National Sports Day 2022: India celebrates the National Sports Day or Rashtriya Khel Divas on 29th August every year.
- The day commemorates the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand, the hockey wizard of India who was born on this date in 1905.
- Year 2022 is the 117th birth anniversary of India’s great hockey star.
National Sports Day: Significance
- The National Sports Day primary aim is to create awareness about the importance of sports and the benefits of being physically active in life in the daily life of all the citizens whether young or old.
- Various events with the theme of promoting sports among people are organised around the country
- The celebration this day aims to honour Major Dhyanchand's legacy while raising awareness of the importance and advantages of including sports and physical activity in daily life.
- Awards like the Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and Dronacharya Award are given out on this day to honour the nation's top athletes.
- The awards are presented by the President of India during a ceremony that takes place at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- 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.
- The day was first observed in 2012 as a tribute to Major Dhyanchand.
About Major Dhyan Chand:
- Born on August 29, 1905, Major Dhyanchand went on to become one of the legends in the game of hockey.
- He was nicknamed Chand as he used to practice all night in the moonlight (moon is called Chand in Hindi).
- He started off his career with the British Indian Army regimental squad.
- India won the gold medal three times in a row i.e., in 1928, 1932, and 1936 at the Olympics thanks in large part to Major Dhyanchand.
- He played internationally for 23 years from 1926 to 1949.
- He participated in 185 matches in his career and scored 570 goals.
- He breathed his last on December 3, 1979, in Delhi having slipped into a coma.
In 1956, he received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour.
Note: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award will be renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.