National Sports Day in India is celebrated annually on August 29 to commemorate the birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand. He is considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time. And played a vital role in India’s three consecutive Olympic victories in 1928, 1932 and 1936. The day was declared India’s National Sports Day in 2012 to honour the sporting spirit of the country.
Honouring Sporting Achievements with Awards
On this day, the President of India presents various sports-related awards such as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, and Dronacharya Award to recognize the outstanding achievements of athletes, coaches, and trainers. These awards acknowledge their contribution to the country’s sporting landscape and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
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The Legacy of Major Dhyan Chand
Major Dhyan Chand was known as ‘The Wizard’ of hockey due to his incredible skills on the field. He scored more than 400 goals in his career which lasted from 1926 to 1948. His exceptional performance in the 1936 Berlin Olympic final, where he scored three goals, is considered one of his best performances. India went on to defeat Germany 8-1, with Chand being the top scorer in the game.
Early Life and Achievements
Born as Dhyan Singh on August 29, 1905, in Prayagraj (formerly known as Allahabad). And he joined the British Indian Army as a sepoy at the age of 16. He exclusively played in army hockey tournaments between 1922 and 1926. Major played his first international match in the year 1948. He received the nickname ‘Chand’ as he used to practice all night in the moonlight.
Awards and Recognition
Major Dhyan Chand was awarded India’s third-highest civilian honour, Padma Bhushan, in 1956, in recognition of his contribution to Indian hockey. He remains an inspiration to many aspiring athletes in the country.
Major Dhyan Chand’s contribution to Indian hockey and his legacy continues to inspire athletes in India and worldwide. National Sports Day serves as a reminder of his dedication to the sport and the importance of promoting sports in the country.