and abroad. He helped India win their first hat-trick of Olympic gold medals with victories at the Summer Olympics in 1928, 1932, and 1936. Dhyan, who went by the moniker "Chand," was so committed to his craft that he used to practise hockey at night after finishing off his daily responsibilities.


Sports help us develop many crucial life skills while also maintaining our physical and emotional health. The benefits of maintaining a healthy level of physical exercise and participation in sports include better cardiovascular health, bone health, a lower risk of obesity, better sleep, coordination, and balance.

Every nation celebrates National Sports Day to encourage more people to engage in physical activity. Examine the background of National Sports Day, also known as Rashtirya Khel Diwas, which is celebrated in India on August 29 every year. We also examine the day's importance and the activities that took place throughout India.

When is National Sports Day celebrated in India?

The national sports day is celebrated on August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey hero Major Dhyan Chand. In 2012, the day was declared India's National Sports Day.

Importance of National Sports Day

The major objective of National Sports Day of India is to raise public awareness of the value of sports and regular physical activity. Since the first celebration of the day in India in 2012, the government has used the occasion to announce a range of sports-related initiatives. The Khelo India campaign was unveiled by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018.

The president of India bestows prestigious sporting honours on several sports figures, including the Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards, and Dhyan Chand Awards. 

Why 29 August is celebrated as National Sports Day of India?

In India, National Sports Day is observed on August 29 in honour of hockey great Dhyan Chand. The best hockey player ever, Dhyan Chand, was instrumental in India's three straight Olympic victories in 1928, 1932, and 1936. Notably, on this day, the government presents honours, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna, and Dronacharya Awards.

Major Dhyan Chand’s Birthday is celebrated on National Sports Day

Major Dhyan Chand, a hockey hero and widely recognised as the best player in American history, was born on August 29. For his magical touch, remarkable control, inventiveness, and amazing goal-scoring accomplishments, Chand, often known as "The Wizard," was widely recognised for elevating Indian hockey to new heights. 

India won three Olympic gold medals under Dhyanchand's direction in the years 1928, 1932, and 1936. From 1926 until 1948, a period of 22 years, he scored more than 400 goals. The Major Dhyan Chand Award, the highest honour for lifetime performance in Indian sports and games, was created to honour and commemorate Dhyanchand. Hence, 29 August is celebrated as the national sports day in memory of Major Dhyan Chand.

Who is Major Dhyan Chand?

Major Dhyan Chand was a legendary hockey player of his era and was born in Allahabad on August 29, 1905. He was referred to as the hockey player's star or wizard because, in 1928, 1932, and 1936, his team won three gold medals at the Olympics. From 1926 through 1949, he performed on a global stage for 23 years. In his career, he participated in 185 games and scored 570 goals. He had such a love for hockey that he used to practise at night under the moonlight, giving him the nickname Dhyan Chand. Dhyan Chand received the Padma Bhushan Award in 1956, making him the third civilian to do so.

A Lookback at the History of National Sports Day of India

National Sports Day was first included in India's calendar of national holidays in 2012. Every year on August 29, India celebrates National Sports Day. On August 29, 1905, Major Dhyan Chand was born. He is well known as the "Hockey Wizard" and "The Magician," and National Sports Day is observed in his honour.

He was a member of the Indian hockey team that captured three straight Olympic gold medals in the years 1928, 1932, and 1936. He started playing hockey with the regimental team of the British Indian Army. Due to his excitement for the game, he was given the moniker Dhyan Chand.

In 1956, Chand received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour bestowed by India.

How is National Sports Day celebrated in India?

As a part of national sports day celebrations, the President of India honours notable sports figures on this day with prestigious honours including the Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards, and Dhyan Chand Awards. Today is a big day for emerging athletes as they aim to raise the bar and win these coveted prizes.

The Selection Committee has proposed two athletes for the Khel Ratna, the nation's highest sporting honour, for the year 2019. The nominees for the honour are Paralympic silver medallist Deepa Malik and wrestler Bajrang Punia. Athletes receive the Khel Ratna award for their extraordinary and four years of great accomplishment in the world of sports.

Which awards are given on National Sports Day?

Khel Ratna Award

The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award replaced the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, which was created in 1991–1992, as India's top athletic honour. Winners of the Khel Ratna get a medallion, a diploma, and a monetary award for their great sporting exploits during four years. Viswanathan Anand, MC Mary Kom, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Vijender Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virat Kohli are just a few of the many other champions. 

Arjuna Award

The Arjuna Award was established in 1961 and is named after Arjuna, the major character of the historic Indian epic Mahabharata. Before the Khel Ratna was created, it was India's highest athletic honour. PK Banerjee, an Olympian for India in football, was one of the 20 recipients of the Arjuna Award in its first year, 1961. The first woman to get the Arjuna Award was the hockey player Anna Lumsden.

Dronacharya Award

The greatest honour for coaches in sports in India is the Dronacharya Award, which was established in 1985. It is given to people who have produced medalists at important international competitions. It's interesting to note that in the Mahabharata, Arjuna's mentor or coach was Dronacharya or Drona. Among the first Dronacharya Award recipients were the wrestling coach Bhalchandra Bhaskar Bhagwat, the boxing coach Om Prakash Bharadwaj, and the famed athletics coach OM Nambiar.

Major Dhyan Chand Award

The Major Dhyan Chand Award, which is also named after India's hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, is the country's highest honour for career accomplishments in sports. The inaugural winners of the Major Dhyan Chand Award were the Olympian boxer Shahuraj Birajdar, the member of the Indian men's hockey team Ashok Diwan, and the distinguished player and coach Aparna Ghosh of the Indian women's basketball team.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy

The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy, often known as the MAKA Trophy, was established in 1956–1957 and is the oldest National Sports Award in India. The Abul Kalam Azad Award, which honours Indian independence fighters and the nation's first minister of education, is granted to a university for excelling in inter-university competitions throughout the previous calendar year. 

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar

The Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar, given to organisations or corporations and people for their contributions to the growth and promotion of sports during the previous three years, has been a constant on the list of National Sports Awards since 2009. The selection of nominees is divided into four categories: sports for development, corporate social responsibility initiatives to promote sports, hiring of athletes, and identifying and developing new talent.

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award

The first two people to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, was the Indian mountaineer Tenzing Norgay of Nepali descent and the New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary. The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, which was created in 1994 to honour Norgay, aims to recognise exceptional accomplishments in the world of adventure sports on land, water, and air. Mountaineering, skydiving, open-water swimming, and sailing are among the activities taken into consideration.


We hope now our readers are informed about the various details of the National Sports Day. It is a moment of pride for all of us to celebrate this day. Let's assure to honour Mr Dhyan Chand with our love and respect.

Happy National Sports Day 2022!!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who invented National Sports Day?

In 2012, the Indian prime minister proclaimed the day to be National Sports Day in memory of Major Dhyan Chand.

When was National Sports Day first celebrated in India?

The inaugural National Sports Day in India was observed on August 29, 2012.

Why do we celebrate our National Sports Day?

In honour of the legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand Singh's birth anniversary, the National Sports Day is observed. Various athletic events and seminars are held in states like Haryana, Punjab, and Karnataka, among others, to raise public awareness of the value of sports and physical activity.

Who’s birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day?

To honour the legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand, the National Sports Day is observed on August 29, his birthday.

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