National Sports Day 2023: Each year, India enthusiastically commemorates National Sports Day on August 29th, a dedicated occasion for promoting sports and physical activities. This day holds profound significance in acknowledging athletes' contributions while encouraging the younger generation to partake in sports for their overall well-being. Notably, National Sports Day also pays homage to the legendary field hockey virtuoso, Major Dhyan Chand, whose extraordinary prowess led India to numerous triumphant moments.
Sports play an integral role in maintaining both physical and mental fitness. The vital role of sports in our lives encompasses enhancing fitness levels, instilling discipline, fostering teamwork, and nurturing resilience. Throughout the years, India has produced exceptional sports icons such as PT Usha, Sachin Tendulkar, and the illustrious Major Dhyan Chand. To underscore the significance of sports, National Sports Day was formally incorporated into the list of commemorative occasions in 2012.
Regions like Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, and others orchestrate diverse sporting events and seminars to raise awareness about the importance of physical activities and sports in daily routines. The Indian government seizes the opportunity on National Sports Day to introduce and promote sports-related schemes, notably the Khelo India movement launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018.
The birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand, the hockey maestro whose impact on the sports landscape remains indelible, is celebrated as National Sports Day 2023. This day serves as an annual reminder of the pivotal role of sports activities in our lives. A special ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan sees the President of India conferring awards upon deserving athletes, acknowledging their unwavering commitment and hard work.
Major Dhyan Chand was a luminous presence on the Indian hockey team, dominating the sport before the outbreak of World War II. His momentous contributions encompass leading India to its first three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Summer Olympics. His legacy continues to inspire countless generations of athletes to pursue excellence.
Major Dhyan Chand, originally christened Dhyan Singh, was born on August 29, 1905, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. He emerged as an iconic figure during India's pre-independence era, playing a pivotal role in the nation's Olympic conquests. His dedication to the sport was unparalleled; Dhyan Chand's commitment extended to practicing hockey under moonlit skies post his daily regimental duties, earning him the moniker "Dhyan Chand."
In 1936, he was honored with the captaincy of the Indian hockey team. His contributions and accomplishments propelled him through the ranks, from lieutenant to captain, ultimately attaining the rank of major.
In 2012, the Government of India paid homage to the sporting legend Dhyan Chand and designated his birthday, August 29, as National Sports Day. This day holds immense significance, serving as a constant reminder for individuals to engage in physical exercises and actively participate in sports. The advantages of sports span a spectrum, encompassing reduced obesity risk, heightened cardiovascular fitness, improved sleep patterns, enhanced bone health, and refined body coordination.
The prestigious National Sports Awards, presented during a distinguished ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, acknowledge athletes' notable contributions to their respective disciplines. National Sports Day offers a platform for the nation to honor its sporting heroes through recognition, admiration, and esteemed awards, including the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
The awards repertoire incorporates the Dhyan Chand Award, lauding lifetime contributions, the Arjuna Award for achievements in previous seasons, and the Dronacharya Award, which spotlights extraordinary coaching contributions within Indian and international sports.