National Sports Day 2019: To commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, National Sports Day is celebrated across the country on 29 August (Thursday).
Stressing the need to stay fit and healthy, this day is observed to spread awareness on the importance of sports and daily activities in every individual's life.
On this day, President of India honours eminent sports personalities with major awards including Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Award.
In 2019, two athletes have been nominated by the Selection Committee for sports awards in highest sporting honour in the country – Khel Ratna. Wrestler Bajrang Punia and Rio Paralympics silver medalist Deepa Malik have been nominated for the award. Khel Ratna is awarded to athletes for spectacular and outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years.
Cricketers Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav are on the list of Arjuna awardees among 17 others.
When is Sports Day celebrated in India?
The National Sports Day is celebrated on 29 August, on the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, who is regarded as nation's greatest hockey player of all time.
Popularly known as "The Wizard" for his magical touch, superb control, creativity and extraordinary goal-scoring feats, Chand was instrumental in taking Indian hockey to greater heights under his talismanic leadership.
The late hockey player had led India to three Olympic gold medals in the years – 1928, 1932 and 1936. He had scored over 400 goals in 22 years, spanning from 1926 to 1948.
He was bestowed with India’s third-highest civilian honour, Padma Bhushan in 1956. Regarded as the greatest of all-time, Chand also served in the Indian Army and brought laurels to the country.
The noteworthy memorial for him is the Major Dhyan Chand Award, the highest award for lifetime achievement in sports and games in India.
Significance of National Sports Day
Other than spreading awareness on the importance of sports, the special day also highlights the achievements and contributions of Chand to India's rich sports history and culture.
The President confers National Sports Awards to honour sportsmen who have achieved laurels in the sports realm and enhanced country's pride all over the world.
After the death of Chand in 1979, the Indian Postal Department issued stamps in his honour. As a tribute to him, the National Stadium of Delhi was also renamed to Major Dhyan Chand stadium.
The Indian government over the years has launched many schemes related to sports on this day including the Khelo India scheme in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Updated Date: Aug 29, 2019 10:42:25 IST