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TueAug 29

National Sports Day – August 29, 2023

India celebrates National Sports Day on August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey hero Major Dhyan Chand. In 2012, the day was declared India’s National Sports Day. Major Dhyan Chand was a legend in Indian and international hockey. With victories at the Summer Olympics in 1928, 1932, and 1936, he was instrumental in helping India complete their first hat-trick of Olympic gold medals. Dhyan was so dedicated to his art that he used to practice hockey at night after his regular daytime tasks were over, earning him the nickname Dhyan ‘Chand.’

History of National Sports Day

Major Dhyan Chand, a field hockey player, is recognized by many to be the greatest field hockey player ever. Dhyan Chand was born on August 29, 1905, in Allahabad, India, to a Kushwaha Rajput family. He was the son of Sharadha and Rameshwar Singh. Dhyan Chand had two brothers — Mool Singh and Roop Singh. The latter, also a hockey player, was a member of the Indian field hockey team, which won gold medals for India at the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1936. Chand’s father served in the British Indian Army, where he was a member of the hockey team. Chand was well-known for his superb ball control and goal-scoring abilities. India won the field hockey event in seven of the eight Olympics from 1928 through 1964, demonstrating his influence beyond these successes.

According to his memoirs, Chand played internationally from 1926 until 1949, scoring 570 goals in 185 matches during his home and international career. In 1956 he retired from the army with the rank of major, and in the same year, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian honor.

To mark his birthday, India established National Sports Day in 2012. The purpose of the celebration is to honor the sporting legend and create awareness about the importance of sporting activities in everyday life, with a focus on fitness and health. The President of India bestows key honors on this day, including the Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards, and Dhyan Chand Awards, to famous sports luminaries. Dhyan Chand passed away on December 3, 1979.

National Sports Day timeline

1925
Inter-Provincial Tournament

Chand is picked to represent the United Provinces (U.P.) in the Inter-Provincial Tournament in 1925, where his deft stick-work drew everyone's notice.

1934
India's Hockey Team Captain

In December 1934, he is named India's captain after an extraordinary run with Indian hockey, which included two Olympic gold medals.

1956
Padma Bhushan Award

Chand receives the Padma Bhushan award in 1956, India's third-highest civilian honor.

2012
National Sports Day

To commemorate the birthday of Dhyan Chand, India establishes National Sports Day in 2012.

National Sports Day FAQs

In hockey, how many periods are there?

There are three twenty-minute periods of actual play with a rest intermission between each period.

Which country first invented hockey?

In the mid-eighteenth century, the modern game of hockey was born in England.

Who is the father of hockey?

In the 20th century, Canadian ice hockey administrator, and founder of the game in Canada, James T. Sutherland, was known as the ‘Father of Hockey.’

National Sports Day Activities

  1. Form your own team

    Bring your buddies together to cheer on your favorite team. You can even go outside and form your own team. It will be worth it to enjoy the challenge and physical activity, regardless of your skill level.

  2. Read about Dhyan Chand

    Dhyan Chand is one of the greatest hockey players of all time. Read about his upbringing, his forays into several fields, and his numerous accomplishments.

  3. Share pictures of your team jersey

    Share a group pic of you wearing your favorite sports shirts with your friends and family. Include the hashtag #NationalSportsDay in your images as well.

5 Facts About Sports

  1. Olympic ring significance

    The Olympic rings, along with the white background, represent the flags of each country partaking in that year's event.

  2. The world's second most popular sport

    After football, hockey is the world's second most popular sport.

  3. Sports champion

    Dhyan Chand is known as the Muhammad Ali of Hockey.

  4. Many different kinds of sports

    There are almost 8,000 sports listed in the “World Sports Encyclopedia.”

  5. First sport in the world

    Wrestling was most likely the first sport as we know it today, and it began in Greece around 776 B.C.

Why We Love National Sports Day

  1. It creates awareness

    This day raises awareness of the value of sports and physical activity in everyday life. Since the first commemoration of the National Sports Day in India in 2012, the government has used the occasion to announce several sports-related projects.

  2. It honors Dhyan Chand's legacy

    National Sports Day is observed to honor Major Dhyan Chand's legacy and to recognize the value of sports in our lives. Multiple honors, including the Arjuna Award and the Dhyan Chand Award, are presented to sporting heroes to recognize their contributions to sports.

  3. It brings people together

    We can join in the joy of another's hard-won victory through sports. Sports can bring people from all walks of life together in ways they would never meet otherwise.

National Sports Day dates

YearDateDay
2023August 29Tuesday
2024August 29Thursday
2025August 29Friday
2026August 29Saturday
2027August 29Sunday

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