Sports teach us many key life skills along with keeping us fit and physically as well as mentally strong! Maintaining physical exercise and participation in sports has numerous health benefits such as increased cardiovascular fitness, bone health, a lower chance of obesity, better sleep, and better coordination and balance. Each nation, in order to promote more participation in physical activities, celebrate National Sports Day. On National Sports Day, also known as Rashtirya Khel Diwas, take a look at the history associated, the significance, and the events held in India on National Sports Day.
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National Sports Day
On August 29, National Sports Day is observed around the country to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. This day is observed to raise awareness about the value of sports and daily activities in everyone’s life, emphasizing the importance of being fit and healthy. On this day, the President of India bestows important awards to prominent sports figures, including the Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards, and Dhyan Chand Awards.
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Honoring Major Dhyan Chand’s Birthday!
Popularly known as the ‘Hockey Wizard’ and ‘The Magician’, Major Dhyan Chand was born on August 29, 1905, and National Sports day is celebrated on his birth anniversary. He was the member of the Indian hockey squad that won gold medals in three successive Olympics: 1928, 1932, and 1936 Summer Olympics. He began his hockey career with the regimental squad of the British Indian Army. Because of his passion for the sport, he was given the title Dhyan Chand.
After duty hours, he would practice hockey in the moonlight at night. That’s why he was given the title Chand, which represents the moon in Hindi. Dhyan Chand represented India in 185 matches and scored over 400 goals during his career, which stretched from 1926 to 1948. In 1956, the Indian government bestowed upon him the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian honour. On December 3, 1979, Dhyan Chand left this world.
Significance of National Sports Day
The primary objective of National Sports Day is to raise awareness about the value of sports and staying physically active in everyday life. Following the first celebration of the day in India in 2012, the government has embraced the occasion to unveil a number of sports-related initiatives, including the Khelo India movement. It was announced in 2018 by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Several sports celebrities are also honoured by India’s president with prominent athletic honours such as the Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards, and the Dhyan Chand Awards. The Dhyan Chand Award honours an athlete’s lifetime achievements in his discipline. Because of the epidemic situation in India, the award presentation will be hosted virtually.
National Sports Day: List of Awards
The following is the list of sports awards that are awarded on every National Sports Day, have a look!
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy
The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy was founded in 1956–1957. It is awarded to a university for “outstanding performance in inter-university tournaments” over the previous year.
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The Arjuna Award was founded in 1961. It is awarded to athletes who have shown “constant great performance” over the previous four years. “A bronze statue of Arjuna, a certificate, ceremonial dress, and a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh” are included in the award.
The Dronacharya Award, founded in 1985, honors trainers who “create medal winners at prestigious international championships.” “A bronze statue of Dronacharya, a certificate, ceremonial robe, and a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh” are included in the award.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna was founded in 1991–1992. It is awarded to athletes for their “most excellent performance by a sportsperson” during the previous four years. “A medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of Rs. 25 lakh” are included in the award.
Dhyan Chand Award
The Dhyan Chand Award was founded in 2002. It is awarded to persons who have made a “lifetime contribution to the growth of sports.” “A Dhyan Chand statue, a certificate, ceremonial robe, and a monetary prize of ten lakh rupees” are included in the award.
Rashtriya Khel Prahotsahan Award
The Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar was founded in 2009. It is awarded to private and public organizations, as well as individuals, who have “played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development” over the last three years.
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Thus, this National Sports Day, we urge you to get outside and play your favourite sport honouring your inner Khiladi! Stay connected to Leverage Edu for more such educational content! Happy National Sports Day!