Every year 29 August is celebrated as 'National Sports Day' in India. This day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the great hockey player Major Dhyanchand.
This year the theme of 'National Sports Day' 2023 is - "Sports as an enabler for an inclusive and fit society".
- National Sports Day in India was started in 2012 as a tribute to Dhyan Chand. On this day, the President of India, Major Dhyanchand confers national sports related awards to eminent sports persons like Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award etc.
- Major Dhyanchand was born on 29 August 1905 in Allahabad.
- Dhyanchand joined the army and took up hockey while serving in the army.
- He captained India throughout his playing career and helped India win three Olympic medals in the years 1928, 1932 and 1936.
- Major Dhyanchand was known as 'The Wizard' or 'The Magician' of Hockey.
- Dhyanchand played hockey at international level for 23 years from the year 1926 to 1949. Dhyanchand scored 570 goals in a total of 185 matches.
- In the year 1956, Dhyan Chand was awarded the Padma Bhushan Award, Dhyan Chand was the third civilian to receive this honour.
Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna Award:
- The Khel Ratna Award, considered India's highest sporting honour, was instituted in 1991-92. Earlier the name of this award was “Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award” which was changed to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in the year 2021.
- The award is given for outstanding performance in sports over a period of four years and the winners are given a medal, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh. This award is given every year to one person.
- Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand was the first Khel Ratna winner. Other winners include legendary sports personalities like MC Mary Kom, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Vijender Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli among others.